Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record

The archaeological sites database is called the 'Historic, Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record' or HBSMR.  This is our most detailed and complex source of site-based information, with the most sophisticated search and retrieval mechanisms.  It holds almost 60,000 records of sites, structures, buildings, artefacts, finds and place-names throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (including the marine environment) ranging from the Stone Age through to the present day.

Information is presented by the database as a series of  modules or screens that display different aspects of a site's archaeology and history. These modules include a description of  the site or monument, details of sources and further information, photographs, related finds (artefacts) and a site history that records when it was last visited.

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Information on sites in the HBSMR is augmented by paper 'Information files' which are usually site or area specific, and may contain offprints, images, plans, sketches, observations, correspondence, etc.

This is traditionally the central hub of the archaeological archive, and has been under development for more than 30 years.  It has gone through a number of transformations, from paper to digital, from one database to another and through a number of database software upgrades.   It can output the results of queries as hard copy prints or electronically to file.

The function of this system and its relationship to other data and spatial systems is changing and its character is still evolving.

The HBSMR record is linked to our Geographic Information System (GIS) which also displays many of our maps and plans. The GIS software allows us to electronically navigate across the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly at varying scales using many different Ordnance Survey and other map bases (including historic maps). We are able to display and plot archaeological information, as a series of 'layers', over these map bases and  identify the nature, extent and significance of the known archaeology for a particular area. 

The Cornwall & Scilly HER is now available to consult online via the Heritage Gateway .