Skip to main content

Swale's Scheduled Monuments

Scheduling is the oldest form of heritage protection. It began in 1913, although its roots go as far back as the 1882 Ancient Monuments Protection Act, when a 'Schedule' (hence the term ‘scheduling’) of almost exclusively prehistoric monuments deserving of state protection was first compiled.

Scheduled monuments are not always ancient, or visible above ground. There are over 200 categories of monuments on the schedule forming part of the National Heritage List for England (NHLE), and they range from prehistoric standing stones and burial mounds, through to the many types of medieval site - castles, monasteries, abandoned farmsteads and villages - to the more recent results of human activity, such as collieries.

Scheduling is applied only to sites of national importance, and even then only if it is the best means of protection. Alternatives can include listing or just simply relying on the system of local authority control over planning applications whereby local planning authorities can make sure that development proposals take archaeology fully into account.

Only deliberately created structures, features and remains can be scheduled. There are almost 20,000 Scheduled Monuments on the National Heritage List for England. Scheduling is reserved for carefully selected sites, which create a representative sample of sites from different epochs.

You can visit Historic England's website for more information about scheduled monuments.

Scheduled monuments in Swale

Swale is rich in archaeological interest with evidence of Neolithic, bronze age and iron age settlements in the area, as well as the Roman military road, Watling Street, connecting some of the earliest Roman coastal settlements with London.

There are currently 23 scheduled monuments in Swale. These include a Romano-British mausoleum at Stone-by-Faversham, and a Roman-British villa and a Romano-Celtic temple at Boxted near Lower Halstow. There are also important medieval sites including salterns, military fortifications and ecclesiastical buildings.

For four centuries, Faversham was a major centre of gunpowder manufacture and the Oare Gunpowder Works was one of the best preserved in the country. The nearby restored 18th century water-powered Chart Gunpowder Mills were part of the earlier Royal Gunpowder works.

Along the coast, but especially at Sheerness, there are a number of sites bearing witness to Swale’s role in military and civil defence – part of Kent’s strategic function in defending the nation, particularly in the Second World War.

You can visit Historic England’s website for more information about the scheduled monuments in Swale.

You can see where the scheduled monuments in Swale Borough are located by using the Swale Interactive Map. You will need to ensure that you have selected the Heritage and Environment map layer and ticked the scheduled monuments option in the available map categories.

There are many sites of heritage interest in Swale Borough which are neither scheduled or listed, although in some instances, they may be of significant interest, and at some point in the future may be considered for formal designation. A useful way of finding out about such sites is by using Kent County Council’s Historic Environment Record website – the Kent HER. You may also find the Swale’s Archaeological Heritage web page of interest and as a useful simple introduction to the Kent HER.