CIRCE - Heritage and conservation

This section of the Conservation Information Resource for Civil Engineers (CIRCE) provides information about national and international organisations.

These organisations deal with heritage and conservation issues which are likely to arise when civil and building engineers work on conservation, restoration and extending the life of existing structures.

This part of CIRCE provides links to the main national and international organisations in the UK, in the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world. This includes some of their activities and publications and also various inventories of Engineering Heritage Structures. Simply choose the relevant subject and begin exploring our resources.

To find out more, simply click on the relevant panels below.

Where content displays the direct icon, the information is accessible directly from the link. Otherwise the link provides full details of the resource and where it can be obtained.

International organisations

International organisations

International Conservation Charters

The Historic Scotland Guide to International Conservation Charters, Historic Environment Scotland 1997 [100 pp] direct

UNESCO World Heritage Centre

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The WHC committee is responsible for encouraging countries to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

ICOMOS is a non-governmental international organisation dedicated to the conservation of the world's monuments and sites. It has over 100 National Committees and 28 International Scientific Committees.

ICOMOS works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organisation of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage.

ICOMOS is a network of experts that benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members, among which are architects, historians, archaeologists, art historians, geographers, anthropologists, engineers and town planners.

The work of ICOMOS is based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter).

ISCARSAH

The International Scientific Committee on the Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage is a Technical committee of ICOMOS. ISCARSAH serves as a forum and network for engineers and other specialists in the field of conservation of heritage structures, developing principals and guidelines for appropriate diagnosis and intervention, and provides site-based consultation to NGOs. It holds regular conferences.

The Committee has authored the Principles for the Analysis, Conservation and Structural Restoration of Architectural Heritage, which were ratified by the ICOMOS 14th General Assembly in 2003.

Its website is currently not active.

Access is available via Facebook and LinkedIn

International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage

The International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage of ICOMOS focuses on recent structures.

It has recently drawn up the Madrid Document, which focuses on heritage issues for 20th century structures.

International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH)

TICCIH is the world organization for industrial heritage. Its goals are to promote international cooperation in preserving, conserving, investigating, documenting, researching, interpreting, and advancing education of the industrial heritage.

The Association for Preservation Technology International

The Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) is a cross-disciplinary, membership organization dedicated to promoting the best technology for conserving historic structures and their settings.

APTI members, mainly in North America, include preservationists, architects, engineers, conservators and other persons directly involved in the application of methods and materials to maintain, conserve and protect historic structures and sites for future use and appreciation. Though focusing mainly on buildings, much of the subject matter addressed is useful for bridges too. Members of the APTI organise conferences, receive a journal and have access to the on-line Building Technology Heritage Library.

Inventories of International Engineering Heritage structures

As part of UNESCO, the World Heritage Centre committee is responsible for the World Heritage List, which includes many sites that include significant buildings and engineering structures. Examples include bridges on the Rhaetian Railway in Switzerland, the Rideau Canal in Canada, the Vizcaya Bridge transporter bridge in Bilbao, Völklingen Ironworks in Germany, Eiffel's bridge in Oporto, the Tomioka Silk Mill in Japan, the Roman Pont du Gard in France, the Naval Port of Karlskrona in Sweden, the Sydney Opera House, and the reconstructed Old Bridge of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

National organisations: UK

National (government) organisations: UK

Historic England

Historic England is the public body that looks after England's historic environment. It deals with listing, scheduling, registering and protecting are all forms of buildings, monuments, and sites.

It provides definitive guidance on listing, publishes a wide range of books on monuments and conservation and has a large archive of documents and images. Although encompassing the entire built environment, bridges do not feature prominently.

Note: English Heritage is the organisation that cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites. Since 2014 it does not deal with listing and conservation matters.

Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland is the public body that looks after Scotland's historic environment. It deals with listing, scheduling, registering and protecting are all forms of buildings, monuments, and sites.

It provides definitive guidance on listing, publishes a wide range of books on monuments and conservation and has a large archive of documents and images. Although encompassing the entire built environment, bridges do not feature prominently.

Historic Scotland is in the process of becoming Historic Environment Scotland.

Cadw

Cadw is the historic environment service of the Welsh Government, part of the Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Department. Cadw works to protect the historic environment and heritage sites of Wales.

It provides definitive guidance on listing, publishes a wide range of books on monuments and conservation and has a large archive of documents and images.

Northern Ireland

Built Heritage, Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland provides guidance on recording, protection and conservation, as well as databases of monuments and heritage structures.

UK National (non-government) organisations

Panel for Historical Engineering Works

The Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW) was set up by members of the Institution of Civil Engineers to identify historical engineering works that are worthy of recording, promoting, and in some cases, preserving for posterity. It helps to organise groups of civil engineers in the regions who are interested in the history of their profession, and publishes a quarterly newsletter, regional guides and leaflets on the subject. The Panel also work with the regions to commemorate structures and engineers by putting up plaques to bring these to public attention.

The PHEW Index is a large database of historical structures hosted on ice.org.uk.

The Heritage Alliance

The Heritage Alliance unites 99 independent heritage organisations in England, acting as a powerful, effective and independent advocate for the movement. It brings together the independent heritage organisations, from the National Trust, Canal & River Trust and Historic Houses Association, to more specialist bodies representing visitors, owners, volunteers, professional practitioners, funders and educationalists. Between them, their 6.3 million volunteers, trustees, members and staff demonstrate the strength and commitment of the independent heritage movement.

Railway Heritage Trust

The objectives of the Railway Heritage Trust are to assist the operational railway companies in the preservation and upkeep of listed buildings and structures, and in the transfer of non-operational premises and structures to outside bodies willing to undertake their preservation.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings is involved in all aspects of the survival of buildings which are old and interesting. Their principal concern is the nature of "restoration" or "repair" of old buildings, because misguided work can be extremely destructive.

Institute of Historic Building Conservation

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is the professional body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment experts working in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with connections to the Republic of Ireland. The Institute exists to establish, develop and maintain the highest standards of conservation practice, to support the effective protection and enhancement of the historic environment, and to promote heritage-led regeneration and access to the historic environment for all.

The Association for Industrial Archaeology

The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) is the national organisation for people who share an interest in Britain's industrial past. It brings together people who are researching, recording, preserving and presenting the great variety of this country's industrial heritage. Industrial architecture, mineral extraction, heritage-based tourism, power technology, adaptive re-use of industrial buildings and transport history are just some of the themes being investigated by its members.

Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in the UK

The following UK locations of engineering importance have been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The Institution of Civil Engineers Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW) maintains a useful, searchable inventory of historic engineering structures and has published eight Regional Guides

Forgotten relics of an enterprising age – an inventory of lost railway bridges and tunnels [web pages]

England

Civil engineering heritage: Northern England, by R W Rennison (ed.) ICE 1996 eBook [300 pp] Available in part via Google books

Civil Engineering Heritage: Eastern and Central England, by E. Labrum, ICE 1993 eBook [304 pp]

Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England by R A Otter (ed.), ICE 1994, eBook [293 pp]

Civil Engineering Heritage: London and the Thames Valley by Denis Smith (Ed.), ICE 2001 [340 pp]

Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales and West Central England by Roger Cragg (Ed.), ICE 1997 [304 pp]

Database of listed structures, Historic England [web pages]

Scotland

Civil Engineering Heritage Scotland: The Lowlands and Borders by R. Paxton and J. Shipway (eds.) 2007
Sample chapters downloadable DIRECT

Civil Engineering Heritage Scotland: Highlands and Islands by R. Paxton and J. Shipway (eds.) 2007
Sample chapters downloadable DIRECT

Buildings and Bridges at Risk, Historic Scotland (web pages) direct

Wales

Inventories of Historic Monuments by The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales [web pages] direct

Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales and West Central England by Roger Cragg (ed.), 1997 [304 pp]

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Sites snd Monuments [web pages] direct

Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland: Scheduled Historic Monuments. Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Doe, 2015 [89 pp] direct

Ireland

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage [web pages] direct

Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland by R Cox and M H Gould (eds) 1998 [296 pp]

National organisations: Europe

National organisations: Europe

The European Cultural Heritage Information Network (HEREIN) provides:

  • A network of 46 national coordinators which ensures harmonisation of national cultural heritage policies and strategies;
  • A database with input from the coordinators, which provides a regularly updated inventory of European heritage policies, a programme for sharing, exchanging and analysing information and a monitoring function for Conventions, legislation, policies and practices relating to cultural heritage;
  • A thesaurus with more than 500 cultural and natural heritage terms in 14 European languages.

A Wikipedia page gives links to Heritage Registers for 63 countries of the word. For each country, there are links to other Wikipedia pages (in English) describing the National Heritage Organisation, as well as the national definition of a Heritage Monument. The following examples indicate the type and level of information that may be available when deeper research is undertaken.

Inventories of engineering heritage structures in the rest of Europe

Civil Engineering Heritage in Europe by Gorazd Humar (ed.) European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) 2009 [384 pp, 95 pp excerpt available on line] direct

Ireland

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht oversees the conservation, preservation, protection and presentation of Ireland's heritage and cultural assets. Ist website incudes details of conservation policy as well as advice, guidance adn codes of practice on certain aspects of conservation.

The Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin houses the National Civil Engineering Heritage Archive.

Engineers Ireland runs a Heritage Society.

The Irish Academy of Engineering has published the Irish Engineering Heritage Bibliography.

Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in the Ireland

Heritage Ireland provides a database of National Monuments and National Historic Properties.

The National Civil Engineering Heritage Database, maintained by e Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin contains over 275 records of Historic Civil Engineering Works.

Other inventories are available in:

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage [web pages] direct

Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland by R Cox and M H Gould (eds) 1998 [296 pp]

France

The Centre des monuments nationaux (Centre for National Monuments) maintains and conserves over 80 properties that belong to the State. Their website provides information about all these sites and also for all types of visitor to the site, including heritage professionals.

A Wikipedia site pages (in French) provides a full explanation of what the French understand by the term Monument Historique.

The Cultural and Heritage Atlas for France provides access by location to cultural and heritage information (ethnographic, archaeological, architectural, urban, landscape) of use when undertaking work on heritage projects. This information is intended for local authorities, heritage professionals and the public eager to understand the cultural environment, both from the documentary and regulatory points of view.

The French Ministry of Culture and Communication provides a huge on-line resource including a nationwide Architecture and Heritage database of artefacts of all types.

This page gives links to parts of the website, including:

There is national recognition of the professional status and limits of professional responsibility for engineers and architects engaged in heritage work. These include:

Most practical heritage issues have now been devolved to the different regions or Départements in France and local regional offices need to be consulted for matters relating conservation projects.

Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in France

The official list of all French historic monuments can be accessed through the geographic Momentum database.

The French Ministry of Culture and Communication provides a huge on-line resource including a nationwide Architecture and Heritage database of artefacts of all types, including:

The Heritage Section of the Engineers and Scientists of France provides links to several websites, including the Association for Knowledge of Public Works, which contain inventories and histories of heritage structures in English and French. It also provides an overview of 250 years of civil engineering heritage in France. [14 pp] direct

Germany

There is no single, national heritage body in Germany. Heritage issues are dealt with by the 16 states of Germany. A list of the various authorities is available at the Denkmalliste (Heritage Site List) website.

This website also provides:

A national, on-line heritage magazine, Monumente provides a good overview (in German) of many activities in the country's heritage industry.

Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in Germany

The Denkmalliste provides:

  • An on-line list of German Heritage Sites
  • A list of Heritage sites, by region
  • A commercial website for general information about awards given for Germany's engineering heritage (in German only) is http://www.kulturpreise.de/web/index.php?cName=architektur_denkmalpflege-ingenieurbau

    Two excellent publications listing regional engineering heritage in two federal states are:

    • Ingenieurbau Führer Baden-Württemberg by Jörg Schlaich and Matthias Schüller (Berlin: Ingenieurkammer Baden-Württemberg, 1999)
    • Industriedenkmale im Ruhrgebiet by Axel Föhl, Roland Günter, Heinz-Dieter Klink, Ursula Mehrfeld, Hans-Peter Noll and R. Budde: (Hamburg: Ellert & Richter, 2012)

    Spain

    The Ministry for Culture, Education and Sport provides a website (available in English) dealing with Cultural Heritage.

    This includes a link to the Institute of Cultural Heritage in Spain which deals with conservation of the built environment.

    A Wikipedia site gives details (in English) of the various authorities dealing with heritage and historic monuments in the various regions of Spain.

    Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in Spain

    Although not an official inventory, the Fundación Juanelo Turriano in Madrid, devoted to history of the various branches of science and technology, with particular emphasis on the history of engineering, has published the proceedings of a conference on Engineering Heritage held in 2012 which gives many examples of heritage structures. direct

    National organisations: Rest of world

    National organisations: Rest of the World

    A Wikipedia page gives links to Heritage Registers for 63 countries of the word. For each country, there are links to other Wikipedia pages (in English) describing the National Heritage Organisation, as well as the national definition of a Heritage Monument. The following examples indicate the type and level of information that may be available when deeper research is undertaken.

    Australia

    The Department of the Environment is responsible for all aspects of heritage in Australia, including existing heritage sites and the listing of new sites.

    This comprehensive website includes help on finding consultants who may been needed when working on Heritage projects, including architects, engineers, planners, archaeologists, landscape architects, environmental managers and historians.

    Engineering Heritage Australia (EHA) is coordinated by Engineers Australia.

    EHA publishes a newletter, a quarterly magazine, details of the Australian Engineering Heritage Conferences and a guide to the Engineering Heritage Recognition Program. [36 pp] direct

    From Wattle & Daub to Concrete & Steel: The Engineering Heritage of Australia's Buildings by Henry J. Cowan provides a good overview of building construction in Australia's history. 1998 [229 pp]

    Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in Australia

    The Department of the Environment publishes several lists of Heritage Places which include some engineering structures.

    Engineering Heritage Canberra (EHC), which is part of Engineering Heritage Australia group, has published Canberra's Engineering Heritage, an on-line history of many branches of engineering, including civil and infrastructure engineering. direct

    EHC has also published a list of Engineering Heritage Sites.

    Canada

    The National Trust for Canada campaigns for the built heritage of the country at a national level.

    A Wikipedia site provides quick access to almost 1000 national historic sites via links to dedicated websites for each of the ten provinces and three territories of Canada.

    Parks Canada provides information about the National Historic Sites of Canada, especially the 170 or so which it looks after. This website provides an inventory of national sites and information about them, as well as links to many national heritage organisations, including:

    Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in Canada

    The Canadian Society of Civil Engineers has a National History Committee which in 2001 compiled lists of national, regional and international Historic Civil Engineering sites.

    New Zealand

    Heritage New Zealand provides an inventory of all heritages sites and has published several periodicals as well as many books.

    It also provides links to various organisations linked to heritage work.

    One of these organisations is Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand whose website has many items of heritage interest, including over 30 downloadable papers from the 3rd Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference Proceedings in 2009.

    Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in New Zealand

    Heritage New Zealand has compiled the New Zealand Heritage List but it includes few sites of engineering or architectural interest.

    USA

    The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has a History and Heritage Section.

    Some regional branches of the ASCE have history and heritage groups too, e.g. Orange County

    Inventories of Engineering Heritage structures in the USA

    The National Historic Landmarks Program has identified over 2500 significant historic places which possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. The list includes many buildings and engineering structures such as dams and bridges.

    The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation, currently comprising over 90,000 listings, of which a great many are buildings and engineering structures.

    Historic places are included on the national lists only after they have been identified at State level, and each state has its own specialist heritage organisations. Many states and cities have published their own lists of Historic Places on Wikipedia, for example: