EHS: Built Heritage

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EHS: Built Heritage forms an integral part of the Environment and Heritage Service for Northern Ireland, a government agency of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. It aims to identify, record and protect the built, buried and underwater remains of human activity from prehistoric times to the present day. The department originates from the establishment of the Government of Northern Ireland in 1921 when responsibilty for the protection and administration of ancient monuments located in the North of Ireland passed from the Commissioners of Public Works in Dublin who had exercised this right from 1869. This function was assumed as a minor function of the Works division of the Ministry of Finance at Stormont under the Ancient Monuments Act (Northern Ireland) of 1926. A dedicated body, the Ancient Monuments Advisory Committee, becoming the Ancient Monuments Advisory Council in 1937, was then set up to advise the Minister of Finance on relevant matters. In 1948, E.M. Jope was appointed as first Inspector of Ancient Monuments and, in 1950, 2 further inspectors, D.M. Waterman and A.E.P. Collins, were also appointed forming a new branch of the Ministry of Finance. In 1971, the Ancient Monuments Advisory Council was replaced by the Historic Monuments Council with the passing of the Historic Monuments Act of that year. A planning order passed during the following year saw the creation of a separate Historic Buildings Council which was established under the Ministry of Development. In 1976 these two functions were combined with responsibility passing to the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland under which they have remained.