Bedford Borough Historic Environment Record

The Bedford Borough Historic Environment Record (HER) is the main source of historic environment and heritage information for Bedford Borough.

It contains information about historic buildings, archaeological sites and finds, including:

  • a computerised database
  • supporting paper records
  • copies of historic maps
  • historic aerial photographs and slides
  • a library

The HER is held in Borough Hall, Bedford. It is open to the public, strictly by appointment only.

Appointments are limited so please give as much notice as possible.

Some information is available digitally so we prefer to send this to you in the first instance.   

How to access the Historic Environment Record

You can search a list of summary records for Bedford Borough via Heritage Gateway.

Where appropriate some users must agree to pay a licensing charge before obtaining access to the HER.

Information is usually supplied in digital form. In some cases it will also be necessary to visit to view items only available in hard copy.

HER enquiries

We process straightforward HER enquiries within 10 working days. More complex enquiries may take longer.

We offer a priority HER service for an extra fee to provide information within 2-5 working days. We cannot guarantee to provide this service at all times.

Payment of charges for commercial enquiries

Our payment portal for charges linked to commercial enquiries can be accessed below. Please obtain a reference number from our team before progressing with payment.

Pay for a commercial enquiry

Copyright information

We charge for:

  • licensing the commercial re-use of HER information
  • advice given in our role as specialist archaeological advisors to the local planning authority

For further details and charging rates please refer to our charging schedule (PDF).

Contact the Bedford Borough HER

Please email us at: for full information and for commercial enquiries.

Archaeological Projects involving Bedford Borough HER

In recent years, the Bedford Borough HER has been a part of various archaeological projects working with external partners. 

Ridge and furrow in Bedford Borough

Ridge and Furrow in Bedford Borough final report. Albion Archaeology, 2017 (PDF)

A project was carried out in collaboration between Bedford Borough Council and Albion Archaeology in 2017 to map and study the ridge and furrow present in Bedford Borough, providing an update on the previous work on the subject of ridge and furrow in the Midlands, Turning the Plough (Hall, 2001).

Researching SHINE evolution

Researching SHINE evolution: how can the SHINE methodology be updated so SHINE can be used to inform woodland creation proposals? 

Project E: Insights from local historic environment services creating SHINE records (PDF)

The Forestry Commission and Bedford Borough Council Historic Environment Team (2023)

This report sets out the background, methodology, results and analysis of key issues, recommendations and conclusions for the Forestry Commission-funded Project E: Insights from local historic environment services creating SHINE records, examining the potential for the use of national level SHINE data in planning the creation of new woodland.