How to run a Simple Search
There are four possible search options within the Simple Search function.
Keyword: enter any word that you think might appear in the HER record. Examples might include ‘castle’, ‘Maidstone’, ‘villa’. You can also type more than one keyword, for example ‘Maidstone Roman’. The search engine will then search for records that contain all the words in the keyword box. When searching for a keyword the database is set to search the index name, monument types, reference numbers, administrative areas, addresses and linked organisations. If you want to search for a particular site or monument by name then use the Advanced Search.
Time Period: select the time period you are interested in from the drop-down list.
Parish: select the parish you are interested in from the drop-down list. Tip – if you want to search for records in a location that is not a parish, for example, Sheppey or Northfleet, enter the location in the keyword box instead.
HER Number: Only use this search box if you know the HER number of a particular record you are searching for eg. TQ 75 SE 39. For this search box it does not matter if you have the spaces in the right place or not. Tip – for this search box you can use a wildcard character. For example, if you want to find all records beginning ‘TQ 75’ then type ‘TQ 75%’ into the HER Number search box.
To clear a box so that you can enter a different search, press the ‘Clear’ box to the right of the search box. For the Keyword box just delete the text.
You can use more than one of the four search boxes to run a search. For example, if you type ‘Castle’ in the keyword box and then select ‘Thurnham’ from the parish dropdown list then the search will find all castles in Thurnham. Alternatively you can use just one search box.
When you have entered all your search terms, press ‘Search’ at the bottom of the screen.
How to run an Advanced Search
Keyword: this works in the same way as for the Simple Search (see above) except that you need to tell the database whether you want to find all of the words that you have entered in the keyword box, any of the words in the keyword box or the exact phrase. For example, if the text ‘Rochester Castle’ is entered in the keyword box then the three buttons beneath will find:
All words: records with both ‘Rochester’ and ‘Castle’
Any words: records containing either ‘Rochester’ or ‘Castle’ or both
Exact phrase: records with the phrase ‘Rochester Castle’ only
Site type / Find type: this allows you to specify only certain types of site or find. Use the drop-down list to choose the option you would like to search for. Tip – if you know the type you would like to search for click the drop-down arrow and then start typing. The database will fill in the rest. The search engine will search for sub-types of any term entered. For example, if you search for ‘Barrow’ then the search will find items classified as ‘bowl barrow’, ‘round barrow’ etc too.
Time Period: select using the drop-down list or by typing the desired dates in the ‘from’ and ‘to’ boxes. The search will find any record whose dates pass through this range. For example, a search with ‘From’ = 1200 AD and ‘To’ = 1300 AD will also find sites whose dates are ‘From’ = 1000 AD and ‘To’ = 1500 AD.
Grid Reference: this will accept text consisting of two letters followed by 1 – 3 numbers for the easting (east-west) and 1 – 3 numbers for the northing (north-south) eg TQ777555
If you want to use 6-figure numbers then type a six figure number in the Easting box followed by a 6-figure number in the Northing box eg. 577700 155500
Then specify a search radius using the drop-down list.
Select a parish: use the drop-down list to specify a parish
Enter the HER Number: Only use this search box if you know the HER number of a particular record you are searching for eg TQ 75 SE 39. For this search box it does not matter if you have the spaces in the right place or not. Tip – for this search box you can use a wildcard character. For example, if you want to find all records beginning ‘TQ 75’ then type ‘TQ 75%’ into the HER Number search box.
How to run a map search
You can search the map in two ways – either by the list of options on the left hand side or by using the map itself.
- Town/village: Select this category then enter the name of your chosen locality in the search box. When you click on the 'Search' button, the map will automatically display your chosen area. If there is more than one option (for example there are two Minsters in Kent) then select your choice from the list that is offered and the results will be displayed. If you see no map data, zoom in a little (see below).
- Postcode: Select this category and type your postcode in the box below. Then click the 'Search' button.
- Street: Select this option and type your street name in the box below. Then click the 'Search' button. Multiple results may appear in a drop-down box below the search box. Simply select from this list and click on the ‘Show’ button to display your selection. If you see no map data, zoom in a little (see below).
- Easting/Northing: Select this option and then type your grid reference in the box below. An example will display when you select this option eg. 576000, 156300. Please note that your reference should be 12 numbers – 6 figures each for the easting and northing. These figures can be read from an Ordnance Survey map.
How to use the map tools:
Zoom in: To zoom in on the map click in the small circle to the left of the words 'Zoom in'. You now have two options. You can click on the map and the map will automatically Zoom in. Alternatively you may select an area to zoom to. Click and hold the left button on your mouse, drag the hand over the area you wish to view, and then release.
Zoom out: To zoom out click in the small circle to the left of the words 'Zoom out'.
Scale: To select a particular scale for the map enter a number into the box, eg. 1000, and click on the ‘Scale’ button. You will now see the map at 1:1000 scale.
Pan function: You can use the small grey arrows around the sides of the map to move the map around your area of interest
How to display the information
A range of information sources are available.
Show on Map: You will need to make sure that the information you wish to display is switched on. Select a box from the list eg. ‘Archaeological Sites and Buildings and click on ‘show’. You will see all the archaeology and buildings in your chosen search area. You may also switch on more than one of these sources at a time. Tip - these categories are scale dependent; if they are ‘greyed out’ then just zoom in until it turns white.
Identify: You can use this option to find out more about individual points. Click on the small circle to the left of the word 'Identify'. Now click on one of the map on the archaeological site or building you want to know more about. The name and HER reference number will display on a yellow background above the map. You can view the Historic Environment Record information by clicking on the blue name.
Click and drag to identify: You can also view multiple records. Click on the small circle to the left of the word 'Identify'. Click above and to the left of the area of the map containing the sites you want to know more about and hold the left button on your mouse. Now drag the hand over the area you wish to view, and then release. Any records within this area will display above the map and you can view them by clicking on the blue HER name.
Map options: There are several different background map options to choose from. The modern Ordnance Survey colour map is set as a default but you may also choose to view any of the Historic Ordnance Survey maps. To view any of these maps just select them using the dropdown box below the map.
County View: You may zoom back to the map of the county by clicking on the word 'County View' below the map.
Aerial Photographs: If you would like to see aerial photographs of your area then you can select this option below the map. Click in the box to the left of the words 'Aerial photo'. The aerial photograph will then be displayed. The aerial photographs are scale dependent so you will need to zoom in if the box is ‘greyed out’.
Map Key: If you are not quite sure what you are seeing on your map, there is a key at the bottom of the page to help you.
How to print
You may print off maps from the Historic Environment Record. Click on the blue ‘Print’ tab below the map; you will have the opportunity to give your map a title, as well as choosing its orientation, print size and adding a key. Use the Print Preview tab to see how your map will look and then print in the normal way for your computer.
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What to do if you get stuck
If you are having problems using the online database please feel free to contact us and we shall do our best to help.