Accessibility Statement for

This accessibility statement applies to and its user registration tool at

This website is run by Historic England. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • maps may be difficult to navigate with a keyboard alone and hard to read for users with a visual impairment
  • items within our heritage collections may not have alternative text and may have issues with access via keyboard navigation
  • images submitted by visitors to our website may not contain alternative text

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording, or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact customer services on [email protected], who will pass your request on to the appropriate team.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired, or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Historic England is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliance and exemptions listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

  • images submitted by visitors to our website may not contain alternative text

We have the facility for visitors to our website to submit images which helps us build a better understanding of the Historic Environment. While we offer visitors the facility to add alternative text when uploading an image, some users may choose not to do so. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). We believe that forcing visitors to add alternative text may result in poor or misleading descriptions and as such we are not intending to change this.

  • Microsoft excel spreadsheets with detailed research data

As a research organisation we often make detailed research data available on our website. While key results of the research are available in summary form in an accessible format on webpages on our site, we also want to ensure our data is available to as many people as possible. We have been exploring how to make this information more accessible and are committed to improving these by Summer 2024.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. Historic England has a programme of making legacy research reports up to 40 years old available via the website. While many of those will not meet the standard all newly created PDFs or Word documents published since 23 September 2018 will.


Videos published before 23 September 2020 and live videos are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. All videos published since will meet accessibility standards.

Online maps and mapping services

The map used for The National Heritage List for England has a number of issues within the accessibility standards, including 1.4.1 Use of Colour, 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast, 2.1.1 Keyboard, 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum).

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations as long as essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use. The content is available via a text search as well as via the map.

Reproductions of items in heritage collections

The Historic England website contains archival imagery that may lack alternative text, for example, England’s Places. Although descriptive captions are sometimes available this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). In addition, the third-party technology used to deliver the imagery is not fully compliant with keyboard navigation as per WCAG 2.1.1 success criterion (Keyboard). Keyboard navigation is available but when tabbing through the image text and controls they are not visible (this issue is circumnavigated when using screen readers as the text will still be readout). We have raised this with the supplier of the technology.

While reproductions of items in heritage collections are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations we will continue to investigate ways to use emerging technology to improve the data and accessibility of our heritage collections.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

It is Historic England’s intention for to remain compliant and we are committed to continually reviewing our offer. We aim to have an external agency review the website against the standards at regular intervals. Historic England also has a subscription with the Sitemorse service, which reviews the accessibility of 125 different pages on the website every week. The internal teams review and act on these reports as they raise issues. 

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 October 2019. It was last reviewed on 29 December 2023.

This website was last tested as a whole site by an external agency on 3 October 2019. The test was carried out by Nomensa Ltd. and the internal Historic England Content and Digital Teams. Checks were also carried out by the Cabinet Office in Spring 2021. The internal teams have a rolling programme of reviewing and resolving issues as they arise.

We used this approach to decide on pages to test for external testing: We base the sample of pages on a list of the various templates used on our website.

The internal team continues to conduct regular testing across a wide range of content pages in order to test variations in content within our templates. We also test all new templates for compliance. In addition, we use the external provider, Sitemorse, to run automated testing across 125 different pages of the website each week.