The First English Ancient Monuments Protection Act

Oleksii Prysiazhniuk

Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor

South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University named after K. D. Ushynskyi, Odesa, Ukraine


Abstract. The advent of the first special antiquity law was preceded by a long stage of studying and organizing knowledge about historical and cultural monuments. The Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 18 August 1882 was the first of its kind by an Act of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Act lists the first 68 monuments or sites that have been protected by law. The text of Act consists of 11 paragraphs. The analysis of paragraphs 2, 3 and 11 gives us the opportunity to formulate the very concept of a «monument» contained therein, as well as to consider the types of ancient monuments that are distinguished by law. The Ancient Monuments are: houses, buildings and other structures located on the surface of the earth or underground, as well as caves and zones of archaeological sites and location of such houses, buildings and other structures, as well as caves and zones of archaeological sites. All the constituent elements and structures of the monument are considered to be its parts. The location of the monument includes not only the area of land on which it is located, but also the surrounding zones.

Deliberate destruction or deterioration of protected monuments entails criminal liability in the form of imprisonment for up to one month and a fine. However, criminal and financial responsibility rests solely with outsiders. The owner of the monument is not punished for any action he may take on his property.

Paragraphs of Act for the first time regulate the state registration of monuments. Such registration involves the identification of monuments, surveys and determining their value, inclusion in the list of protected, informing the owner or tenant of the monument about the inclusion of this object in the list etc.

The Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882 was one of the most important results of a set of socio-political reforms in Victorian England. The brevity of the 1882 Act made it impossible to cover all the ancient monuments, which made it only partly a source of law. Currently, there is no single legislative act in the UK on the protection and use of historical and cultural monuments. After the act of 1882 by the middle of the 20th century were adopted and enforced several laws on various aspects of the protection of monuments. However, the main provisions governing this area of social relations were laid in the late nineteenth century.

Key words: monument, memorial, law, protection of monuments, preservation, national heritage, archaeological sites.

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