During the spring of 1977, the basic ideas for the Archaeological Survey of Merseyside were formulated. The object would be to carry out a comprehensive survey of the County so that future rescue and research could be properly planned. The Merseyside Archaeological Society would provide manpower, organise excavations and public relations, and publish the results. The Department of the Environment would fund the appointment of a field archaeologist for the County for three years and continue to support appropriate rescue excavations. The County Museum would provide a base for the survey and the County Planning Department would provide maps, information and financial support. The University of Liverpool would act as employer and its Institute of Extension Studies would organise extra-mural students in documentary research and fieldwork. These proposals were realised and on 1st October 1977, Brian Sheppard began work as Field Archaeologist for Merseyside.
The results of the survey formed the Sites and Monuments Record, a comprehensive archive of known and potential archaeological sites and historic buildings in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.
In 2014-16 the Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service carried out a digitisation project, turning the paper Sites and Monuments Record into a fully digital Historic Environment Record. This resource is used on a daily basis in the planning process but is also available for use by anyone interested in the past of Merseyside. It can be searched online for free via Historic England's Heritage Gateway (along with 59 other HERs across England).
If you have any questions about the Merseyside HER, find any errors or omissions or need help using the system, please contact the Merseyside HER officer: Ben Croxford, email@example.com or 0151 934 4958.