Frequently Asked Questions

How do I locate a specific monument?

The Sites and Monuments Records database can be viewed on-line through the Historic Environment Viewer. 

How do I report damage to a monument?

Monument damage can be reported to the National Monuments Service (NMS) at or on (01) 888 2000.

How do I report a new monument?

First of all, verify that the monument you wish to report is not already listed in the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) here.  If it’s not in the SMR you can complete a Monument Report Form and send it to the address supplied thereon.

Can you recommend a monument to visit?

Check out our online portal Monuments to Visit which pinpoints national monuments around the country which are accessible to the public. The national monuments mapped on the website feature those at which the Office of Public Works (OPW) maintain visitor services (for which there may be a charge) and those which have no formal visitor services on-site but which are accessible to the public.

I’m planning a function. Can I use a national monument?

In 2014, the OPW announced that it was in negotiations with the Health Service Executive about opening up some of the historic sites in its care for weddings.  (See here).  A number of civil ceremonies have taken place at sites such as Castletown House in Co. Kildare and the OPW is keen to offer further sites as venues for events such as weddings.  Former Minister of State Brian Hayes, who at that time, had special responsibility for the OPW, stated that it was the role of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to determine the suitability of locations for use as civil ceremony venues.  For information on HSE licenced venues, contact

Do I need planning permission to build/work near a national monument?

National Monuments Service provides expert advice from an archaeological perspective to planning and other relevant authorities in respect of individual planning, development applications and other projects and plans. More information on archaeology and its interaction with the planning system can be found in our booklet Archaeology and the Planning Process.

What are the rules about using a metal detector?

The use or possession of detection devices for archaeological purposes is regulated under section 2 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1987. In summary, unless prior written consent has been obtained from the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, section 2 of the 1987 Act prohibits:
(a) the use or possession of a detection device in or at any of the monuments or areas protected under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004,
(b) the use of a detection device anywhere else in the State for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects.
The term “detection device” is also defined in section 2 and means devices designed or adapted for use for searching for metal or minerals. Such consent is not required to use a detection device outside of monuments and sites protected under the National Monuments Acts or where archaeological objects are not being searched for.  If you were to inadvertently find an archaeological object you are legally obliged not to disturb it and to make a report to the National Museum.
For further information please see the following:

How do I start a career in archaeology?

For details on a career in archaeology, click here.

Where can I find out about licensing requirements?

Visit for information about licencing requirements in the context of archaeology and the planning process.

What notifications are required when carrying out work at national monuments?

When the owner or occupier of a property, or any other person proposes to carry out, or to cause, or to permit the carrying out of any work at or in relation to a Recorded Monument or a Registered Monument they are required to give notice in writing to the Minister 2 months before commencing that work. This is to allow the National Monuments Service time consider the proposed works and how best to proceed to further the protection of the monument.  Further information about the statutory provisions in relation to notifications is available at

When is ministerial consent required before carrying out works at a national monument?

For national monuments in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a Local Authority or which are subject to a preservation order or temporary preservation order, the prior written consent of the Minister is required for any ground-works at or in proximity to the monument.

Lists of national monuments in the Minister’s ownership or guardianship (by county) can be accessed here.  A list is also available of national monuments subject to Preservation Orders.  It should be noted that these lists may not be exhaustive and if you have any doubt as to the status of a particular monument, you should contact the National Monuments Service.  For a list of national monuments in the ownership of individual local authorities please contact the relevant local authority.

Applications for Ministerial Consent should be made using this form - NMS 5-06 Consent Application Form and returned to:

The Director 
National Monuments Service
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Custom House
Dublin 1.

Further details are available here.


How can I access the archive and its collections?

Comprehensive information about procedures for access, opening times, contact information and collections in the National Monuments Service Archive Unit can be found in the Archive Unit section of the website.