Welcome to Keys to the Past.

This site unlocks the archaeological secrets of County Durham and Northumberland by providing access to a selection of records of the archaeology and historic environment of these counties, from the smallest Roman coin to the largest medieval castle, from the oldest prehistoric flint to more recent World War II pillboxes.

Professional Users are advised that use of Keys to the Past (K2P) does NOT constitute a full Historic Environment Record (HER) search, and K2P's use is unsuitable for some Planning related functions. Reports that rely on K2P data may, therefore, be rejected for Planning purposes. If you're unsure if using K2P will be appropriate for your purposes, please contact the relevant HER (Northumberland or Durham) to clarify.

You should also be aware that due to changes in how Durham County Council HER works, the Place search may not find all records for a given area.

Durham County Council Archaeology Section is carrying out a major HER enhancement project over the next few years (started 2019). As part of this project, records which are updated and edited will become unavailable through this website until later in the project. They will still be available direct from the HER, via normal inquiry routes.

Northumberland County Council is carrying out a major HER enhancement project over the next two years (started 2021). As part of this project, records will not be updated on this website until the end of the project. They will still be available direct from the HER, via normal enquiry routes. Please email archaeology@northumberland.gov.uk for more information.

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Durham K2P data is updated daily

Northumberland K2P data was last updated: January 2021