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Public Benefit as Community Wellbeing in Archaeology

Linda Monckton

Cite this as: Monckton, L. 2021 Public Benefit as Community Wellbeing in Archaeology, Internet Archaeology 57.


Sculpture of a female swinging a child around in the air
Venus and Cupid by Shane A. Johnstone. Venus and Cupid Arts Trust, Morecambe. © Historic England Archive, Alun Bull

This article outlines the theory and strategy behind Historic England's (HE) Wellbeing Strategy. It acknowledges the relevance of wellbeing to HE's core purpose, and proposes ways in which wellbeing can be built into archaeological and heritage projects. There is an evidenced link between access to heritage and wellbeing, which now needs to be better integrated into project design and implementation. The article concludes with an outline strategy for wellbeing-led projects, and a discussion of how the success of these projects could be evaluated.

Corresponding author: Linda Monckton ORCID logo
Historic England

Full text

Figure 1: Our Wellbeing aims

Figure 2: The four domains of wellbeing and heritage in a proposed 2x2 matrix

Figure 3: An indicative example of the application of the four domains of wellbeing and heritage to an organisational portfolio

Figure 4: Indicative example of how the archaeological process at a simple level relates to the four 'domains'

Figure 5: An example of a wellbeing priority for heritage and archaeology taken from Historic England's draft strategy

Figure 6: Example of applying young people's interventions on the four domains in relation to the archaeological process

Figure 7: Likely critical success factors for working with young offenders

Figure 8: New Economics Foundation indicator structure adapted from their national accounts framework. Source: Ander et al. 2013

Figure 9: The Five Ways to Wellbeing based on source:

Figure 10: A proposal for the Unique Selling Point of archaeology for delivering wellbeing

Figure 11: Important or critical factors in making the case for the benefit of wellbeing in archaeology

Figure 12: Stages on the journey to having wellbeing at the heart of what we do and five ways to drive an approach to achieve this

Ander, E., Thomson, L. Noble, G., Lanceley, A., Menon, U. and Chatterjee, H. 2013 'Heritage, health and well-being: assessing the impact of a heritage focused intervention on health and well-being', International Journal of Heritage Studies 19(3), 229-242.

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