SAMs have been granted special legal protection by Cadw and the Welsh Government. Scheduling protects SAMs from unmanaged or unlicensed change and is the only form of legal protection specifically for archaeological sites. SAMs can survive as above ground archaeological remains such as earthworks or ruins, as entirely below ground archaeological remains, or as a mixture of both.
Archaeology does not have to be a particular age to be Scheduled, and sites have been scheduled that come from the prehistoric period right through to examples from the Second World War. SAMs come in all different shapes and sizes from individual Bronze Age burial cairns to very large industrial complexes. Only the best examples of each type of monument is Scheduled, and sites are chosen based on criteria such as condition, rarity, extent of survival, vulnerability and group value. Within the Brecon Beacons National Park there are 357 Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
Not all archaeological sites that are of national importance are Scheduled, an archaeological site will only be Scheduled if Scheduling is the best method of protecting the site. Most archaeological sites within the Brecon Beacons National Park are undesignated, these means that they are not Scheduled. This does not mean that these sites are not important, and they still need to be well understood, and carefully managed and conserved for current and future generations to enjoy.
You can find out more information about Scheduled Ancient Monuments and how they are protected by visiting Cadw’s website.