The chair of the Local Government Association will get paid£45,000 for his new part-time job, which he takes over from Sir Neil Cossons on 1 August.
Lord Bruce-Lockhart first got involved in local politics in the late 1980s by campaigning against the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
He has secured a five-year term as chair of English Heritage. He said: 'This is a terrific time to be taking on such an important role. The nation's built heritage is as loved by the public as it has ever been in the past.
He added: 'The months and years ahead contain many opportunities - and challenges - for English Heritage, and I am honoured to have the chance to lead them through this period.'
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said: 'Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has a distinguished record in public life - particularly in local government - and is ideally placed to lead English Heritage which will greatly benefit from his leadership and wide public sector experience.'
Lord Bruce-Lockhart qualified at the Royal Agricultural College and has farmed in Kent since 1968.
He has held a variety of leader and chair roles in local government, the public and voluntary sectors since 1986 - most notably he was chair of the Weald of Kent Preservation Society Committee, co-chair of the Thames Gateway Forum and chair of the Environment Committee and led Kent CC from 1997-2005.
His current positions also include trustee of Leeds Castle Foundation, chair of Rochester Cathedral Council, and trustee for East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research.