Listed buildings

How to find out if your property is listed

You can search for your property on our map to find out whether it's listed. You can also search on the Historic England website.

What is a listed building?

Listed buildings can be all sorts of structures including telephone boxes, letter boxes, walls and gates as well as what we all recognise as buildings. The primary legislation controlling listed buildings is the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 where it states that a listed building is one "of special architectural or historic interest".  The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its associated Planning Practice Guidance sets out the Government’s planning policies for England: section 12 of the NPPF refers to specific  policies that concern the historic environment.

Buildings are listed and de-listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport advised by Historic England. The listing is periodically reviewed by Historic England. Anyone can ask for a building to be listed or de-listed. They should support their request to the department with a clear map identifying the location of the property, plans, photographs and a clear explanation of why they are seeking inclusion or deletion from the list. Grade I listed St Marys ChurchAn application form can be found at Historic England.

There are three grades of listed building:

  • Exceptional interest - Grade I
  • Particular importance - Grade II*
  • Special interest - Grade II

Borough wide, there are over 2602 listed buildings of which five are Grade I, 387 are Grade II* and 2210 are Grade II.

Grade I listed Thirlestaine HouseIt should be emphasised that the statutory controls apply equally to all listed buildings, irrespective of grade.

You can use our interactive map to view the location of a listed building and related information about its character and history. Search by location, or zoom in and out using the plus/minus button or the scroll wheel on your mouse if it has one. Selecting each building will return information including listing grade and a detailed description.

Grade I listed Rotunda

A 'point in time' photographic library of England 's listed buildings, recorded at the turn of the 21st century, is available to view at Historic England Images of England.

What is listed?

When a building is listed the whole of the structure is listed:

  • internally and externally
  • interior fixtures and fittings
  • garden structures and ornaments if they were part of the original scheme
  • structures attached to the listed building and separate buildings/structures within its boundaries, which were there before 1 July 1948

Why are buildings listed?

The following are the main criteria applied when deciding which buildings to include in the statutory lists:

  • Architectural interest: all buildings which are of importance to the nation for the interest of their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship. Also includes important examples of particular building types and techniques and significant plan forms
  • Historic interest: buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history
  • Close historical association: with nationally important people or events
  • Group Value: where buildings form an important architectural or historic unity or a fine example of planning (such as squares, terraces or model villages)

Not all these criteria will be relevant to every case, but a particular building may qualify for listing under more than one of them.