Why is a Building Listed?
The main purpose of listing is to ensure that care is taken over decisions affecting the building’s future and that any alterations respect the particular character and interest of the building. Buildings are listed for a variety of reasons and are assessed by English Heritage on behalf of the Secretary of State. The choice of buildings to be included on the list depends on many factors and may include:
Architectural Interest – the list includes all buildings which are of interest to the nation for their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship. Important examples of particular building types and techniques and significant plan forms are also included.
Historic Interest – includes buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, cultural or military history.
Close Historical Associations – with nationally important people or events.
Group Value – especially where buildings together comprise an important architectural or historical unity.
The general principles used in deciding to list are that:
- before 1700, all buildings that contain a significant proportion of their original fabric are listed;
- from 1700 to 1840, most buildings are listed;
- after 1840, because of the greatly increased number of buildings erected and the much larger numbers that have survived, progressively greater selection is necessary;
- particularly careful selection is required for buildings from the period after 1945;
- buildings of less than 30 years old are normally listed only if they are of outstanding quality and under threat.