A Guide to Listed Buildings


Imagine living in an old, warm and romantic home! Kids playing in the backyard, reading a book with your spouse in the garden! What a notion one would have.

Then why not own a listed building? Having a good understanding of what ‘listed” means will help you have a clear picture of the pros and cons of living in or buying a listed building. With the information, you will be able to make a sound judgement on whether to buy a listed building or not.

What Is  A Listed Building?

The listing process started in 1947, during the aftermath of World War II. The listing process was a response to the loss and destruction of many buildings due to the numerous bombings throughout the war period.

The responsibility of compiling the list of over 500,000 buildings that were thought to be of historical /special interests lies in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

A building must have a historic interest or a special architectural design for it to be considered of national importance and hence worth being protected. The building however doesn’t need to have an aesthetic charm. When a building is listed, it is added to a national list-the National Heritage List for England.

Listing Classifications

There are three classifications for listed buildings.

1. Grade 1-These are buildings considered to be of exceptional interest.

2. Grade II*- These listed buildings are regarded as buildings with special interests.

3. Grade II-These are the most common types of listed buildings. The buildings should be preserved and considered to be of special interests. Approximately 90% of all listed buildings in England are under this Grade II category.

Potential Pros

A sense of satisfaction and pride is gotten from buying and owning a listed building. Being the keeper and custodian of a listed building with rich historical value, architectural importance, and a unique character is a feeling to be forever cherished. If one can afford it, get a  listed building and taste the feeling. A survey is always a good idea according to Heritage Consulting

Owning the buildings provides access to attention to details, techniques, and unique craftsmanship that are no longer available in modern cultures.

Ownership of the listed buildings makes it possible to preserve the country’s heritage.


Listed buildings are potentially hundreds of years old. As buildings get old, they lose their value. Many of their building materials decay or deteriorate over time. Replacement, repair, upkeep and maintenance needs are costly and require specialists due to their unique nature.

In many cases, modern-day living requires availability and easy access to communication, water, gas, and electricity services.

Permission to obtain access to make changes in these buildings are difficult to get and time-consuming. The state tries as much as possible to preserve the initial designs. Listed buildings have a listed status which means that changes that need to be made to the building are controlled and regulated.

Taking part in purchasing a listed building is a serious undertaking. Expert advice should be sought to avoid potential hazards during the ownership process of listed buildings.


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