Listed building

From Academic Kids

, a Grade I listed building.
Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building.

In the United Kingdom the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. A listed building may not be demolished, extended or altered without special permission being granted by the local planning authority (who typically consult with the pertaining central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings). Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain the building, and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so, or if they perform unauthorised alterations. Because of this, and because listing can limit the options available for significant expansion or improvement, the law allows for owners of listed buildings to object to the listing.

Although most structures appearing on the lists are buildings, other structures such as bridges, monuments, sculptures, and even urinals may also be listed. Ancient structures (such as Stonehenge) are not protected by listing, but are instead classified as Scheduled Ancient Monuments protected by separate legislation. Similarly, natural features such as landscapes, parks and forests are protected by other means.


Listing in different parts of the UK

England and Wales

In England and Wales the authority for listing is granted by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is presently administered by English Heritage, an agency of the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and (in Wales) Cadw. Listed buildings in danger of decay are listed on English Heritage's Buildings At Risk register.

Missing image
The Palace of Westminster, another Grade I listed building, at night.

There are three types of listed status (in descending order of 'importance' and difficulty to obtain planning permission):

  • Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest.
  • Grade II*: particularly important buildings of special interest.
  • Grade II: buildings of special interest.

As of May 2003 there are approximately 442,000 listings in place, of which 418,000 (94.5%) are Grade II, 18,000 (4.1%) are Grade II*, and 6,000 (1.4%) are Grade I. There are estimated to be about 500,000 actual buildings listed, as listing entries can apply to more than one building.

Northern Ireland

Listed buildings in Northern Ireland are administered by the Environment and Heritage Service, under powers granted by Article 42 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

The scheme of listing is as follows:

  • Grade A: buildings of national importance and superior examples of a specific type
  • Grade B+: buildings of regional importance, or important buildings that would qualify as Grade A but for lower-quality design or subsequent additions.
  • Grade B1: building of local importance, or good examples of some type.
  • Grade B2: building of local importance, or good examples of some type, but of a lower quality than Grade B1.
Broadcasting House, a Grade II* listed building.
Broadcasting House, a Grade II* listed building.


In Scotland, similar legislation (the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997) applies. As with other powers regarding planning, conservation is a power devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive. Historic Scotland is the agency charged by the Executive for protecting listed buildings and scheduled monuments.

The scheme for classifying buildings is largely similar to its equivalents in the rest of the UK:

  • A: buildings of national or international importance, and important examples of a specific type.
  • B: buildings of regional importance, and notable examples of a specific type.
  • C(s): buildings of local importance, and lesser examples of a specific type.

As of 2005, approximately 8% of listings are category A, 60% are category B, and 32% are category C(S).

Famous listed buildings

Missing image
Centre Point, a Grade II listed building.

Grade I

List of Grade I listed buildings

Grade II*

List of Grade II* listed buildings

Grade II

List of Grade II listed buildings


See also

External links


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