What Listing Means

There are more than 350,000 domestic buildings in England and Wales “listed” by English Heritage. This means that they are placed on a register and graded according to historic, structural or architectural importance. Not all listed buildings are necessarily old:

Grade 1 
Buildings of “exceptional interest” (2% of all listed buildings) e.g. castles, country houses, or little gems untouched by the march of progress
Grade 11* (two-star)
Buildings of “more than special” interest – this can translate to  historic connections or important features, either internal or external, or originality in a certain period.
Grade 11
Buildings of “special” interest, (90% of all listed houses), deserving of every effort to preserve them.

In Scotland the equivalent grades are A, B and C(S)

Listing is designed to provide protection, from a preservation standpoint, against arbitrary alteration or demolition of the built heritage of Britain – it is a criminal offence to extend, alter or demolish a listed building without the necessary consents.

When planning any changes, “listed building consent” must normally be obtained alongside any other planning or building regulations consents. Bear in mind that the listing frequently covers everything within the boundaries of the property, including modern extensions, outbuildings and significant trees.

The nature of the listing of your property can usually be checked on the National Monuments Record,   www.imagesofengland.org.uk website. Since many were listed more than 40 years ago, the descriptions are often out of date.

Click here for glossary of terms

Insurance Considerations

It is very rare for a property to be de-listed following even serious damage- even when only 30-40% of the structure is left. Always make sure that you are adequately insured to repair your home using traditional rather than modern materials, you will normally be required to do so. Depending on the structure of the property, rebuilding costs for listed houses can be over 50% more expensive than modern conventional houses.