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What are listed buildings and can I get my house listed?

29 Nov

Whether it is due to their historic interest or special architecture listed buildings are populating our cities. Did you know that Battersea Power Station in South West London is a Grade II listed construction? Same goes for the Hoover Building in West London: built in 1933, it is celebrated for its art deco architecture.

Buildings can be listed for different reasons: they’re either really old constructions that passed the test of time or considered as valuable representations of our history in need to be protected for future generations (monuments, battlefields, maritime wreck sites, parks and gardens). 

They are classified in three categories:

  • Grade I buildings are considered of exceptional interest. The British Museum is a well-known example; built between 1823-26, it’s been listed since 1951.
  • Grade II* buildings are seen as particularly important constructions of more than special interest. Dating from the 14th century, the Buttery at Inner Temple Hall has been a grade II* listed building since 1950. 
  • Grade II buildings are simply of special interest and they form 91.7% of the listed buildings in the UK. Just a few weeks ago, a cabmen’s shelter has been granted a Grade II listing. Built in 1906, the distinctive green shed, proudly standing on Grosvenor Gardens, contains a kitchen and a sitting area and is still in use.
Many Grade II constructions are on the housing market so how would the listing affect the residents? Mainly, it means that you will need to respect the elements of the building that are deemed historical or valuable (ie the reasons why it was listed). Listings usually cover a whole building, inside and out, but some parts can be specifically excluded from the list description. All listed constructions are unique and, therefore, so is the list of the elements covered by a Grade I, II* or II. 

But if you do decide on buying a listed building, the perks are that you’ll likely live in a quirky, unusual, gorgeous place and that you will become a guardian of your country’s heritage. You are investing in your future but also in the following generations’ future. 

Anyone can nominate a building to be listed; you just need to fill an online application form and send it back to Historic England (the Governing body of protected sites).

Can you think of any building you’d like to see listed ? 
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