Nationally listed buildings

How are buildings chosen to be listed?

The main criteria used are:

  • architectural interest: all buildings which are nationally important for the interest of their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship; also important examples of particular building types and techniques, and significant plan forms
  • historic interest: this includes buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history
  • close historical association with nationally important buildings or events
  • group value, especially where buildings comprise an important architectural or historic unity or are a fine example of planning (such as squares, terraces and model villages)

The older and rarer a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most built between 1700 and 1840. After this, the selection criteria are applied more rigorously as more buildings were built and more have survived.

After 1945, buildings must be exceptionally important to be listed. Buildings less than 30 years old are very rarely listed, and only if they are of outstanding quality and under threat.

More information can be found on Historic England's website.