In Britain we are lucky to have a rich and varied architectural history, which defines the character of our landscape. Of the millions of old buildings, around 500,000 are listed for their ‘special architectural or historical significance’, and here at Period Living we’ve had the privilege of visiting some exquisite listed homes.
Officially introduced in 1947, the listed buildings scheme is not only designed to highlight these special properties, but also to protect their integrity and unique character by monitoring any changes made to them.
In England and Wales, listed buildings are given one of three grades: Grade II denotes structures of ‘special interest’ (92%), Grade II* ‘more than special interest’ (5.5%), and Grade I ‘exceptional interest’ (2.5%). In Scotland, the categories are A, B and C, while in Northern Ireland they’re A, B+, B1 and B2.
Although owning a listed property is a great honour, it also comes with great responsibility and many owners of listed homes see themselves not as property owners but as custodians of heritage. In order to preserve their unique character, there are limitations to what you can do to a listed property and you may need to apply for listed building consent if considering making changes.