The word listing is a short-hand term used to describe one of the procedures used to protect the best of our architectural heritage. When buildings are listed they are placed on statutory lists of buildings of 'special architectural or historic interest' compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Listing ensures that the architectural and historic interest of the building is carefully considered before any alterations, either outside or inside, are agreed.
Listed buildings are graded to show their relative importance:
- Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest.
- Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
- Grade II are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
- (SM) signifies a scheduled monument.
All listed buildings are important to the nation's heritage as well as at local and regional levels.
Some listed buildings are also Scheduled Monuments. These are nationally important sites and monuments which have been given legal protection by being included in a 'schedule' prepared by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
There are over 200 'classes' of Scheduled Monuments ranging from prehistoric standing stones and burial mounds, through the many types of medieval site: castles, monasteries, abandoned farmsteads and villages - to the more recent results of human activity, such as collieries and wartime pillboxes.
Scheduled Monuments are marked (SM) in the lists of listed buildings.
For further information visit the Historic England website
for the official, up to date, regsiter of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England.