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What are
'Listed Buildings'?
Michael Ford explains

The statutory listed buildings scheme was introduced in 1947 to give protection to buildings of special architectural or historic interest in England and Wales. Listing covers all features within the boundaries of the property besides the buildings themselves. Historic associations with people and events of national importance, construction methods and rarity value can also feature as listing criteria.

There are three gradings for listing :

Grade I buildings are the finest and account for only around 6000 in total.

Grade II* buildings are next best and like grade I buildings are protected from significant alteration. There are about 18000 in this category.

Grade II buildings of which there are some half million may become the subject of change although generally protected.

Buildings are listed by the Department of National Heritage with guidance from English Heritage.

All buildings erected before 1700 retaining the basis of their original condition are listed. Most buildings constructed between 1700 and 1840 are also listed. Buildings from the period 1840 to 1914 of quality and character or are the works of nationally recognised architects are listed as are those from 1914 to 1939 which are selected for their high quality. Only outstanding buildings post 1939 are listed and they have to be at least thirty years old.

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