How buildings get listed

Buildings get listed following surveys by Historic England or after being put forward by individual request. Buildings and land are assessed based on the principles of selection for listed buildings.

Historic England will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who makes the final decision. Visit GOV.UK to find out more about the selection criteria used to list a building.

Categories of listed buildings

The following grades of listing are used to show the level of special interest of the building, although there's no difference in their level of legal protection:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest (2.5 per cent of listed buildings are Grade I)
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (5.8 per cent of listed buildings are Grade II*)
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest (91.7 per cent of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home owner)

List descriptions

The list includes a description of each building that describes some features, including those that led to the listing. If a specific feature isn't mentioned it doesn't mean it's not covered by the listing.

Curtilage listings

Curtilage (an area of land attached to a house and forming one enclosure with it) listings cover land, buildings and structures, such as boundary walls, railings and out-houses, which are part of the land of a listed building.

See Historic England's Listed Buildings and Curtilage advice note for more information on curtilage listings.