What is – a listed building?

Why are buildings listed?

The Secretary of State for the Environment is required to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest for the guidance of local planning authorities. Conservation policies are often based on the lists.

How are the buildings chosen?

Principles were originally set up by an expert committee of architects, antiquaries and historians.

Buildings that qualify are:

  • all buildings before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition
  • most buildings between 1700 and 1840, though selection is necessary
  • between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and character .

The selection is intended to include the principal works of the principal architects. Selected buildings of 1914 to 1939 are also considered.

In choosing buildings, particular attention is paid to special value within certain types, either for architectural or planning reasons or as illustrating social and economic history (for instance, industrial buildings, railway stations, schools, hospitals, theatres, townhalls, markets, exchanges, almshouses, prisons, lock-ups, mills).

How are they graded?

A  survey is carried out for each local authority area, and buildings are classified in grades to show their relative importance.

Grade I  Buidings of exceptional interest

Grade II  Buildings of special interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them.

How do Welwyn’s listed buidings rate?

The buildings in the Welwyn schedule are all of special architectural or historic interest,