What are the grades of listed buildings?

Listed Buildings Grades

In The United Kingdom, there are officially three recognised statuses of listed buildings. The grade that is assigned to a building will develop on many different factors such as the age of the building, its historical significance, cultural interest and buildings of importance. In fact, The United Kingdom has the highest quantity of listed buildings in correlation to land mass than any other country in the world.

A building is given a listed Grade when it is seen as important to preserve it in its original condition and to keep the history and culture of the past in as good a condition as possible. This article aims to clarify what the three grades are and how each one is assigned to certain buildings. While there are many similar efforts in place across much of the world when it comes to preserving important buildings, this article will be focussing on the UK Grade listing.

As a general rule of thumb, any building constructed before 1700 and in its original condition will be automatically classified as being listed. This means that special permission must be gained to alter, modify and even repair structural parts of the building. A building must be at least 30 years old to be considered for listing.

Grade 1. Only 2.5% of buildings fall under this category and it directly refers to buildings of exceptional interest.

Grade 2. These buildings are of exceptional interest and particularly important ones which cover 5.5% of buildings.

Grade 3. (Special interest) The special interest category covers 92% of all listed buildings across the UK. While special permission much is gained before performing work on a listed building, it does not mean to say that work cannot be carried out. In fact, many listed building require modification to help keep them in as good a condition as possible. It may seem like an unnecessary annoyance to have to seek permission to alter your home but the historical and cultural importance of these buildings helps shape even the most modern builds.

The majority of listed buildings do not play host to families living within their walls, but as museums and open houses that allow visitors to truly appreciate how advanced the builders of the time were, to explore the buildings where the kings and queens of the past resided and to help us as a modern civilisation realise the importance of our history,

While a home or structure needs to be at least 30 years old to be put forward for grading and listing, there are many that are less than 50 years old. The majority of listed buildings do however fall into the category of 300+ years of age. Some great examples of listed buildings are Tower Bridge in London, the Coliseum Theatre, and Manchester town hall. One of the more famous Grade 1 listed buildings is Buckingham Palace in Windsor where all of the buildings within the grounds are classified as being listed.

When a building is listed it can cover more than one single structure and can involve whole rows of houses, buildings and outhouses belonging to a listed building and structures such as Tower Bridge. Listing a building involves much more than simply being placed on a register. As an owner, you are responsible for maintaining any listed building to prevent decay or structural damage and failure to do so can lead to heavy fines.

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