Conservation of historic buildings and monuments

Supporting detail:

Protecting buildings through the listing system

Listing a building protects it against unauthorised demolition, alteration or extension because of its special architectural features or historic interest.

English Heritage is responsible for caring for our historic environment, including recommending to ministers in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport which buildings should be listed. After ministers have announced their decision, English Heritage records which buildings are listed.

There are 3 grades of listed building:

  • Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest
  • Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  • Grade II are buildings of special interest, justifying every effort to preserve them

There are approximately 374,000 listed buildings in England and 92% are Grade II listed.

If you want to find out more about how buildings are listed, you can read our principles of Selection for Listed Buildings publication.

You can read more about why a building can be listed and how to apply to list or de-list a building on English Heritage’s website.

If you want to challenge a decision to list a building (within 28 days of the notification of a building being listed), find out how in our guide, ‘How to challenge our decision to list or not list a building’.