What is a listed building?
A listed building is one that is included on the statutory list of ‘buildings of special architectural or historic interest’, sometimes referred to as The National Heritage List. The purpose of ‘listing’ is to celebrate legacy architecture, protecting it for future generations.
Although listed buildings are preserved, they aren’t kept hidden away from the public — quite the contrary. Many are turned into museums that can be visited or even converted into workspaces or homes; you could even be living in one.
What are listed building grades?
Although there are a list of requirements for a building to be ‘listed’, not all fall into the same category. Each listed building will fall into a grade category, depicting the level of historical or architectural significance.
Listed buildings in England and Wales are graded by Historic England, whereas those in Scotland are graded by Historic Environment Scotland, and the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.
Listed building grades in England and Wales
The applications for new listed buildings, along with amending and removing existing entries, is managed by Historic England. They will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State (for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) who will decide what grade a newly listed building will receive.
Listed building grades in England and Wales include:
- Grade I listed buildings: Those of exceptional interest. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
- Grade II* listed buildings: Particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.8% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
- Grade II listed buildings: Buildings of special interest that warrant every effort to preserve them. Over 90% of listed buildings are ranked as Grade II.
Listed building grades in Scotland
In Scotland, the authority for listing buildings sits with Historic Environment Scotland, which is an executive agency of the Scottish Government. For a building to become ‘listed’, consent must first be acquired from local authorities.
Listed building grades in Scotland include:
- Category A listed buildings: Buildings of special architectural or historical interest which are outstanding examples of a particular period, style or building type.
- Category B listed buildings: Buildings of special architectural or historic interest which are major examples of a particular period, style or building type.
- Category C listed buildings: Buildings of special architectural or historic interest which are representative examples of a period, style or building type.
Listed building grades in Northern Ireland
Listed buildings in Northern Ireland fall under the jurisdiction of the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities. Like Scotland, local authorities must provide permission before a building can be ‘listed’ in Northern Ireland.
Listed building grades in Northern Ireland include:
- Grade A listed buildings: Buildings of greatest importance to Northern Ireland, typically the least altered examples of landmark styles, periods and types.
- Grade B+ listed buildings: High-quality buildings that are clearly above the general standard set by grade B1 buildings, or close-to-Grade A buildings with features that detract from the overall appearance.
- Grade B1 listed buildings: Good examples of a particular period or style with small alterations and imperfections.
- Grade B2 listed buildings: B2 is chosen for buildings that qualify for listing by virtue of only a few attributes: e.g. a building sited on a conservation area.
What is covered by Listed Building Insurance?
At Swinton, we offer the same great services to Listed Building Insurance customers that we do in our standard Home Insurance packages. Choose from three tiers of cover to create a plan that best suits your needs and those of your property.
This table shows benefits for combined Home Insurance cover
Please refer to policy wordings for exact cover
(Choose a limit to suit your needs)
|£500,000 to Unlimited||£500,000 to Unlimited||£500,000 to Unlimited|
(Choose a limit to suit your needs)
|£50,000 to £150,000||£50,000 to £150,000||£50,000 to £150,000|
Alternative accommodation cover
|Up to £30,000||Up to £30,000||Up to £75,000|
Alternative accommodation cover
|Up to £10,000||Up to £10,000||>Up to £20,000|
Lost or stolen keys
Theft from outbuildings
£2,500 cover for downloaded audio/visual files
Office equipment cover in the home
£5,000 student cover
Matching sets cover
£100,000 legal protection
(cover your valuables and gadgets wherever you are in the world)
Maximum limits shown. Other features, benefits and limitations exist, please contact us for details.
Why choose Swinton for your Listed Building Insurance?
- Specialist insurers — We compare quotes from our specially selected panel of insurers to get you the lowest price.
- Policies tailored to you — Tailor your Buildings Insurance policy with optional additional cover to suit your needs.
- Easy-access online hub — We store your insurance documents in our handy online insurance hub that you can access at any time.
- Claims helpline — Our helpful team of insurance specialists can answer any questions you have with our 24/7 claims helpline or via Live Chat.
How to get a quote
To get set up with your Listed Building Insurance policy, get in touch with our team of experts, either online or over the phone, and we can begin to set up your plan. We just need a few details from you to help get you set up as quickly as possible.
Information you’ll need to set up your Listed Buildings Insurance cover include:
- As many details on your property as you have available, including the age, location, and listing grade
- Your personal details, including your name, address and contact details
- The level of coverage you’d like to take out with us for your property
- Any additional extras you’d like to add to your plan
How to maintain a listed property
The essence of listed buildings is to preserve the past, meaning it’s vital to keep these properties in good working order without damaging or altering the historic designs. Those in charge of maintenance need to ensure that all the right steps are taken to keep your listed building within the appropriate guidelines.
Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Get permission - Before you think about making any changes to a listed building, you need to ensure you have consent to do so. Any construction or repair work that will affect the special historical or architectural significance requires Listed Building Consent, while some may even require planning permission. You should speak with your local authority Conservation Officer if you plan to make changes to your property.
- Hire professionals - No matter how handy you may be, repairs and restorations to listed buildings is far more complicated than standard properties. You should always seek professional help to prevent any irreversible damage.
- Less is more - Keeping listed buildings as accurate to their origin design and construction is crucial. You should only ever make repairs or refurbishments if they are absolutely required. They should be limited to what is reasonably necessary to allow failing elements to appropriately fulfil their intended function.
FAQs about Listed Building Insurance
How does a building become listed?
While anyone can nominate a building to be ‘listed’, only a team of specialists can determine if a property is applicable and at what level it will be listed as.
To be considered as ‘listed’, a building must either show importance in its architectural design or to be of significant interest to the nation’s social, economical, cultural or military history. The age of a building is also taken into account when ‘listing’. In broad terms, any buildings predating 1700 that retain most of their original construction are likely listed, along with most built between 1700 and 1850. Buildings less than 30 years old are not usually considered for ‘listing’ as they haven’t stood the test of time.