This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Law and Government Buildings

Front cover for Designation Listing Selection Guide: Law and Government Buildings

Designation Listing Selection Guide

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating law and government buildings.

This selection guide covers civic buildings at a local and a national level. These comprise town halls, law courts, police stations, fire stations and central government buildings, all of which were built in large numbers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as the role of the state expanded. Prisons are grouped here because of their obvious functional links with policing and the legal system, and so too stocks and whipping posts.

Museums and public libraries are covered separately under the Culture and Entertainment selection guide, while municipal sporting facilities are considered in the Sport and Recreation selection guide.

This is one of a series of guides which set out some of our approaches to designating buildings. Covering twenty broad categories of building types, they including historical overviews and special considerations for listing, plus select bibliographies. They are primarily intended to develop understanding of designated buildings and structures, and to offer insight into designation decision making.


  • Introduction and definitions
  • Historical summary
  • Specific considerations when considering law and government buildings for designation
  • Select bibliography

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Fax: 01793 414926
Textphone: 0800 015 0516

Was this page helpful?

Also of interest...

  • Berwick Barracks, Northumberland

    Listed Buildings

    Listing marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest and helps us acknowledge and understand our shared history.