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Places of Worship

Front cover for Designation Listing Selection Guide: Places of Worship

Designation Listing Selection Guide

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating places of worship.

This selection guide first provides a summary historical overview of the various Christian churches down to the end of the nineteenth century - Anglican (Church of England), Catholic and Nonconformist (Dissenting) - and collectively at churches and chapels of the twentieth century. Then follows a section of the buildings of Judaism, the Mosque in England and buildings of other faiths. Because of the long and complex history of the parish church (and the ready availability of other guides), we concentrate here on the designation aspects, particularly for more recent churches, but give a slightly fuller historical overview of other sorts of places of worship. Following this, the final section sets out some general principles guiding the listing of places of worship concerning (among others) grading, group value, churchyard structures and archaeology.

Churchyard and war memorials are separately treated in the Commemorative selection guide, while rectories and vicarages are briefly treated in the Suburban and Country Houses guide. Guidelines for scheduling and otherwise managing the archaeological remains of principally early, pre-Christian, Commemorative and Funerary Sites are provided in a separate guide. The designation of post-Reformation burial grounds on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest is treated in the Landscapes of Remembrance 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 places of worship for designation
  • Select bibliography

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed


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