Lightning Protection

Design and Installation for Historic Buildings

Historic England recommends that lightning protection is considered for all churches, and tall or prominent historic buildings. However there is no system that will give absolute protection, and the significance of a building needs to be balanced against providing an acceptable level of protection.

Historic England’s guidelines are:

  • A risk assessment should be carried out.
  • Proper consultation with the appropriate authorities or denominational bodies is essential.
  • Archaeological supervision of ground-disturbing work may be needed.
  • A tower-only system is likely to provide acceptable protection in most cases.
  • The aesthetic appearance of the lightning protection system needs to be carefully considered.
  • Systems need to be professionally designed, installed and maintained.

This guidance provides advice on the design, installation and maintenance of lightning protection systems for architects, surveyors, engineers and others involved in the care of historic buildings. Lightning protection is specialist work and requires expert design and installation.


  • Introduction
  • British standards for lightning protection
  • Designing a protection system
  • Installing a protection system
  • Surge protection devices (SPDs)
  • Testing, recording and maintenance
  • Glossary
  • Further reading
  • Where to get advice

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 44
  • Product Code: HEAG182


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