Japanese Garden at the New House, Oxfordshire
Japanese Garden at the New House, Oxfordshire. Registered at Grade II*. NHLE List entry 1408334 © Historic England DP138639
Japanese Garden at the New House, Oxfordshire. Registered at Grade II*. NHLE List entry 1408334 © Historic England DP138639

Listing Priorities

As well as responding to applications from the public, we also carry out projects to assess specific priority building types or places. These priorities are defined by our Corporate Plan and we also support our Heritage at Risk programme and our Strategy for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality. One of the measures we apply when deciding whether to take a listing, scheduling, registration or protection application to initial assessment, is whether the application is within the remit of one of our strategic listing priorities.

If the building or site you wish to apply for does not fall within one of our strategic priorities, we offer three paid for services:

What are our current strategic listing projects?

Heritage Action Zones

Heritage Action Zones (HAZs) are a national initiative whose aim is to breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. Through this initiative we are looking at updating List entries on the National Heritage List for England.

High Street Heritage Action Zones

The £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme (HS HAZ), which is being delivered by Historic England, will unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations. Sixty-eight high streets have been offered funding to give them a new lease of life. As with Heritage Action Zones, we are supporting this programme through targeted listing work within the boundary of each Zone. We are looking to update List entries of buildings in the High Street HAZ areas using current processes of full assessment and minor amendment as well as trialling new more streamlined options.

Roman Catholic Churches

Roman Catholic Taking Stock is an architectural and historical review of Catholic churches and chapels in England and Wales. The programme is a partnership between the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, individual dioceses, and Historic England. It provides an architectural and historical assessment of churches in regular use for public worship, with the intention of aiding dioceses, parishes, statutory authorities and the general public, so that the heritage significance of buildings may be given due weight when proposals for change come forward.

Roman Catholic churches have historically been under-designated and, working with individual diocese, we have used these reviews to carry out listing projects. We have so far completed projects in 11 out of the 20 Roman Catholic dioceses in England, carrying out over 260 assessments. We are currently working on a further four projects in Hallam, East Anglia, Portsmouth and Cardiff (Herefordshire) dioceses.

Historic Pub Interiors

Pubs are a building type under considerable threat, with high rates of adaptation, closure and conversion. This has inevitably impacted on the survival of historic pub interiors, with intact plan-forms and historic fittings now a considerable rarity. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns have exacerbated this long-term trend of closures and attrition.

In collaboration with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Pub Heritage Group, we will be starting the second phase of a project which aims to help recognise and protect pubs in England with outstanding historic interiors.

Local Heritage to Statutory Listings

Local communities seek to protect what over the centuries has made their built environment distinctive and shapes the identity of the place through inclusion on Local Heritage Lists. Working with 22 teams funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop such local lists, as part of this process we are providing particular guidance on how to apply for statutory listing for assets that they may identify as having a claim to join the National Heritage List for England.

Recent projects include:

Post-war landscapes

In partnership with The Gardens Trust, we worked on a project from 2017-2020 looking at post-war designed landscapes – an asset type often under threat – to identify candidates for registration. Through a crowd-sourcing exercise, we identified 20-30 candidates representing a range of landscape types, from cemeteries to housing estates, private gardens to public parks, and assessed them over the course of three years. As part of this work, we have also considered sites that are already registered in order to highlight this area of designation more clearly, including much older designed landscapes which have distinctive post-1945 contributions. In total, 24 places were newly added to the Register of Parks and Gardens, upgraded, or listed.

Quaker meeting houses

This project improved the representation of Nonconformist places of worship on The List. In partnership with the Religious Society of Friends we commissioned a national survey of Quaker meeting houses in use or still in Quaker ownership in Great Britain. Based on an up-to-date and robust understanding of this building type, 11 Quaker Meeting Houses were listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and a further 6 have been upgraded.

We then concluded a second phase of this project, which looked at amending and updating the List entries for about 70 already listed Meeting Houses. This will support their future management by providing clear, up-to-date List entries – many of which were over 30 years old.