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Listing Selection Guides

Buildings and structures which meet the criteria for national protection are listed. This protection system has been in place since 1947 and operates under The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Here you can learn more about our Listing-specific selection guides as well as the associated Introduction to Heritage Assets series.

The Cornish Place Works in Sheffield, were isted at Grade II* on 28 June 1973
Cornish Place Works in Sheffield, listed at Grade II* on 28 June 1973 © Barbara West

What the guides cover

The test for listing is architectural or historic special interest, with the final decision to list being taken by government (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport).

Our 20 thematically-arranged selection guides give detailed guidance about what may be eligible for listing. Each gives a brief overview of:

  • The types of buildings and structures covered in the guide
  • Current understanding, both of their history and development
  • In some cases, how many were erected and still survive.

The second half of each document sets out the over-arching designation criteria, before moving on to offer guidance relevant to the specific buildings or structures treated. A select bibliography gives suggestions for further reading. The selection guides are periodically updated.

On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still current. 

Agricultural Buildings

Agricultural Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating agricultural buildings.

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Commemorative Structures

Commemorative Structures

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating commemorative structures.

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Commerce and Exchange Buildings

Commerce and Exchange Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating commerce and exchange buildings.

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Culture and Entertainment

Culture and Entertainment

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating culture and entertainment buildings.

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Domestic 1: Vernacular Houses

Domestic 1: Vernacular Houses

Published 30 April 2011

This Designation Listing Selection Guide outlines the selection criteria used when designating vernacular houses.

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Domestic 2: Town Houses

Domestic 2: Town Houses

Published 13 October 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating town houses.

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Domestic 3: Suburban and Country Houses

Domestic 3: Suburban and Country Houses

Published 13 October 2011

This Designation Listing Selection Guide outlines the selection criteria used when designating suburban and country houses.

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Domestic 4: The Modern House & Housing

Domestic 4: The Modern House & Housing

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating modern houses & housing.

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Education Buildings

Education Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating education buildings.

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Garden and Park Structures

Garden and Park Structures

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating garden and park structures.

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Health and Welfare Buildings

Health and Welfare Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating health and welfare buildings.

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Industrial Structures

Industrial Structures

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating industrial structures.

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Law and Government Buildings

Law and Government Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

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

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Maritime and Naval Buildings

Maritime and Naval Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating maritime and naval buildings.

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Military Structures

Military Structures

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating military structures.

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Places of Worship

Places of Worship

Published 30 April 2011

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

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Sports and Recreation Buildings

Sports and Recreation Buildings

Published 3 December 2012

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating sports and recreation buildings.

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Street Furniture

Street Furniture

Published 13 October 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating street furniture.

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Transport Buildings

Transport Buildings

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating transport buildings.

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Utilities and Communication Structures

Utilities and Communication Structures

Published 30 April 2011

A guide to outline the selection criteria used when designating utilities and communication structures.

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Introductions to Heritage Assets

The listing selection guides are supported by a series of Introductions to Heritage Assets (IHAs) which set out our understanding of particular building types. Normally these will be ones where, for one reason or another, we have had relatively large numbers of buildings in for assessment, and where the building type proved not to be covered in the existing literature.

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