Listed buildings

Information on listed buildings

There are over 3,500 listed buildings in South Oxfordshire. As well as houses and cottages, listed buildings also include structures such as bridges, memorials, telephone kiosks and gravestones.

The statutory definition of a listed building is a "building of special architectural or historic interest".  Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning and the Historic Environment (PPS5) expands on this and says that they may be listed for being of "architectural, artistic, archaeological or historic interest".  This means that buildings are listed for a number of different reasons which include:

  • Associations with historic figures or events
  • Unusual construction methods
  • Value as part of a group of buildings or remarkable street-scene

Decisions as to which buildings are listed are taken by the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport on the advice of English Heritage, which also administers the listing system on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Grading of listed buildings

Listed buildings are graded to show their importance:

  • Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest and national importance.
  • Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest and regional significance.
  • Grade II are of special interest and local importance, justifying every effort to preserve them. Most listed buildings (93 per cent) fall into the Grade II category.

What does the listing include?

The listing includes the whole building, both inside and out, including any modern extensions physically attached to the building. Internal features such as staircases, fireplaces or panelling are also protected as they are an essential part of the building's character. Any object or structure within the curtilage of a listed building which forms part of the land and has done so since July 1948 is also listed.

What is a List Description?

The 'List Description' (sometimes also called the 'Listing Text', or 'List Text') is purely a means of identifying the building for all but the most recent listings.  It describes the appearance of the property and its location, but should not be taken to note everything of interest as many are external descriptions only and internal features are just as much a part of the building's special interest as the external facade. 

For new listings, or those which have been re-assessed in recent years, the listing text may now include a comprehensive description of those features visible at the time of the assessment, and any currently known historical associations or interest.

Is my building listed?

English Heritage provide the definitive list, including identification descriptions and information on all listed buildings on their website.  Please follow this link to their heritage searchable database. This link will take you to an external website...

Further information

Please see our listed building FAQ page, or the 'need more information' section of this page for further information and websites that have advice and information on listed buildings.

Last reviewed: 04 - 04 - 2016

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