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Listed building

Notley AbbeyA listed building is a structure that has been chosen and given a measure of protection from change or demolition due to a perceived historic or architectural importance. Though described as ‘listed buildings’ the term can relate to any type of structure including tombstones, crosses, letterboxes, lamp-posts and telephone kiosks.


The listing of a structure consists of it being inspected, described and assessed in terms of its history, appearance and function and building may then be assigned one of three grades, Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II. The highest grade, I, is applied to buildings of ‘exceptional interest’. Grade II* is applied to ‘particularly important buildings of more then special interest’, whilst the lowest grade, II, is applied to buildings of ‘special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them’.


Listed Building descriptions are arranged alphabetically according to the street and the parish in which they are located. Once listed, the structure’s description is added to the official list and substantial changes cannot be undertaken without local authority permission and guidance. This permission is termed ‘listed building consent’. The body in charge of listing structures is now English Heritage and they generally inspect and assess the structures. A new system called designations will soon take over from listed and scheduled ancient monument status.


Chenies Manor HouseThere are 110 Grade I listed buildings in Buckinghamshire. Some examples of Grade I listed buildings in the county are Notley Abbey where the remains of an abbey dissolved in the sixteenth century was turned into a private house; The Manor House, Chenies, a fifteenth century house with sixteenth and seventeenth century alterations and the home of the Earls and then Dukes of Bedford; garden features in Stowe landscaped gardens including, for instance, the Temple of Venus; and Stoke Park golf club house.


Grade II* listed buildings are of more than special interest. There are 172 in Buckinghamshire. Examples include Biddlesden parish church; Dinton Hall; and Remnantz, a town-house in Marlow. There are 5437 Grade II listed buildings in Buckinghamshire. Most of these are privately owned houses in towns and villages. If you want to find out if your house is listed you can search the Unlocking Buckinghamshire's Past database. District councils are also building up local listings which will protact houses of significant local importance.