Listed buildings

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St Albans Clocktower

A listed building is a building or structure that is considered to be of ‘special architectural or historic interest’. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has a duty under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to prepare and approve lists of such buildings, with advice from Historic England.

There are over 800 national listings in the St Albans District. Historic England's website provides a searchable national database of listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments and other heritage assets.

Listed buildings are graded according to their relative importance:

  • Grade I - Buildings of exceptional interest, for example The Clock Tower in St Albans and Rothamsted Manor House in Harpenden.

  • Grade II* - Particularly important buildings of more than special interest, for example the Old Town Hall in St Albans, Harpenden Hall and the Harpenden Moat House.

  • Grade II - Buildings of special interest that warrant every effort being made to preserve them.

In addition, any structure falling within the curtilage of a listed building which dates prior to 1 July 1948 and any object or structure attached to a listed building may be considered listed and it is advisable to check with the conservation officer.

On 15 July 2010 an online form to apply for heritage assets to be designated was launched on the Historic England website. This online form replaces the previous application form, and can be accessed at the following address:

The online form is for all heritage asset types - listing, scheduling, landscapes, battlefields, wrecks - and all application types, including Certificate of Immunity and Building Preservation Notice applications. All applications must contain owner details, a map of the location of the heritage asset and photographs.

If you have any queries, please contact Historic England on 020 7973 3700 or email

Nearly all work to a listed structure requires Listed Building Consent including painting (if not already painted or if painted, changing the colour). This includes extensions, internal and external changes as well as changes to buildings within the garden (if built before 1948) along with boundary walls and fences. It is a criminal offence to undertake works to a listed building without the proper consent. In determining applications for Listed Building Consent and planning applications that affect listed buildings or their setting, the Council uses, amongst others, Policy 86 of the District Local Plan Review (1994).

Section 16 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework is the Government's Policy on the Historic Environment.

Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment

For further information, please see our leaflet, Listed Buildings.

Advice is also available from the external organisations listed below.

Historic England

Historic Environment Local Management 

Institute of Historic Building Conservation 

Date of last review: 14 January 2019