Stone whitewashed building with gravestones in foreground
Pardshaw meeting house (1729) – the men’s meeting house from the graveyard, the stable block beyond. © Historic England DP233781 Grade II* listed
Pardshaw meeting house (1729) – the men’s meeting house from the graveyard, the stable block beyond. © Historic England DP233781 Grade II* listed

Our Listing Priorities

As well as responding to applications from the public, we also carry out projects (sometimes called thematic or strategic listing projects) to address gaps in the National Heritage List for England (NHLE), focusing on certain types of heritage or locations that aren’t well represented. These projects can also help to address the need to keep the NHLE up to date, by amending and enhancing list entries.  

Some of our listing projects respond to regional priorities, anniversaries or key moments and events. Sometimes we invite suggestions or input from the public for these projects, or work in partnership with other organisations.  

Our priorities can also be influenced by our Corporate Plan and can also support our Heritage at Risk programme

You can explore some of our recent listing projects below. 

What is Historic England focusing on with listing?

Following the completion of our High Street Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) work, we are in the process of planning our next projects and will share more information on this page soon.

What if a building or site doesn’t fit one of these strategic priorities?

We only take forward applications where the building or site is something capable of being listed, scheduled or registered and it falls under at least one of the following:

  • Threat: It is under serious threat of demolition or major alteration
  • Priority: It supports one or more of our current listing priorities (explained on this page) 
  • Potential: It has very strong potential for being listed, scheduled or registered – this can be understood by looking at our guidance

Our Apply for Listing page explains how to apply for listing in more detail, and our page on The Listing Process explains what happens after you submit an application. 

If the building or site you wish to apply for does not fall within one of our strategic priorities but is still capable of being listed, we offer fast-track services at a premium. 

Gallery

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

Celebrating some of our ongoing and completed listing projects

High Street Heritage Action Zones 

To March 2024: 

  • New listings: 23 
  • Amended List Entries: 475 

The £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme (HSHAZ), delivered by Historic England, has helped to unlock the potential of 67 high streets across England. Combining investment in buildings and shop fronts with community engagement and cultural events, the programme has helped to boost pride in place, connect communities and drive economic growth. 

As part of the project, we have undertaken targeted listing work within the Action Zones, updating list entries and in some cases assessing new buildings for listing. We also piloted a new approach to updating List entries more efficiently as part of the project, for changes beyond the scope of our existing Minor Amendment and Listing Enhancement processes.

Heritage Action Zones 

Heritage Action Zones (HAZs) are a national initiative designed 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 have updated List entries on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) to help with the long-term management of buildings, and to celebrate what makes them significant. So far 16 HAZ projects have been completed across the country, from Rochdale to Ramsgate, Sutton to Sunderland and Walworth to Weston-super-Mare. A further four projects are due to complete in 2024, including projects in Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon. 

Roman Catholic Churches: Taking Stock

To March 2023: 

  • New listings: 108 
  • Amended List Entries: 49 
  • Upgraded listings: 18 

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

Taking Stock surveys have now been completed for all 20 Roman Catholic dioceses that cover areas in England, with the final survey completed in 2020. Each building now has a summary of its history and significance, available through the Taking Stock website.

Roman Catholic churches have historically been under-designated and, working with individual dioceses, we have used these reviews to carry out listing projects including new listings, amended list entries and upgrades. We have now completed listing projects in 15 dioceses, and projects to assess buildings or amend List entries in the remaining dioceses will be scheduled in the future.

Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story  

  • New registrations: 7 
  • New listings: 2 

Over two years, Historic England, the Gardens Trust and the Suffolk Gardens Trust partnered on a project to research Suffolk’s historic landscapes. The project, which uncovered the stories of 20 historic parks and gardens, involved research from volunteers who helped unearth stories of sites including Britain’s first purpose-built holiday village, a medieval deer park, and an early country house landscape with a stunning panoramic vista. 

Newly protected parks and gardens include the pleasure grounds of the 18th century Abbot’s Hall in Stowmarket, the adventurous landscape of Thorpeness Meare, Britain’s first purpose-built holiday village, Staverton Park, once owned by royalty and the Walled Garden at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, featuring a distinctive ‘crinkle-crankle’ wall, a distinctive, snake-like design used for growing fruit.  

Historic Pub Interiors

  • New listings: 2
  • Amended List Entries: 7
  • Upgraded listings: 2

Pubs are a building type under considerable threat, with high rates of adaptation, closure and conversion. This has inevitably affected 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 exacerbated this long-term trend of closures and attrition.

In collaboration with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Pub Heritage Group, we ran a project which aimed to help recognise and protect pubs in England with outstanding historic interiors, which led to new listings, upgrades and amended list entries. You can explore the project in more detail here.

Post-war landscapes 

  • New registrations: 20 
  • New listings: 3 
  • Upgraded listings: 1 

In partnership with The Gardens Trust, we worked on a project from 2017-2020 looking at post-war designed landscapes – a type of landscape 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, 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. You can discover more about the project here.

Quaker meeting houses 

  • New listings: 11 
  • Amended List Entries: 74 
  • Upgraded listings: 6 

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. You can explore more about the first phase of the project here.