The listed buildings protection system has been in force since 1947 and operates under The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is administered by English Heritage now renamed Historic England.
- The test for listing is the building’s architectural or historical interest.
- If a building is to be listed the decision is taken by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed.
- All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840.
- The criteria become tighter with time, so that post 1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed.
- A building has normally to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing.
Categories of listed buildings.
- Grade 1 buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
- Grade II* buildings are particularly important of more than special interest; 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
- Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest; 92% of all listed buildings are in this class.
- In England there are in excess of 374,000 listed building entries.
In the paragraph above it points out that only 2.5% of the 374,000 are classed as Grade 1. They include the visually spectacular Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral but the one that I’m about to tell you about is somewhat smaller and fractionally less spectacular.
Its a dog kennel.
Small in comparison to other listed buildings it’s large for a dog kennel. It had to be. In 1891 it was home of a St Bernard named Dido. Dido was followed by two smaller occupants, a Pekingese pair called Ping and Pong.
How on earth does a dog kennel become a listed building?
The kennel is fixed to a wall of Ightham Mote (pronounced ‘Item Moat’), itself a fourteen century moated manor house, which qualifies easily to be a listed building.
As the dog kennel was there and attached to the main building when it was listed in 1952 it qualifies for the same Grade I designation.