Listed buildings

What is a listed building?

Listed buildings have special historical or architectural importance and are of national interest. Buildings can be listed because of age, rarity, architectural merit, and method of construction. The purpose of listing is to protect and preserve the best examples of the country’s heritage; Cherwell has over 2,300 entries, reflecting the rich heritage of the district.

Find out if a property is listed


The Listed Building Register can be viewed on:

Please note that the boundaries shown are only indicative to show if a building is listed and the precise extent of listing may be different.

Your responsibilities

Listed buildings are protected by law which means you'll need consent if you want to change the building in any way that might affect its original character.

When a building is listed, it is listed in its entirety, which means that both the exterior and the interior are protected. In addition, historic buildings, walls and structures in land associated with the main building would also be considered as listed in most circumstances. The owner of a listed building is responsible for ensuring buildings are kept in a good state of repair.

It is a criminal offence to undertake work to a listed building without the necessary consent.

Heritage advice

Apply for listed building consent


Making changes to a listed building+

Listing gives a building statutory protection against unauthorised demolition, alteration and extension. It is a criminal offence to undertake work to a listed building without the necessary consent. The listing of a building is not intended to prevent all change but to ensure the sensitive management of change.

Any internal or external works which affect the character of the listed building will require listed building consent. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • demolition of any part of a Listed Building or its outbuildings
  • internal alterations to walls
  • installation of new roofing
  • modification and installation of new windows
  • external painting and cladding
  • extensions and other new additions
  • repairs using unsympathetic materials
  • installation of new flues

Minor works such as redecorating and the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms may not require consent. However, it is always best to check with us first.

Repairs should be considered as the first option in most instances and there is no need to apply for listed building consent for regular maintenance work such as re-painting windows in the same colour. The replacement of original features will only be acceptable where it is clearly justified and combined with historically sensitive design, materials and methods.

Listed building application advice

Listed building applications should include a written statement of significance and a full explanation of what the work entails and how it may affect the importance of the building. This enables us to assess how the works may affect the special architectural or historic character of a building and could speed up your application.

It is recommended to seek heritage advice prior to making an application.

Heritage advice

Curtilage listing

Curtilage listed buildings, structures and objects have the same protection and restrictions imposed on them as a listed building. Curtilage listed buildings are typically ancillary buildings, such as barns and stables, located on land associated with the principal building.

The following tests are used to identify if a property is curtilage listed:

  • Was the structure constructed before 1st July 1948?
  • Was the structure in common ownership with the principal listed building at the time of listing?
  • Was there a functional relationship between the structures at the time of listing?

This is a complicated area of planning law and it is often not clear whether a building is curtilage listed. If owners are not aware of a building’s protected status it can cause confusion and result in unauthorised works and potential enforcement action. As the Council becomes aware of potential curtilage listed buildings, we identify them on the Council’s website and advise the owners.

If you would like further guidance, please see the Historic England guidance note or contact the Conservation Team.


Buying a listed building

If you're thinking about buying a listed building, you need to make sure that any previous alterations have been carried out with the right consent. You might have to return the building to its original state if consent wasn't given.


You could get a Historic England grant for repairs to a listed building.

How to get a property listed or unlisted

A building is listed when it's of special architectural or historic interest and thought to be of national importance and worth protecting. They are assessed based on the principles of selection for listed buildings.

Buildings get listed by the Secretary of State after recommendation by Historic England. We don't have the power to add or remove buildings from the list.

You can apply to Historic England to add, amend or remove a property from the register.