A listed building is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance by virtue of its special architectural or historic interest. Listing, sometimes also referred to as 'designation', is the act of identifying nationally important heritage sites and affording them special protection through the planning system. The purpose of listing is to introduce a higher degree of protection.
Tracing the history of a building can be very rewarding. The more you know about an old building the more likely you are to value it, appreciate its oddities, and make sensible changes that respect its history. However we would strongly urge you not to start ripping off wall plaster or undertaking other destructive investigations in your understandable enthusiasm for finding out more about the building.
Are you thinking of buying an old building for the first time? The chances are you will be carried away by the appeal of the property, the pleasure of possessing somewhere with special character, and the usual high emotion and anxiety connected with house buying. The SPAB is aware how many buildings can be ruined, their special character obliterated or swept away, by the ill-advised and hasty actions of new purchasers.