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Listed Buildings

& 'Old', 'Traditional' or 'Historic' Buildings

There are approximately 400,000 listed buildings in England. Over 20,000 of them are located in Hampshire and Dorset combined including 620 or so in the New Forest National Park as well as countless more 'locally listed' undesignated heritage assets within the conservation areas. 

Over 90% of those listed buildings are designated Grade II meaning that they are of special architectural and historic importance warranting every effort to preserve them. 

A listing entry will identify the principal building or buildings that are listed. The whole of any principal building is listed, including the interior. Objects, structures and buildings affixed to a listed building or within its curtilage may also be protected by the listing. 

Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations. When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, the owners are often compelled to use specific (and potentially expensive) materials or techniques.

By their nature, the vast majority of listed buildings which survive in anything like their original condition were built before 1850. Vernacular architecture grew from its location with local materials used from the surrounding countryside. These materials were therefore natural such as timber, clay, stone and thatch. They were generally handmade but later mass produced when transportation by canal and railway became easier.

The modern building methods and materials introduced post WWII and now in widespread use today have their place where cavity walls and barriers against moisture are suitably detailed however these methods and materials such as cement mortars and renders, concrete floors as well as various forms of plastic 'waterproofing' and insulations are totally incompatible with traditional solid-wall construction whether it be brick, stone, cob or timber frame. Unfortunately, a lot of these buildings are therefore damp and unhealthy, thermally inefficient leading to the need for major, costly repair rather than simple, relatively inexpensive maintenance. 

New Forest Surveying provide a common sense approach to help new and existing custodians of historic buildings better understand how to use and care for them or address defects. Often this starts with a detailed condition survey. Please don't hesitate to contact us for an initial conversation.

Listed Buildings: About
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