Living in harmony with London’s listed buildings.
We have lived in old houses, as long as I remember. My grandmothers house dates from the 1400s. Of course, it was updated, added to and extended by various generations, but you can see the shadows of the original plan. It was a pleasant shambles when I was a kid, and my uncle, though full of good intentions, did some truly terrible alterations. It’s still in my family, my cousin who inherited it, went on against all odds to do an absolutely amazing job in restoring and decorating it with taste and sensitivity.
I love visiting and staying there is The highlight of my holiday calendar. (hint for my cousin…)
My own London flat, is very small, but is part of a listed regency town house. The proportions and the grace of the place are perfect and I’ve always considered it a privilege to live in such a beautiful place. I think it’s key, to understand the history of the building and work in harmony with the style. I am not suggesting we live on a frozen timewrap, which would be rather creepy actually – but understanding the different aesthetics. Modern clean furniture can work well with regency interiors, rustic Jacobean and Spanish Inquisition, not so good…ya think?
Listed buildings are funny things, they divide the masses. To some they look like old relics fit for redevelopment, to others are treasures to be cherished…
London has a few architectural gems which are described as ‘listed’; I think most countries, in Europe at least, will have some sort of protection in place to preserve buildings of historic or architectural significance.
definition of listed building
A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting.
As the term implies, a listed building is actually added to a list: the National Heritage List for England. You can use this to discover whether your home is listed and if so, what grade it is.
You may also be able to find out what is particularly significant about the building. Some listing records are more detailed than others.
Listed buildings come in three categories of ‘significance’:
Grade I for buildings of the highest significance
Grade II* and
Most listed building owners are likely to live in a Grade II building as these make up 92% of all listed buildings.
I wonder how many of you dear readers, live in an old listed building or perhaps you’d like to live in one. Any favourite period or architectural style?
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