Buildings on the statutory list are considered nationally important and are protected by law.

Lambeth has over 2,000 statutory listed buildings. They represent the best of the borough's buildings of historical or architectural interest, and range from post boxes and water troughs to the Royal Festival Hall and the Georgian terraces of Kennington.

Historic England keeps a Heritage at Risk Register to highlight the plight of vulnerable or threatened listed buildings and to encourage their repair and reuse.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. About listed buildings

A listed building is a building or other structure which is considered to be of special architectural or historic interest and included on the Statutory List drawn up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Buildings are chosen according to their:

  • architectural interest
  • historic interest
  • close historical associations
  • group value.

Age and rarity are also considerations.

The listed building is given a grade reflecting its importance:

  • Grade II - of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. 95% of listed buildings have this grade.
  • Grade II* - particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade I - buildings of exceptional interest.

The term 'building' covers almost any built or manufactured structure or object. The Statutory List for Lambeth includes monuments, telephone kiosks and railings as well as houses, offices, warehouses and churches.

3. What listings include and mean

The listing includes the building itself and any object or structure fixed to it. Any object or structure within the boundaries of the property (known as the curtilage) is also covered if it existed before 1948. Examples of this might include garden features, boundaries or paths and steps. The building is listed in its entirety – there is no such thing as a listed roof or interior. Every part of the building is listed equally even modern additions.

Once a building has been listed, an application for Listed Building Consent must be made to the council for demolition or for any alteration or extension that would affect its special interest. This includes internal and external works and changes. All boundary walls and pre-1948 structures within the boundary of the property (the curtilage) are also included.

If a listed building is allowed to fall into disrepair, the council can require urgent repairs to be carried out. We do this by serving a 'repairs notice' on the owner. In exceptional circumstances the council can compulsorily purchase a property if it is not being properly maintained and is at serious risk.

4. Works that require Listed Building Consent

Listed Building Consent is required for many kinds of work. Even cleaning or painting the outside of a listed building may need consent. There are some types of works that may not need planning permission but still require listed building consent.

You may not need listed building consent for some day-to-day maintenance or 'like for like' repairs. However, if the repair would result in losing significant historic fabric (stonework or decorations for example) or would change the appearance of the building it may need listed building consent. Listed buildings vary greatly and because of this each case must be judged individually.

You still need Listed Building Consent to do urgent works to a listed building – even if the works are needed because a Dangerous Structure or other legal notice has been served. Even if it is not practical to get consent in advance (where disrepair is putting the public in danger, for instance) you must give written notice to the council as soon as reasonably possible.

It is a criminal offence to carry out work, or ask for work to be carried out, to a listed building where consent is required. The penalty for doing so can be severe - an unlimited fine, up to 12 months imprisonment or both.

Finding a contractor

The council does not recommend builders or other service providers. However, a wide range of specialist conservation contractors can be found in the online Conservation Directory.

5. Registered parks and gardens

There are eight landscapes within Lambeth on the national register of historic parks and gardens.

  • Brockwell Park (Grade II)
  • Kennington Park (Grade II)
  • Lambeth Palace (Grade II)
  • Myatts Field (Grade II)
  • Ruskin Park (Grade II)
  • St Michael’s Convent, former Park Hill, (Grade II)
  • The Rookery, Streatham (Grade II)
  • West Norwood Cemetery (Grade II*)