In Britain we are lucky to have a rich and varied architectural history, which defines the character of our landscape. Of the millions of old buildings, around 500,000 are listed for their ‘special architectural or historical significance’, and here at Period Living we’ve had the privilege of visiting some exquisite listed homes.

Officially introduced in 1947, the listed buildings scheme is not only designed to highlight these special properties, but also to protect their integrity and unique character by monitoring any changes made to them.

In England and Wales, listed buildings are given one of three grades: Grade II denotes structures of ‘special interest’ (92%), Grade II* ‘more than special interest’ (5.5%), and Grade I ‘exceptional interest’ (2.5%). In Scotland, the categories are A, B and C, while in Northern Ireland they’re A, B+, B1 and B2.

Although owning a listed property is a great honour, it also comes with great responsibility and many owners of listed homes see themselves not as property owners but as custodians of heritage. In order to preserve their unique character, there are limitations to what you can do to a listed property and you may need to apply for listed building consent if considering making changes.

1. Grade II-listed Victorian watermill

listed converted victorian mill house with lake

This six-bedroom, Victorian watermill was built in 1862. Carefully restored by the current owners, it still boasts its working mill wheel

2. Georgian manor

red brick grade II listed georgian home

Boasting 10 bedrooms and several acres of land, plus set on its own island, this Georgian ancestral home is a Grade II-listed gem

3. Listed cob longhouse

listed 16th century cob longhouse

Built in the 16th-century, this cob longhouse has been carefully restored

4. Mid-17th-century cottage

listed thatched cottage

Built as part of a row of seven farmworkers’ dwellings, this mid-17th-century cottage hadn’t been lived in since the 1980s, and the main section had almost completely collapsed before it was slowly restored by the Mckays

5. A Grade II-listed Jacobean lodge

hopkins grade II listed jacobean lodge

This grand hunting lodge, built in 1642, has been thoughtfully restored to preserve original features

6. 17th-century farmhouse

Listed farmhouse devon

This charming Devon farmhouse, dating back to 1602, is Grade II and features colourful interiors and the most magnificent 18th-century staircase

7. 17th-century farmhouse

grade II listed 17th century farmhouse

This five-bedroom farmhouse dates back to the 17th-century and features a showstopping inglenook fireplace

8. 400-year-old thatched home

listed timber frame thatched cottage renovation

Once waterlogged, this charming thatched property has been transformed into a beautiful family home. Not only is it Grade II-listed and part of the historic estate, it is also on a Site of Special Scientific Interest

9. Mid-19th-century hall

pugin hall grade II listed 19th century home

Boasting rare Grade I-listed status, this mid-19th-century home was designed by ‘God’s own architect’, Augustus Pugin. It posed a real renovation challenge but the results are magnificent

10. 1700s pest house

grade II listed 18th century home

Grade II-listed, this extended late-18th-century home was originally an old ‘pest’ or quarantine house for people with infectious diseases

11. 900-year-old cottage

osborne grade II listed 12th century home

Grade II*-listed, this cottage dates back to the 12th-century and is one of the oldest still standing in Kent

12. Georgian farmhouse

grade II listed gerogian farmhouse

A fine example of a Georgian farmhouse, this Grade II restored home is awash with period features, including spectacular windows made up of paired 12-paned sashes

13. 1800s Cotswold home

grade II listed cotswold stone house

Surrounded by farmland and with a charming Cotswold stone facade, this five-bedroom early 19th-century home has a Grade-II listing

14. Georgian family home

matthews grade II listed georgian house

This Georgian home has been adapted over the years to meet the needs of modern family living

15. 16th-century country cottage

grade II listed farmworkers' cottage

Comprised of two timber-framed farmworkers’ cottages riddled with rotten timbers, this Grade II 16th-century home has been brought back to life by the Dunmows

16. 17th-century Cotswold home

grade II listed cotswold stone cottage

After undergoing a major restoration, this Grade II Cotswold cottage is now brimming with timeless charm

17. Jacobean manor

listed jacobean lodge

This magnificent Grade II Jacobean manor is surrounded by eight acres of beautiful, romantic gardens and meadow land

18. 14th-century timber-framed home

grade II listed 14th century property

This Grade II-listed home, which dates back to 1362, is one of the few surviving timber-framed structures of its type in Europe, just wait until you see the Medieval hall

19. 16th-century country home

grade II listed country home

Set in rural Somerset and built around 1550, this farmhouse was originally two farm cottages, joined in the 1970s

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