Nationally important archaeology: Listed Buildings

King Alfreds Tower The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs has large numbers of nationally important buildings which are protected through 'listing'.

Listing identifies only those buildings which are of national 'special interest'. English Heritage examine the case and make a recommendation, but the decision on whether to list is taken by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The main criteria used to decide whether a building qualifies for listing are age and rarity; aesthetic merit; selectivity; and national interest. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840.

There are 2015 Listed Buildings in the AONB, 77 of which are Grade I and 106 Grade II*. Many of the Grade I buildings in the AONB are large country houses and the features associated with their parks and gardens, such as grottos. There are also a smaller number of churches with surviving Early Medieval and Saxon fabric. Large numbers of the Grade II* buildings are also churches, while the remaining secular buildings comprise a greater range of types including almshouses, barns and farmhouses. The Grade II buildings are dominated by vernacular buildings such as cottages and farm houses.

Download a short introduction to the designated heritage of the AONB (PDF 753 KB).

This document forms part of the wider AONB Historic Environment Action Plans.