How are Listed Buildings graded in Scotland?

If you are thinking of buying a listed building in Scotland, you need to be aware of the grading categories and how they differ from those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This guide prepared by our listed building insurance advisers’ will help you to understand the grading system and what the categories mean.

Scotland has some of the most stunning architecture in the world. Across its impressive 30,000 square miles there are over 47,400 listed buildings. These buildings come in a rich variety, and it’s not just houses and homes that can be listed in Scotland. Man-made structures such as statues, sundials and fountains are all on the list, as are castles and churches such as the modern Craigsbank parish church pictured below.

Listed Buildings Scotland

So How Are Scotland’s Listed Buildings Categorised?

Listing buildings originally began in Scotland by a provision in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1947. More recently, the present legislations for listing buildings is guided by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Scotland) Act 1997. Buildings are classified as listed by Historic Scotland, part of the Scottish Government, which was created to protect and promote Scotland’s historic environment.

Similar to the English guidelines, listed buildings in Scotland must be of special historic or architectural interest. Historic Scotland further clarifies listed buildings should “help to create Scotland’s distinctive character” and must be “highly visible and accessible part of our rich heritage”.

What are Scotland’s Listed Building Categories?

Listed buildings in Scotland are segmented into three categories: A, B or C. These categories are rated in order of importance:

Category A

This is the highest ranking listed building category in Scotland. These buildings are of “national or international architectural or historic importance”, and exemplary of a specific period of time or architectural style. For example, the Dunrobin Castle in Golspie was classified as a listed building in 1971. The castle has 189 rooms and 1,379 acres of landscaped gardens.

7% of all listed buidings in Scotland fall in to this category.

Source: Pexels

Category B

Category B listed buildings have either regional or outside local importance. They are major examples of a particular period, a style, or type of building, and may have been altered. The Glasgow Sheriff Court (pictured), which is the busiest court in Europe, was listed as category B in 2014. 50% of listed buildings in Scotland are Category B.

Category C

The criteria for Category C is buildings of local importance, but not necessarily a fine example of a certain period, building type or style. Category C listed buildings are usually simple buildings or part of a group, such as an estate or industrial building. Most listed structures in Scotland (43%) are Category C. An example (right) shows The Soap Factory in Aberdeen which was built in 1922, today it is used as offices.

Scotland Listed Building Insurance

Source: Geograph Stanley Howe

Do you own a listed building in Scotland? Or perhaps you are thinking of buying a listed building? Make sure you have adequate cover in place when it comes to insuring the property by contacting our listed building home insurance specialists. Get a quote online today, or directly from one of our online advisers via CHAT or by calling 03333 11 11 10.

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