Buckingham Palace - home to Queen Elizabeth II and a grade 1 listed building
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Visit 5 of the beautiful listed buildings of England

England is a country of history, beauty and culture and some of the best of the country’s past can be seen in the beautiful and well-preserved listed buildings of the country. Dotted all over England, these remarkable buildings often stand in impeccably manicured gardens and parks, making them a truly beautiful experience to visit.

What are listed buildings?

Structures receive the listed building title for their special historic and architectural interest. The process also takes into consideration the planning system, to ensure the buildings are protected for future generations. Generally speaking, buildings built before 1700 that have survived in almost their original condition are eligible to be listed buildings. This includes buildings constructed between 1700 and 1850. When considering a structure as a listed building, special architects come into play to restore the building to its original, beautiful state.

Let’s have a look at some of the iconic listed buildings in England below.

1. Buckingham Palace

People from all over the world will instantly recognize Buckingham Palace, home to Queen Elizabeth II. This is the most iconic building in the country and attracts thousands of tourists each year to visit the Grade 1 London listed building.

Buckingham Palace - home to Queen Elizabeth II and a grade 1 listed building

Before the building passed into the hands of the monarchy, Buckingham Palace was home to Cardinal Wolsey. It was Henry VIII who brought the property into royal hands for the first time, after William the Conqueror gave it away almost 500 years before.

2. Theatre Royal Wakefield

Dating back to 1894, the Theatre Royal Wakefield is located in Wakefield, England. However, the theatre was originally known as the Theatre Royal and Opera House and the original structure dates back to the 1770s.

Theatre Royal Wakefield, a listed building in England

To this day, the Theatre Royal Wakefield has a mission to develop new creative opportunities and experience in their listed building, encouraging high quality engagement in the Performing Arts. Here, patrons can enjoy drama, music, comedy shows and more, including their hugely popular pantomime, attracting shows from all over the UK.

3. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. However, the gorgeous grade 1 listed building was made famous in the 2005 film “Pride and Prejudice” where it played the role of Mr. Darcy’s mansion.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire - used as Mr. Darcy's house in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice.
Image by Mick Lobb/Wikimedia Commons

The film used shots of the exquisite exteriors, as well as the authentic interiors and the choice was apt. It turns out Jane Austen used Chatsworth House as the original inspiration for Mr. Darcy’s home while writing her novel.

4. The Palm House, Kew Gardens

Next, we explore the Palm House, a classic style, grade 1 listed Victorian glasshouse set in Kew Gardens in Richmond. The Palm House was constructed by Richard Turner in 1844 as a place to cultivate the tropical plants explorers brought back to the UK from their expeditions.

The Palm House, Kew Gardens

Its unique, greenhouse structure creates a rainforest climate inside, allowing Palm House to host beautiful tropical plants. However, constructed of iron and Victorian glass, the building now has the iconic status of being one of the largest glasshouses in the world.

5. Sheriff Hutton Hall, York

Originally known as Sheriff Hutton Park, Sheriff Hutton Hall was built between 1619 and 1624 by Sir Arthur Ingram, a London financier. He built the property to impress the gentry, while entertaining his landowning friends. The original Sheriff Hutton Hall, then known as Sheriff Hutton Park, was built between 1619 and 1624 by Sir Arthur Ingram, a rapacious London financier who, when simultaneously building an ostentatious town house in York, set out to impress the gentry by adding a country seat where he could entertain his landowning friends.

Sheriff Hutton Village Hall, York

Ingram used stone taken from the ruins of the nearby Sheriff Hutton Castle to build his new shooting lodge on the site of the former royal “launde house” in the deer park. Rather unusual for a shooting loge, however, was the great hall, chapel and long gallery he added to the structure.

Explore some of England’s most beautiful listed buildings on your next trip to the UK.

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Latest update: June 13, 2021