Tag: history

Architecture & Building

Preserving History: The Significance and Protection of Listed Buildings 

Listed buildings stand as tangible reminders of our rich heritage and cultural identity. These architectural treasures are, revered for their historical, architectural, and cultural significance. They provide a glimpse into the past, telling stories that span generations. The process of listing buildings ensures their protection and conservation for future generations to appreciate and cherish. In this article, we delve into the concept of listed buildings, their importance, and the measures taken to safeguard their unique value. 

Understanding Listed Buildings 

Firstly, a listed building is a structure or an architectural ensemble that has been officially recognised and protected for its special architectural, historical, or cultural interest. These buildings are typically assessed and designated by government bodies. Such as, national heritage agencies or conservation organisations, and are often subject to legal protection. 

The listing process involves a thorough evaluation of a building’s historical and architectural merit. Factors considered may include its age, rarity, architectural style, cultural associations, and historical significance. In addition, many countries, buildings are categorised into different grades or levels of significance, providing a hierarchical framework for their preservation. 

Importance of Listed Buildings 

Preserving listed buildings is crucial for various reasons, as they hold immense value both locally and globally: 

  • Historical Significance: Listed buildings provide tangible links to our past. Showcasing the evolution of architectural styles, construction techniques, and social history. So, they serve as living witnesses to important events and cultural movements, enabling us to comprehend and appreciate our roots. 
  • Architectural Splendor: Many listed buildings display exceptional architectural design and craftsmanship. From medieval castles to Georgian townhouses, each structure reflects the prevailing architectural styles of its time. Preserving such buildings allows us to admire and learn from the architectural achievements of our ancestors. 
  • Cultural Identity: Listed buildings often hold great significance to local communities, forming an integral part of their cultural identity. Also, they contribute to the character and charm of towns and cities, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among residents. 
  • Tourism and Economy: Historic buildings can attract tourists, boosting local economies. Visitors are drawn to the charm and authenticity of listed buildings, which often serve as cultural attractions, museums, hotels, or restaurants. So, the preservation and promotion of these structures can contribute to sustainable tourism and economic growth. 

Protecting Listed Buildings 

Furthermore, the protection and conservation of listed buildings involve a range of measures to ensure their long-term preservation: 

  • Legal Framework: Firstly, Governments enact legislation and regulations to safeguard listed buildings. This may include granting statutory protection, imposing restrictions on alterations or demolition, and providing financial incentives or grants for maintenance and restoration. 
  • Maintenance and Repair: Regular maintenance and repair are vital to the preservation of listed buildings. Historic materials and techniques must be used to ensure authenticity. So, skilled craftsmen are often employed to carry out specialised work. 
  • Planning and Development Control: Planning authorities play a crucial role in controlling development around listed buildings. Any proposed alterations or new construction that could impact the historical or architectural integrity of a listed building will be carefully assessed and monitored. 
  • Public Awareness and Education: Finally, Raising public awareness about the significance of listed buildings is essential. Educational programs, guided tours, and heritage events help foster appreciation for these structures and encourage public involvement in their preservation. 


Listed buildings are tangible links to our past, embodying our cultural heritage and architectural legacy. By recognising their historical, architectural, and cultural value, and implementing protective measures, we can ensure that these remarkable structures continue to enrich our lives for generations to come. Preserving our listed buildings is not only a matter of safeguarding history but also a testament to our commitment to preserving our cultural identity and fostering a sense of shared heritage. 

Credits - Neil Theasby


Credits – Neil Theasby

Old Cragg Hall
Advice Center

What Will Happen If You Alter A Listed Building Without Consent?

What is a listed building?  

Firstly, a listed building is a building that has been placed on a statutory list. Maintained by Historic England, historic environment Scottland, and in Wales and historic Northern Ireland. The building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority.   

There are 3 types of listed buildings:  

  • Firstly, grade l – Buildings of exceptional interest.  
  • Grade ll* – Particularly important building of more than special interest.  
  • Finally, grade ll – buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.  

What is planning permission?  

Planning permission refers to the approval needed for construction, expansion, and sometimes demolition.

 listed building consent what is it?  

Consent from the local planning authority for the demolition of a listed building or the carrying out works for the alteration or extension, in any manner that would affect its character. 

Listed building offenses –  

Offenses given by the planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.  

It is a criminal offense to carry out work without having listed building consent. Not all projects require consent, only the works that affect the character of the building.  

Carrying out building works to a listed building or changing it in any way without consent can result in court action and legal penalties. And it is also illegal to fail to comply with an enforcement notice.   

According to the planning act 1990 under section 9. Doing work without consent to the building can result in a person being charged. As well as, being fined up to £20,000 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.  

In addition, the maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine. In determining the fine a judge must have regard to any financial benefit which has accrued or appears likely to accrue to the wrongdoer so as to deny them any benefits.  

It is also an offense for anyone who would do damage to a listed building. Or to do anything which causes or is likely to result in damage to the building with the intention of causing damage. Damage to the building by an unauthorised person other than the owner or occupier would be criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. 

When do I need listed building consent? | Building surveyor Cambridge |  Anglian Home Surveyors

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Architecture & Building

The First Architect In History – The Fascinating Story Of Imhotep

Imhotep - World History Encyclopedia
Statue of Imhotep

Who was Imhotep?  

Imhotep (2667 – 2600 BCE) whose name means “the one who comes in peace”. Was an Egyptian polymath best known as the architect of King Djoser’s step pyramid. Imhotep was a commoner by birth who advanced to the position of one of the most important and influential men in Egypt through his natural talents.  

He was chancellor to the pharaoh Djoser, high priest of the sun god Ra, and a vizier. As well as a poet, physician, mathematician, astronomer, and architect. In time he also became the god of wisdom and medicine. Some sources also say he was the god of science and architecture.  

Djoser step pyramid (2670 – 2650) – 

Under King Djoser’s reign (c. 2670 BCE) Imhotep was vizier and chief architect. He was the probable architect of Djoser’s step pyramid.  

When Imhotep began building the step pyramid, he changed the traditional shape of the King’s mastaba from a rectangular base to a square base. The reason why Imhotep decided to change the shape is unknown. But many think he wanted to have a square base from the start. 

 The masonry was laid not vertically but inclined toward the middle of the pyramid to increase the structural stability. Limestone bricks were used to build the pyramid.  

Imhotep decorated the pyramid with inscriptions and engravings of reeds.   

When the pyramid was completed it stood 204 feet high. It was the tallest structure of its time.  It was also the first pyramid built in Egypt.

Djoser was so impressed with the pyramid he disregarded the ancient pattern that only the king’s name may appear on monuments. Djoser then had Imhotep’s name inscribed on it well.  

When Djoser died he was placed in the burial chamber beneath the step pyramid. And Imhotep went on the serve his successors.  

Imhotep’s other architectural projects –  

Imhotep then went on to design and build another step pyramid.  Pharaoh Sekhemkhet asked Imhotep to construct another pyramid. He planned it to be greater than Djoser’s. The pyramid was never completed because the pharaoh died during the 6th year of his reign.  

After Imhotep’s death –  

About 3,000 years after his death, he was gradually glorified and defied. Imhotep is among the few non-royal Egyptians who were deified after their deaths. Traditions from long after his death treated him as a great author of wisdom texts, and especially a physician. Soon after he was worshiped as a demi-god.

2,000 years after his death, Imhotep’s status had risen to that of a god of medicine and healing.

Imhotep’s tomb has never been found and It is suspected his tomb is in north Saqqara. Where most well-known tombs of the period are located.  

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Conversions, Extensions

Things To Know Before Getting A Dormer Extension

A dormer is a staple to a lot of people when it comes to a loft conversion however, it isn’t to everyone’s taste. Although, they play a really important role in creating more space on the inside, and add a little more character to the outside. 

What is a dormer? 

A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. There are many various types and shapes of roof dormers. It can be large or small, have a pitched or flat roof depending on the planning permission.  

The function of a loft dormer is to create daylight and headroom in a sloping roof space. Once you have one installed the space below the pitched roof can be used. This means that the space can be transformed into a new bedroom, bathroom, or living area.  

Many people are not a fan of dormers because they don’t always look as good on the outside as they do on the inside. But if they are designed well, and by a good architect then they are a great contribution to the roof.  

Some of the different types are:  

  • Gable fronted – The most common type. It has a pitched roof of two sloping planes, supported by an outward face. 
  • Hip roof dormer – It has a roof composed of three sloping planes that rise from each side of the frame. 
  • Flat roof dormer – The roof of this is a single flat plane approximately horizontal.  
  • Shed dormer – This also has a flat plane roof, but it is sloped in the same direction as the principal roof.  
  • Lucarne – A dormer on the slope of a gothic spire, usually slender and gable fronted.  
Dormer Windows 101: All You Need to Know - Bob Vila

Will you need planning permission for a dormer extension? 

Planning permission is often not required however, whether or not you need planning permission will depend on these factors: 

  • The size 
  • What type of house you live in 
  • Where you live in the UK 

If you are within the permitted development rights, you can go ahead without planning permission.  

History of dormers –  

The word dormer comes from the middle French, meaning “sleeping room”, as dormers provided light and space to attic-level bedrooms. Dormer windows were popularised by French architect Francois Mansart (1598 – 1666), who used dormers extensively in the mansard roofs he designed for 17th century Paris. Although, the first dormer window appeared in residential roofs in 16th century Britain.  

17th-century French dormers

The Prices –  

Dormer window prices can vary massively per specialist. The average price is between £2250 – £3600. Whereas, a dormer loft conversion in the UK can cost anything upwards of £20,000 or around £500 – £600-meter square. And depending on what you would like to include the prices will increase. For example, the cost for a master bedroom with an ensuite will sit around £35,000 – £45,000. Dormers have an average return on investment value of 60 –70%.  

How long do they take to build? 

Determined by the overall size and roof work requirements, a dormer loft conversion may take four to six weeks to complete. A hip to gable end conversion may also take up to 6 weeks.  

Depending on the workmanship and degree of weathering the roof gets the average longevity of one is 25 years.  

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Architecture & Building

How Architecture Impacts The World At Large

Throughout history, architecture has stood as a representation of society, reflecting the values, success, and eventually the downfall of civilizations over time. We can learn a lot from the people before us, the ones who inhabited monumental structures and buildings. By studying the environment of the past, and combining it with modern-day research, it is clear to see the effects architecture has on people.   

The importance of architecture  

Architecture exists to create a physical environment in which people live in. However, it’s also a part of our culture, it is a representation of how we see our country or ourselves. For example, London, England has Victorian architecture that was constructed during the reign of Queen Victoria. And in Greece and Rome, the architectural style is classical and often expressed by the temple as an oblong enclosure or surrounded by columns. Styles of buildings were originally shaped by the climate of the location. Also what materials were available, and the values of the society building them.    

Architecture grew from the human need for shelter, but not it’s a form of identity. In addition, the internet and new technology are bringing the world closer together, they are finding more common ground between them. Cultures are coming together and they are sharing designs, which is quite a powerful thing.  

15 Top Architectural Styles

How architecture can affect a person  

 Architecture affects people on a personal level. And it can have a profound impact on its occupants. The layout of the space and the materials can contribute to a ds a person’s health, mood, and productivity. People who work in well-designed spaces are more focused, are less sick, and contribute more to their company. although the space needs to be functional it should also make you feel comfortable  

The impact it has on the environment  

The impact on the environment can be positive and negative. Studies have shown that man-made structures constitute 40% of the world’s energy use. And these numbers are only going to rise. Although big architectural buildings are popular and the most famous, creating eco-friendly structures ensures the existence of future generations.  

Sustainable architecture seeks a positive environment and architecture relationship. For starters using environment-friendly construction materials are essential. Also designing structures that have maximum use of natural light and air circulation will minimise the use of electricity. One of the main problems for the environment is pollution, building with a reduced carbon footprint reduces the increase of greenhouse gases.  

Sustainable architecture

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Architecture & Building

The Need To Know Differences Between A Conservatory And An Orangery

One of the most common questions asked when it comes to a conservatory is, what is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery.  

What Is An Orangery?  

An orangery is a brick structure with large windows and a flat roof with a glass lantern.  

They often have the distinctive look of: 

  • Firstly, large tall windows on one side 
  • Stone or brick buildt 
  • A flat roof with a central glass lantern 
  • A heating source such as a stove 
  • Wooden shutters on the windows to retain heat at night 

History Of  The Orangery  

The orangery originated from the renaissance gardens of Italy when glass-making technology was upgrading and clear glass was being produced. Typically orangeries were constructed with base and pillars made of brick or stone, with large panes of glass to let in light and warmth. Because of this, their main function was providing delicate, exotic plants with shelter and protection during the winter. 

 However, they were not affordable to everyone. Being made of large amounts of expensive glass, and as homes to exotic plants. The orangery was found in the gardens of wealthy fashionable residences. And they soon became a symbol of wealth.  

Today, orangeries are used less for wintering tropical plants and more for additional living space. However, they retain the classic features such as a solid base and expanses of glass.   

Orangeries Southampton | Orangery Prices Southampton

What Is A Conservatory?  

A conservatory is a glass structure with a brick base and a pitched glazed roof. 

What is classed as a conservatory: 

  • Firstly, a fully glazed structure with low brick base 
  • The roof is more than 75% glass 
  • The wall must be at least 50% glass  
  • The structure is built against the wall of a house with a closing door or window. 
  • Must have standalone heating source separate from the main house.  

History Of The Conservatory  

Conservatories became popular in the 19th century. In 1832, the introduction of sheet glass enabled the development of a fully glazed structure. And as the English fell in love with glass buildings they began to appear in most cities. Just like orangeries, conservatory were standalone structures of great size that housed a collection of exotic, rear plants and sometimes birds and animals.  

 Once the world wars ended the building of glass structures began again. Sunrooms were the first glazed rooms to be built on an ordinary house. A basic structure is attached to the house to take advantage of sun warmth and views from the house. However, they would be very cold when the sun wasn’t shining.  

The Different Types of Conservatories | MyGlazing.com

Planning Permission –  

For planning permission purposes, orangeries are considered single-storey extensions. Permitted development rights offer people a lot of possibilities to extend their property without a full planning application. And the rights for a single-storey extension are really generous and allow a reasonable-sized extension. In fact, conservatories also have to follow the same guidelines.  

Does A Conservatory Or An Orangery Add Value To Your Property? 

The majority of homes improvements should add value to your home if it’s done at a high standard. A conservatory can add between 5-12% to the value of the property. Whilst an orangery can add ass much as an extension to the property depending on the finish.  

However, when deciding if you want to add a conservatory or an orangery you need to think about what would be the best fit for your current house.  

Although, the two are very similar there are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself to decide the perfect addition to your home. With this in mind, orangeries do tend to be a bit more expensive than a conservatory, but it is important to consider long-term how you will use the space.   

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