Thanks to thousands of years of rich history, the UK is home to a myriad of interesting buildings, each with a fascinating story to tell. Buildings in the UK can be listed if they are deemed to have historical or architectural interest or importance. It is incredibly important to preserve such significant structures. As experienced chartered surveyors in Cornwall and the West Country, Martin Perry Associates works alongside Historic England to help restore and renovate listed building projects. As experts in our field, we are passionate about historical architecture and engineering, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite and most interesting listed buildings in the UK.
Abbey Road Crossing – London
Interestingly, listed status is not just granted to monuments and buildings. Perhaps one of the most famous pedestrian crossings in the world, the Abbey Road crossing featured on the front cover of the iconic Beatles album of the same name. Now Grade II listed, the crossing attracts thousands of visitors. Its listing is partnered with Abbey Road Studios itself, which still operates as a recording studio and houses a Beatles museum.
Tidal Observatory – Cornwall
In the early 20th century, Ordnance Survey ordered the construction of three tidal observatories, in order to establish and measure Mean Sea Level. The first was built in Dunbar, Scotland and the second in Felixstowe. The third is found at the north end of the pier at Newlyn Harbour. However, after inconsistencies between the three tidal observatories started appearing Ordnance Survey decided to choose Newlyn as the official measuring station. For over 100 years the observatory contributed to important tidal data studies and is still used today to gather scientific tidal data.
Acoustic Mirrors – Kent
Before the development of radar in the 1930s, scientists used an ingenious method to detect possibly offensive aircraft. Acoustic mirrors were designed to reflect the sound of faraway aircraft engines, and concentrate it to a focal point, where it was picked up by a listener, or in later years, a microphone. The acoustic mirrors found in Fan Bay in Kent were listed as a rare example of a surviving pair, and for being carved into the cliff. Most cases are freestanding.
Pack of Cards – Devon
Now a quirky pub in the village of Combe Martin, the ‘Pack o’ Cards’ is said to have been built in the 1690s by a young squire who found his fortune playing card games. Now Grade II* listed, the house was built to look like a deck of cards, on a plot measuring 52×53 feet – representing the cards in a pack, plus the joker. In keeping with the theme, the house has four floors, representing the four suits and 52 stairs. Each floor has 13 doors and fireplaces, representing the number of cards in a suit and before the introduction of the window tax, the number of windows totalled 52.
Florence Mine – West Cumbria
Florence Mine is one of the best surviving examples of an iron mining pit head in England, complete with a vast majority of its machinery and equipment. Iron mining changed the face of industry in the UK during the mid-19th century. However, a considerable decline in the second half of the 20th century led to the closure and ultimate site demolition of many pit heads.
Battersea Power Station – London
Initially built between 1929 – 1955, the two decommissioned coal power stations in Battersea make up one of the most significant brick buildings in the world. The building, with its four chimneys and red brick, stands as something of a landmark and was awarded Grade II* listed status in 2007. In 2012, works began to renovate the building into 250 residences, bar, restaurants and offices, the latter now being occupied by Apple.
Do you live in a listed building? Make sure you’re up to date with the current legislation in our Guide to Listed Buildings. For structural design and reports on buildings new and old, contact us today or call 01579 345777.