Help with undergraduate and postgraduate research

We would like to be able to help, but often we are asked for information that we are unable to give.

The last thing we want to do is alienate people whose support we would value, so here are some notes to help you put your request into the context of our work.

It may help you to know that we do not:

  • cover Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • deal with buildings built before c. 1837 or after c. 1914
  • keep lists of buildings by type (e.g. all corn exchanges in Britain)
  • keep files on any building that has not been the subject of a listed building consent application
  • list buildings (although we sometimes recommend buildings for listing)
  • keep files on conservation areas
  • designate conservation areas (although we sometimes support proposals to designate them)
  • have a library that can be consulted by the public
  • advise on Victorian life and social history in general
  • give grants for research, study or building conservation
  • buy, develop, renovate or have control over any buildings apart from our own headquarters
  • keep lists of recommended tradespeople
  • recommend particular products or services
  • keep lists of properties for sale
  • complete questionnaires (we feel that in most cases to answer them would give a misleading impression of our work and policies).

On the other hand, if you can target your question precisely at us, we are much more likely to be able to help you. We do:

  • keep files on current listed building consent applications that we are commenting on
  • keep some files on past listed building consent applications that we have commented on
  • produce reports on matters affecting conservation and architectural history
  • produce regular newsletters and an annual report
  • produce various publications

To be able to help you, we need something precise to go on: the name of an architect, the address and the date of the building, or a request for a comment on a specific aspect of a particular case.

Can I study your case files?


Yes. To make an appointment, please write to or email us stating the name and address of the building in which you are interested, the grade at which it is listed, the name of the relevant local authority and if possible the date of the listed building consent application. We can then tell you what, if any information we have got. We cannot undertake to photocopy files. If you are using the post, please send a large SAE for our reply.

Good general guides to conservation and planning law

Charles Mynors, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Monuments, 4th edn., Sweet & Maxwell, 1999.

Roy Speer and Michael Dade, How to Stop and Influence Planning Permission, Stonepound Books, new edition 2002.

Roy Speer and Michael Dade, How to Stop and Influence Planning Permission, Stonepound Books, 1998.

Consult Heritage Gateway to discover whether a building is listed. Local planning authorities also keep maps showing the boundaries of local conservation areas. They may also have information for residents of conservation areas, or design guides to show how to repair and maintain houses in conservation areas.

Specialist art and architecture collections include: