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How to study a listed building; suggested learning activities

These activities can be done with the whole class, or you can ask your students to search different localities, possibly once you have made an initial selection of images. In a large town or city you may wish to narrow the selection further to a district.

The activities can be used as part of a local study or for citizenship, in particular KS2, Unit 9 section 4 'New uses for empty buildings'. They can be adapted to suit the age and ability of your students, time available or focus of your study. You will need to try the searches yourself beforehand to make sure the results are valid for the chosen locality.

Signpost  Weston, Cheshire - IoE number 057145 © J M Pickering


· Ask students to search for all the listed buildings in a defined locality; how many listed buildings are there?

· Are they all buildings? If not what other structures are there?

· Do you know why buildings are listed? If not, find out from the section of the web site called Listed buildings and the listing process

· Choose one listed building. [NB teachers are advised that not all listed buildings are open to the public and that if you or your students wish to focus on a private house issues of privacy and access must be considered]

· Print off the list description and explain why you think it is listed. Click here for help.

· Annotate the image from the list description. Take 3 colours and underline the parts of the description that relate to a) Type of building, b) History and Dates and c) Description. Label all the features mentioned in the description.

· What else would you like to know about the history of the building?

Winding Gear, Woodhorn Colliery, Ashington, Northumberland - IoE number: 235913 © Mrs Anne Swearman ARPS DPAGB AFIAP

· Click here for information on tracing the history of a building.

· Were you surprised to find that this building is listed? If so, explain why.

· Do you think this building should be listed?

· Make 2 columns: Reasons why it should have been listed/Reasons why it should not have been listed.

· Fill them in yourself and then ask 10 other people. Try to include some adults and some young people, some people who have known the building for a long time and some new to the area.

· How do the two columns compare? Was there any difference in the views of different groups of people? Why did this happen?

· Do you still have the same idea about whether the building should have been listed? If not why have you changed your mind?

· Are there any buildings in your area that have not been listed but you think should have?

· Prepare a report giving the reasons why you think it should be lVictorian Pillar Box, Cheltenham - IoE number 475413 © Mrs Vivienne Preeceisted, do some research so that you have some facts to back up your ideas.

· Take some photographs to show different features and look for old photographs showing how the building used to look and illustrating how it has been used.

· Ask other people if they will write a letter of support that you could attach your report.

· Write a proposal about the future use of the building. Could it be put to a better use?

· Put your report on a school or community web site and ask for comments.

· Is there a listed building in your area that is in poor condition? You can check on the 'Buildings at Risk' register to see if it is officially regarded as in danger.

· Search local newspapers [old editions should be kept in your reference or local studies library] to find out why it is not being looked after.

· Visit your local council offices and look at local plans to see if anyone has plans for it.

· Compose a letter to send to the local newspaper giving your views on the building and your ideas for what should happen to it in the future.

Follow any of the links below for more information on listed buildings

Listed buildings and the listing process :
Useful publications : How to trace the history of a building

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Please note that the inclusion of a listed building on this website does not mean it is open to the public.