WE are used to hearing that Listed Building status has been applied to an old or significant building.

For a building or structure to be statutorily listed it will be pre-1800 by default, or up to the present day with an association with a public figure such as ‘Dickens lived here’.

Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the Government - sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The criteria for listing include architectural and historic interest or close historical associations with significant people or events. There are 1800 of these in the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane.  

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Lessermarket from demolition (left), Eastlands London Road (top right) and the Lessermarket in Wote Street (bottom right)Lesser Market from demolition (left), Eastlands London Road (top right) and the Lesser Market in Wote Street (bottom right) (Image: Contributed)

To mention a few of those within the central town area, we have Deanes Almshouses, the War Memorial, Cemetery Lodge and the Lesser Market as well as All Saints’ and St Michael’s Churches.

Some of the buildings in the top-of-town area are listed, such as 5a, 5 and 7 Church Street. The little milestones along the old ‘A’ roads are great survivors and are statutorily listed Grade II.

Achieving Listed status can be difficult. The Basingstoke Heritage Society tried, but failed, to get the Eli Lilly landmark building listed in 2007 as an important building in the ‘moderne’ or art deco style. It was built in 1939.

The listing was refused because some of the large ‘Crittal’ windows had been replaced and the DCMS just thought it was ‘another art deco box’.

The former Wiggins Teape building on Basing View achieved a statutory listing in 2015. The roof gardens on that building (the Hanging Gardens of Basingstoke) were also listed. Today, it is called Mountbatten House and is on Basing View.

This brings us to what is called The Local List. These lists, administered and approved by local authorities permit local listing of interesting buildings and structures with a strong local association.

The Lilly building easily passed this test and is now locally listed although significant changes were made to turn this building into apartments.

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St Thomas' Chapel, Grade II listedSt Thomas' Chapel, Grade II listed (Image: Contributed)

However, the Society did achieve Grade II status for the Pump House at Basing, which pumped water to Hackwood House through the novelty of iron pipes in the early years of the 19th century.

The structure was listed in January 2023, and we supported our application with many documents held in the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester.

This society has nominated many local structures over the years since the scheme began in 2007.

We have recently nominated a small survivor of the cobbled entrance to Thornycroft Works – a reminder of Basingstoke’s industrial past.

We hope the council will agree with us and add it to the Local List. The Alton Light Railway stub near the Waterworks is also now on the list as are many older houses, pubs, air raid shelters and the former GWR stables north of the railway station.

In practice, even a statutorily listed building may be demolished, but it will need a good argument and may involve a final decision with a government minister.

Local Listing too cannot save a building from demolition, but it is an extra advisory to a developer that there will be resistance to the development and hopefully, the building or structure will be saved.

Do you know of a building or structure which you think should be on the Local List? If so, Basingstoke Heritage Society would like to hear from you, got to bas-herit-soc.org.

This article was written by Debbie Reavell from Basingstoke Heritage Society