Photographing Listed Buildings
Part of the reason for this website is to allow people to submit their own photos of listed
buildings. However, it's important that any photos published here are taken in accordance with both
the law and respect for building occupants.
As far as the law is concerned, you do not need permission to take photos of any building,
provided you do not breach anyone's privacy by doing so. There are a few exceptions to this, mainly where the
subject of the photo is a military establishment or other protected location, but the vast
majority of listed buildings can be freely photographed without permission provided that you
don't break any other laws in the process.
However, just because something is legal doesn't always
make it desirable, and therefore we ask you to follow these simple guidelines when photographing
- Make sure that you only take photos of occupied buildings from a public place, or somewhere you have permission to be.
- For unoccupied buildings, such as ruins and disused industrial buildings, we're a little more relaxed about this rule as there are no
privacy implications in photographing unoccupied buildings. And there are many disused listed buildings which are not easily visible from
the street. However, please be cautious if you do go off the beaten track to take photos. Be careful not to cause any damage, and take care for your own safety.
We do not condone any form of forced entry. Don't go anywhere that you can't just walk to off the street, and don't walk over crops in fields.
- Don't take photos that include people on private premises not open to the public.
- Public crowd scenes
(eg, in a street which includes a listed building, or in a building which is open to the public) are OK,
but not private property owners, residents, workers or their visitors.
- Don't take photos that include the interior of any residential building not open to the public
The exterior of any building visible from a public place is public information. But
don't take photos of the interior of residential buildings, eg through open doors or windows,
unless you have the permission of the occupants.
Obviously, if you have permission to be on the premises, or it's a building that you own
or occupy, then you can ignore these guidelines. And we do encourage building occupants
to submit photos of their own property, particularly aspects which are not normally
visible to the public. But if you're photographing someone else's property then it's
important not to go beyond these guidelines without explicit permission.
We also ask that you make sure that your photos meet a few basic requirements for submission to the website.
- Make sure that your photo is correctly oriented, with the sky (or roof) at the top! It's surprising how many we get that have to be rejected because the photo is
on its side, or even upside down.
- Don't overdo it with Photoshop. Basic tweaks to a photo (eg, getting the colour balance right) are fine, but don't use any visible effects.
- If you must include a watermark, keep it discreet. A small watermark advertising your website is OK, provided that it consists
of nothing more than a single, small line of text at the bottom of the image. Anything larger, or that obscures the main subject of the photo, will be rejected.
- Don't add any border to the photo.
- If you're submitting an old photo scanned from a print or slide, crop it so that there is no border.
- Don't submit old photos scanned from books. Apart from the risk of infringing copyright, images that are scans of anything other than a flat print will look awful.