Five British businesses run from unusual listed buildings

Protected in a variety of ways and guaranteed for future generations, listed buildings are more numerous in Britain than many realise. There are hundreds of thousands of them throughout the cities and countryside of Britain, and they come in many forms. From churches and art museums to residential homes and industrial facilities, you likely live very close to at least one listed building of some type. Many people live or work in listed buildings, but some listed buildings garner more attention than others. We’ll review five Britain businesses run from listed buildings that’ll make you take a second look.

Trellick Tower

Residential flats are businesses for some people, and one distinct listed building in London that fits the profile of unusual is the Trellick Tower. Standing at roughly 100 metres tall, this Grade 2, 31-storey block of flats has been an element of pop culture in a variety of ways, including its portrayal in the 1975 novel High Rise and the 1988 film For Queen and Country. More recently, it has earned pop culture status through its inclusion on or in a variety of items, including clothing, music, and tourism references. Due to the sheer number of people who live here, it is protected additionally by listed property insurance.

The George Inn

One of the oldest, if not the oldest, pubs in London, the George Inn has been around for nearly 500 years. First spotted on a map dating back to 1543, this pub is still open for business and manages to make a news headline or two every once in a while. Its rustic design and charm keeps bringing people through its doors and it is listed as a Grade 2 building.

Esso Petrol Station, Birstall

With so many listed buildings in Britain, you’ll certainly find a few that might make you look twice. One of them is the Esso Petrol Station in Birstall, which was built in the 1960s. The petrol pumps are covered by five circular awnings – completely unique in modern petrol station design – and it was recently ranked as having one of the best designs in the world. It was listed by English Heritage in 2012 and seemingly defies the traditional criteria required in order to be listed. Besides its unique aesthetics, the petrol station is otherwise a perfectly normal one.

Cauliflower Hotel Gin Palace

Designed during the Victorian Era, the gin palace inside the Cauliflower Hotel in Essex obtained listed building status in 2015. Its inclusion of stained glass, carved wood and brass rails, and the need for preserving them, were what led this beautiful bar to be included on the list. Also a Grade 2 listed building, it briefly closed but has since reopened and can be visited by the public.

The Forum, Bath

Open more than 80 years as an art deco cinema in Somerset, The Forum has since undergone significant renovations. Designed to hold 2,000 people, and previously serving as a cinema, dancing school and even a bingo hall, it currently functions as both a church, held under a trust, and a performance centre. A wide variety of exhibits and businesses utilise the facility for various purposes throughout the year, which help pay in part for the facility’s maintenance and existence.

With so many listed buildings and locations in Britain, there are hundreds more that are home to businesses. The ability for history and business to merge is not only possible, but also often a good idea for business owners seeking to attract publicity, tourism and attention.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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