How we choose our buildings

There are many stages to rescuing a building and turning it into a Landmark available for holidays, but the funds to make this possible must be raised entirely through donations. We very rarely buy buildings, and then only in cases where exceptional merit and risk coincide with external funding for purchase costs.

For the most frequently asked questions about how we choose our buildings please click here

Initial approach

Each year we receive details of well over 100 historic buildings in need of rescue. Our resources only allow us to take on a few so we must decide whether a building meets our criteria.

At an event at St. James’s Palace hosted by our Patron HRH The Prince of Wales in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we renewed the commitment to our charity’s bold mission to save irreplaceable threatened historic buildings. Further information can be found here.

Our key criteria

There are three key criteria to be met for us to rescue a building for use as a Landmark:

  • Is the building important - historically, architecturally or culturally?
  • Will it be lost without our help?
  • Will it be a nice place to stay for a holiday?

Only if these criteria are met do we decide to carry out a site visit for more thorough assessment.

We very rarely act as a letting agent for buildings owned or restored by others (we are a building preservation charity first and foremost, not a holiday letting company).

If you believe your building meets our criteria and you would like us to consider it as a Landmark property, please email a few photos of its current condition and a brief description of its circumstances and why it needs our help to Alastair Dick-Cleland on [email protected] or post them to our Head Office at Shottesbrooke.

Further information can be found here


If the site visit confirms the building’s potential for Landmark use, a Project Evaluation is commissioned. This gives a professional's view of the challenges of the project and a first estimate of cost.            



We prefer freehold tenure, but many Landmarks are on long leases.
Negotiation is needed on terms, access and services.
Finally the building passes into our care.              


Designing the scheme

The building is analysed, researched and recorded.
An architect is chosen and draws up preliminary plans for its conservation and, if necessary, adaptation.              


The tender process

A quantity surveyor draws up a Bill of Quantities and contractors are invited to submit their bids for the restoration contract.              



Often we need to raise substantial amounts from individuals, as well as drawing up detailed applications to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, statutory bodies, businesses and grant-making trusts.            


Conservation and adaptation

Once the funding is in place the chosen contractor can finally move on site, supervised by one of our in-house Surveyors.
Main structural repairs are carried out. Often, the best-laid plans need adjustment as the building reveals its secrets.
Kitchens and bathrooms are installed and painting, staining and polishing carried out before furnishing.



Much of the furniture is restored, adapted or specially made.
Standard items like sofas and kitchen equipment are delivered.
Curtains may be screen-printed with a motif from the building.
The furnishing team move in to furnish the building.           


Operational Readiness

Our regional management team takes over the building, adding all the bits and pieces a guest might need in a Landmark and ensuring that everything works, all services are in place and that the building is ready for guests. Housekeepers are appointed from the local community. By this point, we will have already released bookings via the web and our Booking Office, with new photography, layout designs and guest information.


Completion as a Landmark

The History Album is completed: a unique record of the building's history and restoration.
The first Landmarkers arrive for their holiday, their letting income supporting future maintenance. The building has been saved.