Buildings can be listed if they illustrate one of eight categories of special interest. These characteristics are defined by the legislation as being (1)architectural, (2)historical, (3)archaeological, (4)artistic, (5)cultural, (6)scientific, (7)technical and (8)SOCIAL.
The social characteristic is further explained in the guidelines as one that "embraces the qualities for which a structure or area has become a focus of spiritual, political, symbolic or other sentiment to any group of people. A community attachment to a place because it is an essential reference point for that community's identity, whether as a meeting place or place of tradition, ritual or ceremony. tHis category of special interest may not be directly related to the phyiscal fabric of a particular structure ane may survive physical alteration. In identifying it therefore, care should be taken to idenitify the pattern or internal relations of the parts of the structure that consitute its special interest, in order to ensure that they are conserved.