In 2007 the EU smoking ban was put in place, regardless if you agree with it or not, or have an opinion on why the UK follows the laws to the letter, while many other European countries ignore it is irrelevant, it is UK law and it seems incredibly likely that it will remain in place for the foreseeable future. How does it impact historical buildings though? Offices and shops are fairly straight forward as there are no major legal restrictions on what they are able to do to a building, short of requiring planning approval. For example they can screw a sign to a wall or door without concern they are breaking the law, but for historical buildings, such as those which are listed, the law both requires them to display signage regarding smoking, but also restricts where they can place signs, here are a few examples:
The law requires that any building open to the public clearly displays signage to inform people that they may not smoke, however, these signs do not have to be affixed to the building itself, they could therefore be displayed on a hanging sign which could be removed when the property is not open to the public, such as a stately home, or be beside the entrances on an A-frame or fixed prominent notice board.
The sign itself must by law display the following message “No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premise” and be of a minimum of A5 size, a fairly significant size for a sign which is going to contrast with the general appearance of a historical building.
Please bear in mind that this does not constitute legal advice and we suggest that you consult a solicitor or your local council for clarification on the laws around the ban, there are numerous solicitors who can advise