Houghton on the Hill Conservation Area embraces the older core of the village which falls gently southwards from the main Leicester - Uppingham A47 road. It consists of a long, very sinuous, Main Street some 0.8km long with Scotland Lane an elongated side loop. Although there has been some infill development within this core particularly off Scotland Lane, the principal village expansion has been to the west and on either side of the A47.
Main Street curves and bends downwards from the A47 by a group of scots pine to the ironstone Church of St. Catharine and the village school. The older buildings line this street with their gardens and walls, some directly onto the street, others set back, and some with gables facing the street. It is the variety of the streets walls and buildings, their size, age, materials and placement and for the continually changing street scene around the curves that gives Houghton its special character. Even the church is at an angle to the street and the little 19th century school building is tucked away from the street frontage. Houghton is mainly built of red brick, though some buildings are colourwashed. There is stone in many plinths and walls. Some older buildings are timber framed as No. 9. High Street. Roofs are of slate, Swithland slate and thatch. Although most boundary walls are of red brick, there is some mud and stone. Subsidiary buildings as the former forge (No. 14) and the domestic pig sties at No. 9 and sheds intermingle with dwellings.
The northern entrance to Scotland Lane drops steeply away from the Main Street where it curves strongly and has an island War Memorial cross on a remnant green. The Edwardian dwellings overlooking it add more variety to the street scene.
Scotland Lane is more open and diverse with modern individual houses and local authority housing schemes such as The Rise, (being a planned housing scheme around a square) and St. Catharine's Terrace (a sheltered housing range), being interspersed between older cottages and gardens. These are fewer and in general of a more humble origin than those in Main Street. They include a terrace raised above the road.
See also Listed Buildings in Houghton.
Map showing Conservation Area.