Barrow has 8 Grade I listed buildings, 15 Grade II* and 249 Grade II buildings. The majority of Grade I listed buildings and structures are in and around the Furness Abbey complex while many Grade II* listed buildings in the town are 19th century tenements on Barrow Island including the Devonshire Buildings. There are a number of Conservation Areas across Barrow named as such for their architectural or historical significance, they include Barrow Island, Biggar, Central Barrow, Furness Abbey, North Scale, North and South Vickerstown and St. George's Square. Historically Barrow's skyline was dominated by shipyard cranes and industrial chimneys, although little evidence of this remains in the present day with the last hammerhead crane – the iconic yellow crane of Buccleuch Dock – being dismantled in 2011, despite calls for listing status like the smaller Titan Clydebank in Glasgow. The tallest building in Barrow is Devonshire Dock Hall at 51 metres (167 ft). Also worth of note are the turbines of Ormonde Wind Farm located just off the coast of Barrow which stand at 152 metres (499 ft).
In terms of housing, the majority of dwellings in Barrow are Victorian terraces. At 47.0% of local housing stock in 2011, the figure is much higher than England's average of 24.5%. 29.7% of dwellings are semi-detached, 12.09% detached and 10.2% flats, maisonettes or apartments. Great variety in housing styles is a feature across central Barrow, Barrow Island, Hindpool, and Vickerstown. Most were built around a grid design in accordance with plans drawn up by James Ramsden.