Cowden Conservation Area covers 4.1 ha and contains 16 listed buildings. It was designated in 1972 and has not been revised since then. It includes the church of St Mary Magdelene, the Square, most of the High Street, the Rectory and the extended graveyard.
The Conservation Area lies within land designated as Metropolitan Green Belt and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Special Landscape Area.
The majority of properties in the Conservation Area are residential, the few exceptions being the Church and Public House. There are no shops and the only local industry is agriculture.