“Outstanding architectural” British Library granted Grade I listed status

British Library

The British Library in London has become one of the most recently constructed buildings to be given Grade I listed status for “outstanding architectural and historic interest”.

It was designed by architect Sir Colin St John Wilson and his partner MJ Long and is home to documents including Magna Carta manuscripts and handwritten Beatles lyrics.

Construction of the library on London’s Euston Road began in 1982 and its doors opened in 1997, although moving in all of the books – estimated to be around 14 million – took four years.


It has been described as “one of England’s finest modern public buildings” by heritage body Historic England and includes five public floors with 11 reading rooms surrounding the centrepiece of the King’s Library tower, which contains a collection complied by King George III.

“The British Library divided opinion from the moment its design was revealed,” said heritage minister Tracey Crouch, “but I am glad that expert advice now allows me to list it, ensuring that its iconic design is protected for future generations to enjoy.”

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