Hampshire building once described as a 'cruise liner' given protected status in Jubilee celebrations

The building was opened by The Queen in 1993. Credit: ITV Meridian

A building in Winchester, once described as a 'cruise liner' by Prince Philip, has been given protected status ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The announcement is one of 6 landmark sites across the UK that have been given listed status by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Hampshire's Record Office, which holds 1,000 years of history, is the youngest building to be named by the DCMS.

Opened in 1993 by The Queen, the building has won several awards for its unique design. which was envisaged by staff at the County Council.

The building has won several awards during its lifetime. Credit: ITV Meridian

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Rob Humby, called the award a 'special accolade' which recognises the 'architectural merits' of the building.

“It is a great honour that Hampshire Record Office is one of just six extraordinary sites across the country that have been listed in honour of their connection to Her Majesty The Queen, and in recognition of their architectural merits." He said.

"This is a special accolade to the people who were involved in this project and those who continue to work and use the building today. Anyone can visit this treasure trove that holds centuries of Hampshire’s fascinating history for people to enjoy now and in the future.”

The building is just one of many designed by the County Council that have won awards, thanks to a 'thriving' in-house property team.

Hants has won multiple awards over the past thirty years, including most recently for The Lookout, a stunning new visitor centre at Lepe Country Park, and for Barton Farm Primary School in Winchester which has been credited for its environmental and architectural qualities.

Councillor Steve Forster, Executive Member for Commercial Strategy, Estates and Property added: “The Record Office was designed by the County Council’s in-house architect’s team, led in those days by the eminent County Architect Sir Colin Stansfield Smith, to include pioneering techniques that supported the preservation of fragile documents, whilst offering a welcoming and practical space for visitors.

"We are very proud of Hampshire County Council’s continuing distinguished track record of designing exceptional public buildings that support the delivery of high-calibre local services, whilst creating quality places for our communities to enjoy.”

Anyone can visit the Hampshire Record Office, which has a unique collection of stories from the past.

Ranging from letters by Florence Nightingale and Jane Austen, to war diary entries from the Western Front recording the 1914 Christmas Truce, to the Winchester Pipe Rolls - a series of medieval account rolls recording the minutiae of farming life on dozens of Hampshire manors from 1208 onwards (the most complete set of manorial accounts in the country).