Records office in Bury St Edmunds awarded listed building status

Suffolk Record Office, in Raingate Street, Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk Record Office, in Raingate Street, Bury St Edmunds
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A records office in Bury St Edmunds is among eight libraries in the country to have been granted listed building status.

Suffolk Record Office, in Raingate Street, has been awarded a Grade II listing for its ‘architectural interest as a refined historicist post-war design’.

It joins seven other libraries to be listed including The British Library, Bourne Hall Library and Social Centre, in Epsom as well as those in Bebington, in The Wirral; Milton Keynes; Chandler’s Ford, in Hampshire and West Sussex.

Local historian Martyn Taylor said the record office was a ‘rare example of a 1960s purpose built library’ and listed status ensures its character is preserved through the planning system.

Built in 1963 to 65, Historic England says the record office was designed by the ‘accomplished’ architect Donald McMorran, of the ‘significant post-war architectural partnership’ McMorran and Whitby.

It was first proposed as a library headquarters as part of a new complex of county offices in Bury in 1954. There was already a small library in the town, on Angel Hill, run by the borough council.

In 1960, the scheme was revised to provide a police station (built in 1962-64), the library and council offices (built in 1966-68).

Following local government reorganisation in 1974, the library became a branch of the county record office.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “I’m delighted that I’ve been able to list Suffolk Record Office - largely unaltered, it has remained an important part of the community for over 50 years.”