The childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney have been given Grade II listed status by English Heritage. The two houses – Mendips at 251 Menlove Avenue, formerly owned by Lennon’s aunt Mimi and uncle George, and the McCartney family home at 20 Forthlin Road – are both owned by the National Trust.We are delighted that the two Beatles houses have been recognised in this way. Grade II listing gives these special places the recognition they deserve as an important part of British culture. The Trust has always been a champion of special places whatever the era, whether it’s the landscape of Stonehenge or our more recent heritage. Our towns and cities in the North West contain stories that belong to the world, and these two properties are an important part of that narrative. This is fab news for Beatles fans everywhere.John Darlington, National TrustThe houses were where the two songwriters composed and rehearsed many of their early songs. They are open to visitors, having been restored to how they were when the former Beatles were growing up.Lennon lived at Mendips from the ages of five to 22. He wrote the song Please Please Me in the house. McCartney lived at Forthlin Road from 13-22, and around 100 Beatles songs were composed there.I am delighted to learn that English Heritage have classified Mendips as a Grade II listed building. Mendips always meant a great deal to John and it was where his childhood dreams came true for himself and for the world.Grade II status means that the buildings cannot be demolished or structurally altered without special permission from the local planning authority. They are described by English Heritage as “nationally important and of special interest”.Listing very often celebrates architectural or aesthetic distinction but in this case it celebrates historical association.The Beatles played an incredibly important role in the national cultural story and the houses are a place of intense creativity and musical production.These new listings mark the special historical interest of the buildings where hits such as ‘Please Please Me’ were composed and where the phenomenon that was The Beatles began.Simon ThurleyChief executive, English HeritageOther Beatles-related locations also given listed status are the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool, and the studios and zebra crossing at Abbey Road in London.