Lennon and McCartney homes given Grade II listed status
The childhood homes of John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney have been listed as Grade II buildings by English Heritage.
Lennon's house - Mendips, on Menlove Avenue in Woolton, and McCartney's home on Forthlin Road in Allerton, are both in Liverpool.
English Heritage said the two houses were where The Beatles composed and rehearsed many of their early hits.
Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said The Beatles were "tremendously important".
He said that the listing meant the houses were "legally protected from being bashed around or altered in future".'Dreams came true'
McCartney lived at Forthlin Road from the age of 13 to 22 and about 100 Beatles songs were composed there.
Lennon lived at Mendips, a 1930s semi-detached house, with his Aunt Mimi and her husband George Toogood Smith, from the age of five to 22.
It was where Lennon and McCartney wrote Please Please Me, The Beatles' first number one hit.
It was at these houses that Lennon first started to play guitar, and where he and McCartney, now 69, had the early practice sessions for their first band, The Quarrymen.
Both properties have been restored by the National Trust to look as they would have done when Lennon and McCartney were growing up.
In a statement, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said: "Mendips always meant a great deal to John and it was where his childhood dreams came true for himself and for the world."
Listed buildings cannot be demolished or altered without special permission from the local planning authority.
Grade II buildings are described by English Heritage as "nationally important and of special interest".