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Monday, 27 August, 2001, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Durham Cathedral tops building poll
Durham Cathedral
Sublime: Durham Cathedral rises above the trees
Durham Cathedral has been voted Britain's favourite building in a survey of the best and worst of British architecture.

The Norman cathedral - which along with Durham Castle dominates the city's skyline - won more than 51% of votes cast by listeners to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Other buildings also rated highly by the 15, 819 people who voted included more modern structures like the Eden Project, in Cornwall (22.5%), London's Tate Modern (11.96%) and Stansted Airport (7.02%).

The National Theatre
Love and loathing: The National Theatre
The most hated building was Portsmouth's Tricorn Centre, described by one critic as "another 1960s consumer rat-maze".

Other buildings attracted love and loathing in equal measure.

The National Theatre on London's South Bank was the fourth most popular construction, but also drew 11.13% of votes for the worst of British architecture.

It fared better than the whole of Coventry city centre, however, which almost 17% of voters condemned to the wrecking ball.

Heathrow a no-go

Buckingham Palace was perhaps the most surprising entry on the most-hated list, coming in at number three and raising questions over whether it may have been hit by voters with more republican tendencies.

Buckingham Palace
Third most-hated: Buckingham Palace
Nothing could disguise voters' loathing for Heathrow Airport, however, with more than 25% voting it their most-hated building.

Sir Neil Cossons, chairman of English Heritage, said: "I am delighted that so many voted in the Today programme poll for the nation's favourite building and that the overwhelming majority recognise the sublime and lasting quality of Durham Cathedral.

"This is the eleventh year of English Heritage grant support for our cathedrals. We have stayed with the scheme because we understand how much people value these remarkable buildings.

"Last year English Heritage published a report to government on behalf of the entire historic environment sector, this report clearly showed the value of our historic environment in contributing to people's quality of life and our economies.

"In the autumn the government will formally respond to this report and set out a clear vision for the future of this country's unique historic environment."

See also:

30 Jan 98 | UK
3m for cathedral repairs
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