It’s a library, but not as we know it.

Avid users of the circular Bourne Hall in Spring Street, Ewell, have affectionately dubbed it ‘The Flying Saucer’ ever since it first opened in February 1970.

Now countless generations will be able to do the same as its futuristic design has seen Historic England award it Grade II listed status to the delight of staff.

Surrey Comet:

Bourne Hall cost £390,000 to build and was designed by architect Alwyn Sheppard Fidler, who described the site as ‘the best I could possibly have had’.

It took a year and three months to build, through all weathers including snow and rain.

Surrey Comet:

Inside, visitors often marvel at the skeletal design of the supports, and the bright and airy feel provided by high windows and lighting.

Services available include reading rooms, exhibition space and halls for hire.

Over the years, it has been home to rising rock stars, artists, authors and even a resident cat. It has also hosted conferences, festivals, parties and more than 1,000 weddings.

Surrey Comet:

Museum curator Jeremy Harte, who has worked at Bourne Hall for more than 25 years, said: "We are delighted with this news.

Over the years the library has nestled into Ewell village and become the acceptable face of 1960s architecture.

Historic England now looks much more closely at how buildings are used rather than just the design when deciding what to list, so it's wonderful it has recognised how much Bourne Hall means to the community and local people."

The organisation, formerly called English Heritage, cites the building as being one of seven across England to be the best examples of public libraries currently in operation.

All were chosen as part of a project tied in with the recent decision to grant Grade I listed status to the British Library, in Euston Road, London.

Heritage minister, Tracey Crouch, made the decision on the advice of Historic England which carried out extensive research into post-war libraries to identify the ones which meet all the criteria for listing.

The Public Libraries and Museums Act of 1964 made it a duty for local authorities to provide a library service. Scandinavian building styles dominated and for small libraries, circular or polygonal buildings were popular.

Public libraries are now undergoing much change with reference information being provided online and many are under threat of closure or change of use as local authorities are reviewing budgets and assets.

Ms Crouch, said: "I am delighted that I have been able to list Bourne Hall Library as Grade II (as it) has been an important part of the community for more than 40 years.

"Libraries are the cornerstones of the communities they serve. They act as meeting places, provide areas to learn and are a credit to the volunteers at the heart and soul of the service."