Abbey Road has been made a historical building.

The iconic London studio - made famous by the Beatles, who recorded most of their songs there, named an album after it and posed on a pedestrian crossing outside it for its cover - was rumoured to be up for sale by owners, record company EMI, but has instead been given Grade II Historic Site by English Heritage.

The listing is a preservation order, which means it cannot be radically altered in any way outside and any changes to its interior must be in keeping with the building's original style.

British Culture Minister Margaret Hodge made a statement to say the listing had been given "overwhelmingly on the historic merit of the studios" and because of its "huge cultural importance."

Initial reports that the studio was to be closed and redeveloped into a residential block raised concerns form Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and musicals legend Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber - who said he would be prepared to invest, in order to save the building.

Hodge said: "It's a testament to both the importance of music in people's lives as well as the passion this kind of issue stirs up, that so much interest has been generated by the perceived threat to the future of Abbey Road."

Classic albums recorded at the studios include: 'Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd, 'OK Computer' by Radiohead, and 'Notorious' by Duran Duran.

Meanwhile, the studios has also released a range of its own merchandise, celebrating the studio and the artists that have recorded there, including t-shirts, laptop cases and notebooks which depict equipment designed by the engineers at the studio over the last 50 years.

Abbey Road merchandise is available from