The Top Ten: Fictional buildings


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The recent Top 10 Great Buildings we ran here was inspired by Tom Wilkinson's book 'Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made', which started with the Tower of Babel. As no one knows what that looked like, or whether it existed, I thought fictional buildings deserved a list of their own.

1. The stately pleasure-dome of Xanadu

Decreed by Kubla Khan in Coleridge's "Kubla Khan". From Roger White.

2. Ministry of Truth

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Proposed (nervously) by Michael Ezra, Davey Barton and Ruth Muirhead.

3. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

"A huge, rambling, quite scary-looking castle, with a jumble of towers and battlements." How JK Rowling said she visualised it.

4. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

(Aka Milliways.) Title of the second book in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. From Chris Jones and Davey Barton.

5. 221B Baker Street

Sherlock Holmes' rooms. Offered as evidence by Michael Ezra and Ben Ross.

6. Bag End

Home of Bungo, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, in Hobbiton, the Shire, Middle-earth.

7. The Death Star

From Star Wars. Zapped into our sightlines by Sarah.

8. The Batcave under Wayne Manor

Secret HQ of Batman, otherwise known as Bruce Wayne. Signalled by Delbert.

9. The Drones Club

Haunt of Bertie Wooster, Pongo Twistleton, Boko Fittleworth et al. Put forth by Dan Jackson.

10. Cair Paravel

Castle and capital of Narnia; seat of the four thrones. Offered up by Isabel.

Next week: Public art (excluding war memorials)

Coming soon: War memorials (such as the Tower of London poppies). Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to

John Rentoul's 'Listellany: A Miscellany of Very British Top 10s, from Politics to Pop' (Elliott & Thompson, £9.99; e-book £4.99) is out now