World Heritage Autumn Webinar # 2 – Gracehill

September 19, 2023 Published by Alex McCoskrie

Number 2 in a series of 4 webinar talks, on the UK’s World Heritage Tentative List – Wednesday 11th October 2023.

Impossible-  Difficult – Done?  The journey to World Heritage statusMoravian Church Settlements – Gracehill.

In 1722 the renewed Moravian Church established a Settlement at Herrnhut in Germany from where they travelled around the world often founding new Settlements wherever they went. 

Gracehill was established by the Moravians in 1759. It has a rich history and has won many awards including the Europa Nostra Award. It is Northern Ireland’s first designated Conservation Area (1975) and the only complete Moravian Settlement in Ireland.

The village plan is a simple grid pattern with designated green spaces. It is an early example of town planning reflecting the timeless values of education, equality, industry, tolerance, and spirituality.

Since 2002 Gracehill has worked with other Moravian Settlements to develop a joint bid for a World Heritage nomination to UNESCO.  Following the successful inscription of the Danish Settlement of Christiansfeld (2015), a transnational nomination entitled “Moravian Church Settlements” is now underway and includes Bethlehem (USA), Herrnhut (Germany) and Gracehill.

Speaker – Dr David J Johnston, OBE MB BCh MSc MMedSc FRCGP

David is a GP and Clinical Director in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Outside work he has many interests and is involved with a number of community activities. Since 2011 he has served as chairman of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society.

He is a founder member and current chairman of Gracehill Old School Trust. Since 2002 he has led the effort to have Gracehill Moravian Settlement recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a transnational nomination involving partners in Europe and the USA.

He is married to Sally Ann and they have three sons. The family live in a listed building in Gracehill Conservation area and actively support built heritage initiatives including opening their home annually as part of the European Heritage Open Day scheme.

David was awarded an OBE for services to the community and built heritage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2015.

Individual webinar tickets are £5. Tickets for all 4 are £15.

If you miss a webinar, you will access to a YouTube recording, to watch at your leisure.

Book your tickets here.

Image: GhOST (Gracehill Old School Trust).