Happy World Heritage Day!

News, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites

Exploring the City of Bath World Heritage Site

While celebrations take place across the UK’s 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to mark the annual World Heritage Day today, the business of protecting these precious places continues, and World Heritage UK notes with sadness the damage by fire to Notre Dame Cathedral in the Banks of the Seine World Heritage Site in Paris, one of the 73 properties inscribed by UNESCO for France.

World Heritage UK continues to consolidate and strengthen, and will be aided by the recruitment of a Resilience Coordinator  funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – this vacancy is still open for candidates and if you are interested in applying you can see more detail here

Watch this space for registration links to two upcoming events – the Summer Networking Meeting to be held at the Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site on the 6th and 7th August (with an optional coach excursion on the 8th August to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site), and the World Heritage UK Annual Conference and AGM, this year to be hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion near Wrexham, on the 7th and 8th October.

Enjoy World Heritage Day 2019!

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

The Romans are Coming! – Bath World Heritage Day, Sunday 22 April 2018

City of Bath, Events, News, Uncategorized, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

World Heritage Day Ermine Street Guard trebuchetEvery April the City of Bath World Heritage Site celebrates its unique heritage and the reasons for the city’s World Heritage Site status with a free community event. Bath World Heritage Day takes place on Sunday 22 April from 11am-3pm on the lawn in front of the iconic Royal Crescent.  The star attraction will be the expert Roman re-enactment group, The Ermine Street Guard, who will be setting up a Roman camp for visitors to explore and demonstrating Roman military tactics.  As well as watching the action, visitors can chat to the Roman soldiers and investigate how Romans lived through original objects from the city’s Roman Baths collection. 

Along with celebrating Bath’s Roman past there will be the opportunity to find out more about the city’s Georgian heritage.  The Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides will be leading free walks around the Upper Town and shorter guided strolls along the Royal Crescent.  The National Trust will be celebrating 25 years of looking after Ralph Allen’s landscape garden at Prior Park.  Volunteers from the Herschel Museum of Astronomy will have solar telescopes to allow visitors to safely view the sun.  There will also be the chance to do fun space-themed activities and dress up at the famous Georgian astronomers, William and Caroline Herschel.  No. 1 Royal Crescent is offering free admission to Bath and North East Somerset Discovery Card holders on the day, with the opportunity to meet costumed characters and handle 18th Century objects. To appreciate one of Bath’s Georgian gems, visitors are invited to view Bath’s Assembly Rooms, which opened in 1771 to offer entertainment for fashionable visitors to the spa city.  The rooms will be open free of charge from 10.30am-5pm. 

Bath World Heritage Day is a great opportunity to find out the latest news from major heritage projects in the city.  Teams from Bath Abbey Footprint, the Cleveland Pools Trust and Minerva’s Owls of Bath will be at the event to demonstrate their initiatives.  The exciting plans to open Bath’s first World Heritage Centre and extended learning facilities for the Roman Baths through the Lottery-funded Archway Project will be on display. 

Elsewhere in the city there will be an event at Sydney Gardens from 2-5pm to find out more about another of Bath’s Heritage Lottery Fund projects to improve and development the 18th Century Pleasure Gardens.  There will be lots for visitors of all ages to see and do. 

For further information visit www.bathworldheritage.org.uk/events where you can download the World Heritage Day leaflet and the Sydney Gardens Community Day flyer. 

Guided tours of Royal Crescent

Celebrate World Heritage Day at Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site

Durham Cathedral, Events, Uncategorized, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Giving Day

Giving day 2Giving Day 3

Celebrate World Heritage Day with a special lecture by Richard Annis, showcasing all the exciting findings during Durham University’s refurbishment of the Exchequer Building.

As part of the celebrations, this lecture is being hosted by Durham Cathedral in one of their hidden gems, the Priors Hall, and will also give you an opportunity to hear more about the Cathedral’s exciting Foundation 2020 appeal, which aims to build an endowment of £10 million by 2020 to support the annual cycle of planned maintenance and repair of the Cathedral’s buildings to ensure they are safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.

The refurbishment of a “hidden gem” between two World Heritage Site landmarks is nearing conclusion. Specialist restoration teams have been putting the finishing touches to the overhaul of the former Exchequer and Chancery, a Grade I-listed building on Palace Green, Durham. The last surviving administrative building used by the Prince Bishops from medieval times, since the 1850s it has been used as part of the university library. Skilled trades people have revealed some unknown features of the building along the way and Richard’s talk will give us a taster of the beautiful medieval features of the Exchequer building that have been restored and revealed during the work.

A drinks reception will follow the lecture on site.

This lecture is free but places are limited so booking is essential. Please do write an email to raffaella.aliprandi@durham.ac.uk to confirm your attendance.


Richard Annis is Senior Archaeologist in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. In the past 30 years he has worked on a wide variety of archaeological projects throughout the north-east of England and in Cumbria, Humberside, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire. Richard’s specialist interests include the archaeology of buildings and he has studied structures ranging in size and complexity from castles to cow byres. Most recently Richard led the excavation and managed the process of post-excavation processing, examination and analysis of the skeletons of the Scottish soldiers from the 1650 Battle of Dunbar and worked on the major refurbishment of the Exchequer Building.

Waters and Wonder at City of Bath World Heritage Day!

30th Anniversary, Arts, Bath 2017, Celebration, Events, News, Performance, Uncategorized, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites

Drawing the windows on Pulteney BridgeBath’s annual celebration of International World Heritage Day took place on Sunday 23 April in the sunshine at a beautifully blooming Parade Gardens.

The ‘Waters of Bath’ was the theme for the day and free activities exploring the history and use of Bath’s hot springs, canal network and River Avon were enjoyed by over 1400 visitors of all ages.

View of standsThe gardens came alive with the sound of music courtesy of Bath Spa Band and Bath City Jubilee Waits, who also accompanied the Widcombe Mummers in their colourful ‘St George and the Dragon’ play to mark St George’s Day.

Special guided walks are an ever popular feature of the annual event.  Various routes and subjects were covered, from the history and features of Parade Gardens to waterside tours.  These were led by the Mayor’s Honorary Guides, Cleveland Pools Trust and the National Trust.

This year, for the first time, World Heritage Day featured a programme of mini talks.  These focused on the history of Bath’s waters as well as updates from projects and initiatives across the World Heritage City including Bath Abbey Footprint, the Bathscape landscape partnership, Bath Medical Museum and the restoration of Cleveland Pools.

A record-breaking number of heritage displays and activity stands were present on the day offering opportunities to find out more about local canals, river safety, Bath’s best green views, Lottery-funded projects and heritage initiatives.  Location knowledge was tested with the ‘Great Spas of Europe’ picture quiz and flags were added to a giant world map to show the far-flung World Heritage Sites people had visited.  Visitors were treated to the Bath Record Office Roadshow and the chance to see real objects associated with the spa from the Roman Baths collection.  They even got to meet Paralympic champion swimmer Stephanie Millward and try on her medals at the Cleveland Pools stall!  It was wonderful to bring together so many (27!) of the City’s key heritage organisations, who enjoyed catching up with each other as well as enthusing visitors.

World Heritage Sites world mapsThere were lots of family-friendly activities to keep younger visitors entertained including craft activities, World Heritage dominoes, historic maps, colouring competitions and a bookmark stamp trail.  Special mention must be made of the amazing Pulteney Bridge model-building activities offered by Bath Preservation Trust. Robert Adam, the original Georgian architect, was wandering round the site all day and was most impressed with the efforts of budding designers and engineers.  He also posed for many selfies with his physician in tow in front of his world-famous bridge.

Robert Adam and his PhysicianAll in all the day was a great way to kick off the 30th anniversary celebrations of Bath becoming a World Heritage Site.  Watch this space for a series of special talks in the Autumn as we continue to celebrate this milestone.

World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day 2017 showcases the UK’s ’Wonders of the World’ in a global day of celebration


Press release April 11th 2017: World Heritage Day 2017 showcases the UK’s ’Wonders of the World’ in a global day of celebration

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind and protecting and preserving these amazing places demands the collective efforts of all of us.  World Heritage Day, on the 18th of April, offers an opportunity to raise people’s awareness about the diversity of cultural and natural heritage we have in the UK and across the world, and the efforts that are required to look after it. Put simply, it is an opportunity to shout about how fantastic our World Heritage is, and you can find out more at https://worldheritageuk.org/whday17/

April 18th is an ‘official’ international celebration day first proposed by ICOMOS, the International Council for Monuments and Sites and then approved by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (the part of the UN that manages World Heritage) – in 1983. Each year has a theme, and this year’s theme is sustainable tourism, but many Sites simply choose to use the day to raise awareness.

A number of UK World Heritage Sites are celebrating the day this year with a programme of events, including the City of Bath, Durham Cathedral, Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, Ironbridge Gorge, Saltaire, Maritime Greenwich, and all of the six Scottish World Heritage Sites. Activities include diverting rivers, creating St Kilda in Minecraft, guided walks, illuminations, craft activities, ceramics workshops, games, short talks and even yarnbombing!

World Heritage UK, the national charity that represents the UK’s 30 World Heritage Sites is collating this information on its website at https://worldheritageuk.org/whday17/ so make this your first point of call for your guide to the day. We are also preparing a Twitter Thunderclap and will have a Twitter World Heritage hour in the afternoon on the 18th, so keep watching the hashtag #WHDay2017 and sign up to our twitter feed at @worldheritageuk to see what happens!

Dr Sam Rose, Chair of World Heritage UK, says “We have 30 outstanding UK World Heritage Sites, 25 of which are on the mainland of our four home nations, ranging from the spectacular Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, through to the Palace of Westminster and the Neolithic Sites of Orkney. Even if your local World Heritage Site doesn’t have an event on the 18th April, please pay it a visit and be amazed.” The full list of UK World Heritage Sites can be seen at https://worldheritageuk.org/about/ourworldheritagesites/

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal celebrates World Heritage Day!

Events, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

Last weekend we celebrated World Heritage Day with a busy programme of activities. We’ve been holding an annual World Heritage Weekend for about 6 years now & we usually pick the nearest weekend to International Sites and Monument Day. Holding our event at the weekend means more visitors, and especially families, can enjoy the activities and find out more about the World Heritage Site. This year we were also able to link the event with our 30 year anniversary celebrations. We had 3500 visitors over the weekend who enjoyed a range of family activities including a 30 Year Anniversary Exhibition, ‘stick the World Heritage Site on the map’ activity and an appearance by the 18th century Historic Gardener along with all his historic garden tools and surveying equipment. Everyone on the estate gets involved in our plans & the 30 year anniversary display above our main entrance was designed by Neil in our Admissions Team. We find celebrating World Heritage Day is a great opportunity to raise the profile of our World Heritage Site status.

Sarah France                                                                                                                                                        

World Heritage Site Coordinator and Conservation Manager

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate

Estate Office

Ripon HG4 3DY

Tel: 01765 643173

Record numbers celebrate World Heritage Day in Bath


Landscape drawing at Bath World Heritage Day 2015Record numbers celebrate World Heritage Day in Bath 

On Sunday 19 April Prior Park Landscape Garden played host to World Heritage Day in Bath. This annual event, celebrating and promoting the city’s World Heritage Site status, is now in its seventh year. The theme chosen for the day was the landscape setting of the city – one of the key attributes for which the entire City of Bath was designated a UNESCO ‘World Heritage Site’ in 1987.

Built on the southern slopes overlooking the city, the garden of 18th century entrepreneur Ralph Allen’s home at Prior Park is the perfect venue from which to appreciate Bath’s green setting. Bath & North East Somerset Council worked in partnership with the National Trust, owners of Prior Park Landscape Garden, in staging the event and local residents enjoyed free access through the Council’s ‘Discovery Card’ scheme. The property attracts 37,000 visitors each year. The 1,150 visitors on World Heritage Day set a new record for daily attendance, a figure which included a large number of first time visitors.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed a range of activities including landscape drawing, photography, bug-hunting, dressing-up as Georgians and learning country dances. Garden tours were led by the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides, and experts were on hand to help visitors discover more about natural history, garden features, archaeology and Bath stone. Picnickers by the famous Palladian Bridge enjoyed traditional music played by Bath City Jubilee Waits, with further entertainment provided by Natural Theatre Company actors portraying Ralph Allen, Mrs Allen, architect John Wood and Capability Brown. Local organisations and Heritage Lottery Fund projects were also represented, including the ‘Archway Project’, which will deliver a new World Heritage Interpretation Centre in central Bath right next to the Roman Baths.

Photos copyright Bath and NE Somerset Council

Dressing as Georgians

Celebrate World Heritage Day at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal


World Heritage Day Fountains AbbeyThis This weekend Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, a National Trust site near Ripon, will be celebrating their World Heritage Site status with a real life medieval encampment.

Experience life in a medieval village at the time of the abbey’s heyday as re-enactors Rosa Mundi return to set up camp by the abbey. See and smell the fifteenth century brought to life with a programme of traditional crafts, cookery and archery.  You can join in with activities and games at Swanley Grange and follow a Lost Places trail to discover the buildings you never knew had existed, including Studley Royal House in the deer park, once home to the Aislabie family who created the Studley Royal water garden.

You’ll also find out more about what makes Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal a World Heritage Site and how the National Trust care for this special place. You might be surprised know the eighteenth century water garden and the way the abbey ruins were incorporated into this forward-thinking garden design is the main reason the estate is a World Heritage Site. There will be tours of the abbey (daily 11.30am & 2.30pm) and of the abbey and water garden (daily 1.30pm), as well as a special tour to explore the hidden messages of this unique water garden (Sat 18 April, 2pm).

World Heritage Day is celebrated around the globe, raising awareness of the diversity of cultural and natural heritage and the 1007 places listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.  At Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Roman Fort, another National Trust property in the North East of England, they’ll also be hosting talks and tours on Saturday 18 April.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey to find out more about this weekend’s event at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal.

Celebrate World Heritage Day with Edinburgh World Heritage


Copyright Moyan Brenn http://www.facebook.com/MoyanBrenn

World Heritage Day is celebrated around the globe, raising awareness of the diversity of cultural heritage and the 1007 places listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.  The City of Edinburgh has these three events to celebrate in 2015.

The Value of Heritage
Friday 17 April,
6.00pm – 7.30pm

Join us to explore the benefits that World Heritage brings to all the community, with contributions and discussion with a series of expert speakers. To book a place visit our Eventbrite page…Read more

Celebrating World Heritage 2015
Saturday 18 April, 12.00pm – 4.00pm
Celebrate World Heritage Day with a family afternoon out at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Find out about Scotland’s World Heritage Sites with activities for children, presentations, and storytelling. Find out more.

Enlightenment Edinburgh
Saturday 18 April, 2.30pm
To celebrate World Heritage Day, Mercat Tours are offering an exclusive chance to discover Edinburgh’s great moments and minds. Hear about the lives of Adam Smith, David Hume and many more. Find out more.