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UK World Heritage Sites

Posted: 2009-06-28

UK World Heritage Sites

The news that the Pontcysyllte aqueduct has been awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status made me wonder what other UK sites had been awarded this recognition. Its a pretty impressive list. I've copied it here, with links to appropriate information within and without the website.

  • Avebury - the prehistoric landscape around Avebury contains stone circles, standing stones, henges, stone rows, and burial mounds covering thousands of years.
  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape - Welsh mining heritage is preserved at Blaenavon, including coal and ore mines, quarries, railways, blast furnaces, and worker's cottages.
  • Blenheim Palace - Sir John Vanbrugh's baroque masterpiece, created for the Duke of Marlborough on the orders of Queene Anne, as a nice little thank you for the Duke's success in her European wars.
  • Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine's Abbey and St. Martin's Church - One of the great medieval cathedrals in England, and a site of pilgrimage since 12th century archbishop Thomas a Becket was murdered in front of the altar.
  • Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd - Edward I was a profligate builder in his attempts to subdue the Welsh. His castles in North Wales broke new ground in construction and defensive design, often incorporating walls to create a planned settlement defended by the castle.
  • Bath - from its origins as the Roman Aquae Sulis, Bath retains a wonderful mix of Roman, medieval, and Georgian architecture.
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape - (external website) - the cultural landscape of the west country, primarily covering old mines and mine buildings from the years 1700 to 1914.
  • Derwent Valley Mills - (external website) - a historic section of the River Derwent, the birthplace of the 18th century factory system of water mills for textile production.
  • Dorset and East Devon Coast - primarily taking in the Jurassic Coast, so named for its rich deposits of fossils.
  • Durham Castle and Cathedral - the twin medieval treasures stand atop high ground overlooking the River Wear.
  • Edinburgh Old and New Towns - (external website) - taking in the Royal Mile between Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle.
  • Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast - (external website) - Northern Ireland's most famous visitor attraction includes the wonderful basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway.
  • Gough Island Wildlife Reserve - external website - an uninhabited island in the South Atlantic
  • Hadrian's Wall - stretching across the north of England from coast to coast is the Emperor Hadrian's attempt to guard the frontiers of Roman Britain.
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney - including the stone circles of Stenness and Brodgar, and the burial mound of Maes Howe.
  • Henderson Island - (external link) - only technically part of this UK list - a coral island in the Pacific still claimed by Britain.
  • Historic Town of St George, Bermuda - (external link) - another technical inclusion!
  • Ironbridge Gorge - the famous iron bridge was a massively inflential engineering achievement.
  • Liverpool - (external website) - the maritime heritge of Merseyside commemorated.
  • Maritime Greenwich - home of the Greenwich Meridian, and Inigo Jones's Royal Naval College.
  • New Lanark - a  restored 18th century cotton mill village
  • Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew - perhaps the foremost botanic garden in the world, certainly one of the earliest and most influential.
  • Saltaire - (external link) - a Yorkshire planned vilage, built by Sir Titus Salt.
  • Stonehenge - the most famous stone circle in the world.
  • Studley Royal Park and Fountains Abbey - a glorious water garden and the grandest medieval abbey in Britain.
  • St. Kilda - (external website) - a remote island off Scotland's northwest coast, once home to a unique culture.
  • Tower of London - William the Conqueror began the Tower, and it has been home to a royal menagerie, treasury, royal mint, and now, the crown jewels. In between, it has seen executions and held famous and infamous prisoners.
  • Westminster Palace and Saint Margaret's Church - including the Victorian Houses of Parliament, medieval Westminster Hall, and the historic church of St Margaret's which stands immediately beside the last site ...
  • Westminster Abbey - begun by Edward the Confessor, the preeminent cathedral in Britain.

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