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List of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom
There are 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom and overseas territories. The UNESCO list has eighteen properties in England (the Frontiers of the Roman Empire is shared with Germany), five in Scotland, three in Wales, one in Northern Ireland, and one in each of the overseas territories of Bermuda, the Pitcairn Islands, and Saint Helena.
UNESCO was created for the "conservation and protection of the world’s inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science". The constitution of UNESCO was ratified in 1946 by 26 countries, including the United Kingdom.
The UK contributes £130,000 annually to the World Heritage Fund which finances the preservation of sites in developing countries. Some locations have many sites that have a common geographical location or cultural history.
The World Heritage list has developed over time. It is part of a process; and the list continues to grow.
The first sites in the UK to be added to the World Heritage List, in 1986, were:
- Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast
- Durham Castle and Cathedral
- Ironbridge Gorge
- Studley Royal Park and the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
- Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
- Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
There are 10 criteria for a site to be able to be added to the list. World Heritage Site selection criteria i–iv are culturally based. selection criteria vii–x are natural criteria. Twenty-three properties are listed as "cultural". Four are listed as "natural". One is listed as "mixed", which means that the site is notable for both natural and cultural criteria. This is similar to the proportions of all World Heritage Sites. Of the 890 sites on the World Heritage List, 77.4% are cultural, 19.8% are natural, and 2.8% are mixed. St Kilda is the only mixed World Heritage Site in the UK. At first, it was added to the list because of its natural habitats.
In 2005, the crofting community that once was part of the archipelago was added to the site. The natural sites are the Dorset and East Devon Coast, Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast, Gough and Inaccessible Islands and Henderson Island. The rest are cultural.
As of 2020, there are 30 places in the United Kingdom which are on the World Heritage List.
There are 13 sites which are on a tentative list.
The Tentative List is an inventory of important heritage and natural sites that a country is considering for inscription on the World Heritage List, thereby becoming World Heritage Sites. The Tentative List can be updated at any time, but inclusion on the list is a prerequisite to being considered for inscription within a five- to ten-year period.
The UK's Tentative List was last updated on 25 July 2014, and consisted of 11 sites. The properties on the Tentative List are as follows:
Many other favorite sites were left out this time, including
- The Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland
- The Forth Bridge, Scotland
- The New Forest, England
- Shakespeare's Stratford, England
- The Wash and North Norfolk Coast, England
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/gb, retrieved 2012-04-18
- "UNESCO Constitution"; retrieved 2012-4-18.
- Funding, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, http://www.culture.gov.uk/ukwhportal/funding.htm, retrieved 2009-08-17
- About us, The United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO, http://www.unesco.org.uk/About_Us.htm, retrieved 2009-08-17
- Aqueduct crowned world 'wonder', BBC Online, 2009-06-27, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/8115190.stm, retrieved 2009-08-17
- The Criteria for Selection, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria/, retrieved 2009-07-27
- World Heritage List, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list, retrieved 2009-07-27
- New publication spotlights St Kilda, Scottish Natural Heritage, 2004-12-09, http://www.snh.org.uk/nnr-scotland/news_detail.asp?newsID=12, retrieved 2009-08-16
- Dual World Heritage Status For Unique Scottish Islands, National Trust for Scotland, 2005-07-14, http://www.kilda.org.uk/frame26.htm, retrieved 2009-08-16
- UNESCO, "Blaenavon Industrial Landscape"; retrieved 2012-4-20
- UNESCO, "Blenheim Palace"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- UNESCO, "Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/374, retrieved 2009-08-12
- UNESCO, "City of Bath"; retrieved 2012-4-19.
- Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/488, retrieved 2009-08-12
- UNESCO, "Derwent Valley Mills"; retrieved 2012-4-23.
- UNESCO, "Dorset and East Devon Coast"; retrieved 2012-4-23.
- Durham Castle and Cathedral, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/370, retrieved 2009-07-27
- UNESCO, "Forth Bridge"; retrieved 2020-7-12.
- UNESCO, "Frontiers of the Roman Empire"; retrieved 2012-4-25.
- Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369, retrieved 2009-07-28
- Gough and Inaccessible Island, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/740, retrieved 2009-08-12
- Heart of Neolithic Orkney, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/514, retrieved 2009-07-28
- Henderson Island, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/487, retrieved 2009-07-28
- Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/983, retrieved 2009-08-02
- UNESCO, "Ironbridge Gorge"; retrieved 2012-4-24.
- UNESCO, "Jodrell Bank Observatory"; retrieved 2020-7-12.
- Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1150, retrieved 2009-07-29
- UNESCO, "Maritime Greenwich"; retrieved 2012-4-25.
- UNESCO, "New Lanark"; retrieved 2012-4-21.
- UNESCO, "Old and New Towns of Edinburgh"; retrieved 2012-4-21.
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1303, retrieved 2009-08-12
- UNESCO, "Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- UNESCO, "St Kilda"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- UNESCO, "Saltaire"; retrieved 2012-4-21.
- UNESCO, "Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey, UNESCO, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/372, retrieved 2009-07-29
- UNESCO, "Tower of London"; retrieved 2012-4-20.
- UNESCO, "Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church"; retrieved 2012-4-21.
- Glossary, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/glossary/, retrieved 2010-01-01
- Tentative list of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, UNESCO, 2006-01-19, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/state=gb, retrieved 2016-07-16
- Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5670, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Creswell Crags, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5671, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Darwin's Landscape Laboratory, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5672, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Island of St Helena, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5675, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof: the Zenith of Iron Age Shetland, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5677, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Slate Industry of North Wales, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5678, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Flow Country, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5679, retrieved 2016-07-17
- The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth Jarrow, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5681, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Turks and Caicos Islands, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5682, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Great Spas of Europe, UNESCO, https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5935, retrieved 2016-07-17
- Benvie, Neil (2000), Scotland's Wildlife, London: Aurum Press,
- Derwent Valley Mills Partnership (2000), Nomination of the Derwent Valley Mills for inscription on the World Heritage List, Derwent Valley Mills Partnership
- Keay, J; Keay, J (1994), Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland, London: Harper Collins,
- Liddiard, Robert (2005), Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500, Macclesfield: Windgather Press Ltd,
- Thornbury, Walter (1878), "St Margaret's Westminster", Old and New London (Victoria County History) 3, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45176#s2
- Media related to World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom at Wikimedia Commons
- UNESCO site
- UK World Heritage Sites DCMS portal
- List of World Heritage Sites in Britain