UNESCO World Heritage Sites in England Part I

By | June 4, 2021

Durham Castle and Cathedral (1986)

The castle and cathedral complex is located on a rock by the river Wear.

Durham Castle was built in 1071/1072 on the burial church of the preacher Cuthberts, which was demolished by the Normans. The cathedral, built between 1093 and 1140 – is in the Norman style and was added to the chapel that belonged to the castle. The cathedral received a pre-Gothic vault. In the following centuries the cathedral was expanded again and again. such as the Vierungstrum, the arcade walls and, in the 17th century, the staircase in the Renaissance style. The defensive character of the cathedral and castle was commented on: “Half church of God, half protection against bulkheads”.

Durham Castle and Cathedral were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986

Ironbridge Valley Industrial Monuments (1986)

In 1779 a bridge was to be built over the River Severn to transport goods. It was supposed to be a wooden bridge, but it was a cast iron bridge with a clearance height of 15 m and a length of approx. 31 m. The Iron Age began with this free-floating bridge construction.
In Coalbrookdale, iron was smelted with coke in blast furnaces for the first time and it was used to build the bridge in the Ironbridge Valley. There are foundries, mines, factories and warehouses to visit in this valley. the rail network was expanded to 30 km. The first iron ocean liner was built in one of the foundries.

These industrial monuments were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986

Studley Royal Park with the ruins of Fountains Abbey (1986)

Fountains Abbey is about 50 km from York and was founded in 1132 by Cistercian monks. Only the main nave still shows the Cistercian ideals with simplicity. The remaining buildings still show the former lavish wealth as ruins. Henry VIII dissolved the monastery in the 16th century. The park was created and designed with a canal by a landscape gardener in the 18th century.
The park and ruins were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986

Stonehenge, Avebury, and Monuments of Megalithic Culture (1986)

Stonehenge, near Wiltshire in southern England, is certainly Europe’s most famous monument from the Early Stone Age.
The purpose of the from approx. 3000 BC The stone circle built in BC has not yet been fully clarified, but it must have been built with the help of astronomical and mathematical data that are impressively precise from today’s perspective.

Stonehenge was built from stones weighing up to 40 tons that were transported here from a distance of over 40 km – rolled on tree trunks. It is considered relatively certain that Stonehenge, together with a nearby comparable facility made of wood, was a place of worship at that time, where the winter and summer solstices were celebrated and the ancestors were commemorated. It is also believed that there is a symbolism between the stone and the wooden ring, in such a way that one should symbolize transience and the other the eternity. In addition, the passing and coming of the sun showed the passing of life and its return for the people of that time.

In the vicinity of the complex there was also a kind of city with over 1,000 houses, which were only temporarily inhabited. In Stonehenge, more than 200 cremation places were also offered.
Stonehenge, Avebury and their associated megalithic monuments were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986

Blenheim Castle (1987)

Blenheim Castle is located in an approximately 8.5 km² park near Oxford. The castle was built between 1705 and 1722. The park was transformed into an artificial landscape with two lakes by famous landscape gardeners from 1764 to 1774. In addition, neo-Gothic buildings were erected in the park. In 1874 Sir Winston Churchill, who later became Prime Minister, was born in the castle.
The castle was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.

Blenheim Castle

City of Bath (1987)

Bath became England’s first medicinal bath as early as Roman times. The spa town experienced a renaissance in the 18th century and was redesigned in the Palladian style by the architect John Wood and his son. The enchanting Georgian cityscape around the Roman Baths is now a popular spot for day trips and
the city was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987

Borders of the Roman Empire (1987)

Hadrian’s Wall was included in 1987 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 2005 to explore the Limes as German part of the cross-border World Heritage and 2008 at the Antonine Wall in Scotland extended.

Westminster (palace and abbey) and St.

St. Margret`s Church
St. Margaret’s Church belongs to the Anglican Church and is consecrated to Margaret of Antioch. It is located in Parliament Square – next to Westminster Abbey and across from the Palace of Westminster.
The church has been the parish church of the British Parliament since 1614.
The earlier church, founded in the 12th century, was rebuilt between 1486 and 1523.
Erected between 1734 and 1738 by John James, the north-west tower was rebuilt and at the same time the facade was clad with Portland limestone. The interior received its current appearance in 1877 after renovation by George Gilbert Scott.
It is worth noting that there is a sundial on all four sides of the tower
Also worth seeing is the east window with its Flemish stained glass from 1509, which is supposed to commemorate the engagement of Arthur Tudor – the older brother of Henry VIII – to Catherine of Aragón. Other stained glass windows are reminiscent of William Caxton, the first English printer, and Sir Walter Raleigh, who was buried here in 1618.

Westminster Palace
In the neo-Gothic Westminster Palace (= Palace) in London on the Thames, the two houses of the British Parliament meet – the Lower House and the Houese of Lords (= Upper House). The building is on Parliament Square in Westminster. The royal family originally lived in the palace, which was almost completely destroyed in a major fire in 1834.
The most famous part of the building is the clock tower with the Big Ben bell. The heaviest of the five bells weighs 13.8 tons, originally it weighed 17 tons and was damaged during testing, so that the metal was melted down and a slightly lighter bell was cast. The tower in which the bell hangs is now sometimes referred to as Big Ben, actually only the bell is meant by this name. Sir Benjamin Hall’s tower is over 96 m high, and the clock faces are 8 m in diameter. The melody of the clock comes from Georg Friedrich Handel’s “Messiah”. When parliament is in session, a light is on at the top of the tower.
The ensemble of Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster as well as St. Margaret’s Church were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987

Westminster Abbey
The correct name of Westminster Abbey (= Abbey) is “The Collegiate Church of St Peter”. The church is in the style of the Anglo-French early Gothic.
The monastery church of a Benedictine monastery founded around 750 used to stand here. A predecessor of today’s Westminster Abbey was built between 1045 and 1065 under Edward the Confessor in the Romanesque style. However, there is only one representation of the church on the Bayeux Tapestry.
Large parts of the current building date back to 1245 under the reign of King Henry III. back – whereby the lower part of the west facade dates from the 15th century. The two main towers of the church were not even erected until between 1722 and 1745.
The very worth seeing Chapel of Henry VII., Which was built from 1503 to 1519, is one of the most beautiful late Gothic buildings in Europe
in the church have been since William the Conqueror were all the kings of England and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland topped that by the Archbishop of Canterbury is made. Up to King George II (-1760) almost all kings were buried here.
It should be noted that the church should not be confused with the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral.
Westminster (Palace and Abbey) and St. Margaret’s Church were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987