Over the past centuries much of our built heritage has been irretrievably lost. At the 1972 World Heritage Convention the international community committed itself to preventing further loss of our valued heritage assets and today there are over 700 sites in over 120 countries inscribed upon the World Heritage list. Each site is of universal value and constitutes an intrinsic part of our universal civilisation. Each site if endangered or destroyed would be an irreplaceable loss.
The whole city of Bath has been a World Heritage Site since 1987, recognised as a place of outstanding universal value for its architecture, town-planning, landscape, archaeological remains and its role as a setting for social history. The history of the city extends over 6 millennia, from its earliest days when the Hot Springs were a place of worship for the Britons to the modern day when Bath is an international icon of architecture and archaeology within a thriving local community (City of Bath World Heritage Site Management Plan).
The future of our heritage largely depends on the actions of the present generation. Local and national organisations, residents and visitors to Bath have a responsibility to understand and recognise what is important about our World Heritage Site and just how special and worthy of protection Bath really is!
World Heritage Site Management Plans are seen as an effective way of caring for sites. The World Heritage Site Steering Group, a partnership committee of local and national organisations including English Heritage, B&NES Council, and the Bath Preservation Trust oversaw the preparation of the Bath Management Plan. The Steering Group continues to meet a number of times a year.
The World Heritage Site Management Plan 2016-2022 is available here. The Plan covers a range of topics including conservation, planning, education, transport, community life and tourism. The Bath Preservation Trust has a commitment to overseeing the effective implementation of the aims and objectives of the management plan and ensuring that the state of the conservation and management of the site is effectively measured and monitored by the World Heritage Site Co-ordinator.
For more information on World Heritage sites use the following links:
The Outstanding Universal Values of the City of Bath World Heritage Site:
- The hot springs, the Roman temple and bathing complex, and the Abbey and the remaining elements of the mediaeval city;
- The architecture, landscape and design of the Georgian city, both the grand crescents and squares and the more modest streets and terraces;
- The intimate relationship between the city and its beautiful landscape setting (both the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the equally attractive countryside to the south) including in particular the sightlines into and out of the city;
- The predominance of natural building materials, in particular the honey-coloured Bath stone, and the industrial archaeology of the mining and quarrying industries and the canals;
- The human scale of the city, particularly the absence of tall modern buildings dominating the skyline;
- The historic buildings and ancient monuments (such as the Wansdyke) in the environs of Bath.