World Heritage Sites are defined as examples of worldwide cultural and natural heritage of “outstanding universal value to humanity”. Initially established at the 1972 World Heritage Convention, there are now over 700 sites in over 120 countries inscribed upon the World Heritage List.
The city of Bath in its entirety has been a World Heritage Site since 1987, recognised as a place of “Outstanding Universal Value” for its hot springs, Georgian architecture and town-planning, surrounding green landscape, archaeological remains of the old Roman town, and its role as a setting for social history. Its World Heritage significance is summarised in the following attributes:
- Roman archaeology
- The hot springs
- Georgian town planning
- Georgian architecture
- The green setting of the city in a hollow in the hills
- Georgian architecture reflecting 18th century social ambitions
The history of the city extends over six 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, summarised in the City of Bath World Heritage Site Management Plan.