A survey of remarkable architecture in England, Wales and Scotland celebrated in World Heritage sites. We will include the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Edward I’s Castles in Wales, Durham Cathedral and Castle, Blenheim Palace, the City of Bath, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – and the Palace of Westminster. Listing is decided by a committee established under UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. We will look in detail at how these architectural sites have been awarded this World Heritage status and consider what may have justified this distinction. This course will combine short lectures with discussion sessions, backed by colour-illustrated notes.
We will investigate World Heritage listed architecture in Britain, taking in palaces, castles, cities, cathedrals, abbeys and the Houses of Parliament. Since UNESCO established the World Heritage Convention over twenty-five sites in Britain have qualified for their exceptional landscape or architecture. We will focus on World Heritage sites with an architectural perspective – taking in the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Edward I’s Castles in Wales, Durham Cathedral and Castle, Blenheim Palace, the City of Bath, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and the Palace of Westminster - now facing a major and controversial restoration programme. As an example, World Heritage listing for the Tower of London came in 1998, citing its role as a symbol of the power of Norman military architecture which with additions by Henry III and Edward I created a castle which was to become one of the most influential buildings in England. The World Heritage Convention was established in 1972 by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, itself created in 1946. Our introduction will outline the objectives of the World Heritage Convention and how listed sites are monitored – recognising for example that Liverpool Maritime is one of the very few sites internationally to lose its listing status given decisions on new development.
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