Image: Artist's impression of the new Archway Centre Image: Artist's impression of the new Archway Centre Show image info

Artist's impression of the new Archway Centre

Bath Heritage News

Watchman's Box - history and significance outlined in new publication

Bath's World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund has commissioned and published the first in a series of illustrated reports about heritage features in the World Heritage Site.  Find out about the history and significance of the Watchman's Sentry Box which stands on Norfolk Crescent.  The box underwent conservation work, funded by the Enhancement Fund, in 2012.  Further work is proposed to protect this unique piece of Bath's heritage.  The sentry box was installed around 1810, for use by 'watchmen', who were employed before the introduction of police forces to deter criminal activity and keep the streets safe.  The report can be downloaded using this link, Watchman's Box report.  

Great Spa Towns of Europe inscribed!

The Great Spa Towns of Europe trans-national World Heritage Site status bid was inscribed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Fuzhou, China, on 24th July 2021. This inscription is the culmination of more than a decade of preparatory work and is a good example of international heritage co-operation.  Bath is one of 11 European spa towns which comprise a single transnational World Heritage Site. For Bath this means a second overlaying inscription alongside the 1987 award, placing the City amongst only a handful of double-nominated places worldwide.

Projects update from World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund

Bath's World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund has defied the odds to continue supporting and funding conservation and heritage projects across the city.  A list of the projects that have been ongoing or completed during a difficult year is impressive.  The Fund has published its 2021 newsletter where you can read project profiles.  For further information and contact details for the Fund visit the Enhancement Fund web page

World Heritage Day 2020 went digital!

Saturday 18th April is UNESCO World Heritage Day. Each year since 2009 we have held a big community event at which we promote the city’s World Heritage Site status, and celebrate being part of the wider World Heritage family.  2020 was different! We were unable to welcome visitors to the event we had planned so Bath World Heritage Day went digital!  You can still join in with our special online activities at home. We have art, craft and science activities themed around Bath's unique qualities. You can test your World Heritage knowledge with a range of quizzes, find out about conservation projects taking place in the city and download our World Heritage Site City Map to add interest to your daily walk.  Head to our Learning page now. We would love to see how you get on with our activities and see your creations.  You can tweet us @BathWHS, contact us on Facebook or send us an email.  Happy World Heritage Day everyone!

Double win for Bath in Georgian Group Architectural Awards 

The Bath World Heritage Enhancement Fund is celebrating after winning an award for its ongoing street sign conservation and restoration project at the Georgian Group Architectural Awards 2019.  Starting in 2010, the project has now conserved over 50 incised and painted historic signs in the city.  The joint winner was another project supported by the Enhancement Fund - the restoration of the Great Pulteney Estate overthrow lighting.  You can find out more in this media release.  The Enhancement Fund was also a finalist for the Civic Award at the Bath Life Awards 2020.  Congratulations to all involved.

Celebrating centuries of healing, health and wellbeing at Bath World Heritage Day

Bath will be celebrating UNESCO World Heritage Day on Sunday 19 April with a FREE community event at Bath College.  This year's activities will explore healing, health and wellbeing in Bath from the 1st to 21st century.  Visitors of all ages can enjoy a varied programme including themed talks, guided walks, displays, spa treatments, hands-on activities and even a consultation with a Georgian medic!  Find out more about World Heritage Day and other heritage events in Bath by visiting our events page

Great Spas of Europe bid news

The Great Spas of Europe trans-national World Heritage Site status bid will be considered by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.  Bath is one of 11 European spa towns that are together bidding for World Heritage Site status.  Following the formal submission, UNESCO's official advisors from ICOMOS inspected each of the towns in September 2019.  ICOMOS will prepare their recommendations to go forward to the 2020 World Heritage Committee session.

Bath Preservation Trust 'Making Changes' publication shortlisted for top award

Bath Preservation Trust's latest guidance book 'Making Changes' has been shortlisted in the 'Excellence in Planning Delivery' category at the forthcoming Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.  The publication was produced to assist owners of listed properties to understand the planning system and act in a conservation-sensitive manner when undertaking changes to their properties. It was produced by Bath Preservation Trust with sponsorship from Historic England and the Bath World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund. You can read the full press release here.  We wish Bath Preservation Trust every success for the awards in November 2018.  Making Changes can be downloaded from the Bath Preservation Trust website and hard copies can be picked up from No. 1 Royal Crescent.   

City of Bath World Heritage Site turns 30! 

On 11 December 1987 the City of Bath was inscribed by UNESCO to the World Heritage list.  Bath was in an illustrious group of new sites in 1987 including the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Greece and Venice and its Lagoon.  In Autumn 2017 we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Bath's special status with four free lunchtime talks about World Heritage Sites in the UK.  Tony Crouch, City of Bath World Heritage Site Manager, set the scene at the first talk when he delivered his '30 Year Review' of Bath World Heritage Site.  In the weeks that followed we heard from three guest speakers: Humphrey Welfare, Chairman of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site Partnership Board, Sarah Simmonds, Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Co-ordinator and Natasha Downie, HM Tower of London World Heritage Site Co-ordinator.  All talks were well attended and well received.  Thank you to our speakers and all who came along.

New Chair and new name for World Heritage Site Steering Group

The City of Bath World Heritage Site is overseen by a group of representatives from relevant local and national bodies.  The group is chaired by an independent chairperson. In Summer 2017 Professor Barry Gilbertson became the new Chair of the Steering Group, Mr Peter Metcalfe having completed his three-year term.  Thank you to Peter for all of his work and support over the past few years, and welcome to Barry!  On January 1 2018 the City of Bath World Heritage Site Steering Group changed its name to the City of Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board.  You can find out more on the Advisory Board web page.  

Archway Project receives Lottery funding to deliver a World Heritage Centre for Bath

The Archway project is celebrating after securing a £3.4million Heritage Lottery Fund grant towards the development of a £5million World Heritage Centre and Learning Centre.  The Lottery grant, along with funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation and other funders, enables Bath & North East Somerset's Heritage Services team to realise plans to convert Grade II listed Victorian laundry buildings in York Street and Swallow Street in central Bath into the new facility which includes a World Heritage Centre at street level and a fully accessible Learning Centre for the Roman Baths situated above and below.  The project will deliver the first ever dedicated interpretation centre for the World Heritage Site, where visitors and residents will be able to discover more about the unique heritage of the City of Bath, and its World Heritage Site status.  The centre will assist visitors to discover the best of the World Heritage city during their stay in Bath, and will offer an insight into what being a World Heritage Site means for the living city today.  Discover more about on the Archway Project webpage.  

Resources for teachers

Bath Preservation Trust working in association with Bath & North East Somerset Council have launched revised World Heritage Site teaching resources for Primary and Secondary schools.  The resource packs focus on celebrating and protecting special places and contain all of the information needed for planning a cross-curricula 'World Heritage Day' event at school.  Further details can be found on the Bath Preservation Trust website.  

Download the World Heritage Site resource pack for Primary schools (Zipped PDF, 920KB)

Download the World Heritage Site resource pack for Secondary schools (Zipped PDF, 237KB)