World Heritage Cornwall

World Heritage Cornwall sites, mines and mineral railways

Cornwall put in an application for World Heritage Status to UNESCO. The application was based on The Cornish Mining landscape being a ’destination’ with its own distinctive history, personality and attitude. You get the background from these links

Cornwall Mining Sites

Cornwall Mineral Tramways

UNESCO World Heritage Site

What and who are World Heritage status sites you may ask? In November 2005, there were 812 World Heritage site across the world and these included 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed properties in 137 countries. Cultural examples on the list include the the Tower of London, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal,

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) encourages the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972. World Heritage Status (WHS) status brings international recognition as well as the benefits of extra protection.

Cornwall and West Devon were the world’s greatest producer of tin and copper for periods of the 18th and 19th centuries. This industrial landscape has been put forward to UNESCO as the UK’s 2005 bid for WHS status.

The Corwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (to give it its full title) world heritage site bid was submitted for nomination to UNECO by DCMS (the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport) in January 2005. A period of assessment then followed by UNESCO’s advisers, ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites). It will be considered formally at UNESCO’s Committee in July 2006, when a decision on whether to award WHS will be made

The list of current UK World Heritage sites recognised by UNESCO is.

* Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd (1986)
* Durham Castle and Cathedral (1986)
* Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (1986)
* Ironbridge Gorge (1986)
* St Kilda (1986, 2004, 2005)
* Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (1986)
* Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey (1986)
* Blenheim Palace (1987)
* City of Bath (1987)
* Frontiers of the Roman Empire (1987, 2005) * 22
* Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church (1987)
* Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church (1988)
* Henderson Island (1988)
* Tower of London (1988)
* Gough and Inaccessible Islands (1995, 2004) 23
* Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995)
* Maritime Greenwich (1997)
* Heart of Neolithic Orkney (1999)
* Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (2000)
* Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda (2000)
* Derwent Valley Mills (2001)
* Dorset and East Devon Coast (2001)
* New Lanark (2001)
* Saltaire (2001)
* Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2003)
* Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (2004)

In 1959 the decision to build the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, which would have flooded the valley containing the Abu Simbel temples, provoked a great deal of controversy. The governments of Egypt and Sudan appealed for help to UNESCO, who launched an international safeguarding campaign. The resut was that Abu Simbel and Philae temples were dismantled, moved to dry ground and reassembled.

50 countries donated towards the costs, showing the shared responsibility in conserving outstanding cultural sites. Its success led to other safeguarding campaigns, such as saving Venice and its Lagoon (Italy) and the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro (Pakistan), and restoring the Borobodur Temple Compounds (Indonesia).

World Heritage was born. Following this UNESCO initiated, with the help of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the preparation of a draft convention on the protection of cultural heritage.