1.         Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 373bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1986

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2002

Previous deliberations:
25th extraordinary  session of the Bureau – Chapter III.207 to 210

Main issues:

Planning of the site, particularly the solution proposed for the A303 road (cut-and-cover tunnel, two kilometres long).

New information:  

The 25th extraordinary session of the Bureau requested the State Party to present a progress report to the 26th session of the Bureau regarding the planning and protection of the site and notably: the improvement of the setting of Stonehenge by removing one road in the immediate vicinity of the monument and the redesign of another; the building of a new visitor centre outside the World Heritage Site; and the measures in hand to deal with the unexpected opening up of a vertical shaft from the summit of Silbury Hill in the Avebury part of the Site. A report from the State Party was received by the Secretariat on 1 February 2002 and transmitted to ICOMOS.

In this report, the Department for Culture, Media and Sports of the United Kingdom reported that management plans are in place for both parts of the site. Concerning Stonehenge, the State Party informed the Centre that the planning consent procedures are currently in progress. An application for planning consent for the visitor centre will be submitted during the summer of 2002, while the highways consent procedure will be initiated in December 2002. Both applications will contain full environmental impact assessments of the proposed works, which will allow full assessment of the projects to be made before decisions are taken on whether or not consent should be granted. Concerning Silbury Hill, the State Party informed the Centre that English Heritage is continuing to make progress in securing its goal of ensuring the long-term conservation of this large prehistoric man-made mound. A programme of on-site works was completed by early October 2001 and involved both the temporary capping of the hole and the execution of a seismic survey of the Hill, with the aim of identifying zones of structural weakness. It was also intended that the survey should provide additional information as to the original construction of the Hill and subsequent archaeological interventions. The survey is being complemented by geo-technical logging of the cores and sample laboratory testing. The seismic survey company has produced a draft report of its findings, which is currently being analysed and checked by expert geo-technical advisers employed by English Heritage. In addition to the survey work, English Heritage has been carrying out further studies of topographical and written sources.  The cores themselves are being archaeologically described and photographed, so as to provide further information on the history of the Hill. When the current survey results have been analysed, English Heritage will be in a position to assess whether any further investigations are required and what, if any, further physical works are required to ensure the long-term conservation of the Hill.

ICOMOS informed the Secretariat that it was very satisfactory to learn that the two management plans were in place; it suggested that the State Party should be congratulated for the work done on these plans, which can serve as a model for management plans on all World Heritage sites and monuments. Concerning Stonehenge, ICOMOS was encouraged to learn that the consent procedures would be in place by the end of the present year, following the completion of full environmental impact assessments. The chasm that opened up last year at the summit of Silbury Hill was the result of many unrecorded attempts to discover what lay at its base over the last three centuries. ICOMOS is of the opinion that the State Party has carried out exemplary temporary protective works, which will lead to a more lasting solution.

Action Required

The Bureau notes the information transmitted by the State Party concerning the planning and the protection of the site of Stonehenge as well as the protective works carried out at Silbury Hill. The Bureau congratulates the State Party for the work done on the two management plans of Stonehenge and Avebury respectively. The Bureau expresses its satisfaction regarding the temporary protective works undertaken by the State Party in view of the long-term conservation of Silbury Hill. The Bureau encourages the State Party to continue the works undertaken in close consultation with ICOMOS and the Centre and requests the authorities to present a progress report in time for its next session in April 2003.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002

N/A

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 26 COM 21B.70

The World Heritage Committee,

Takes note of the state of conservation report and the decision of the Bureau contained in document WHC-02/CONF.202/2, paragraph XII, 108-109.

Decision Adopted: 26 BUR XII.108-109

XII.108 The report submitted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports of the United Kingdom informed that management plans are in place for both parts of the site. Concerning Stonehenge, the report stated that an application for planning consent for the visitor centre will be submitted during the summer of 2002 while the highways consent procedure will be initiated in December 2002.  Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are foreseen for both projects. With regard to Silbury Hill,   English Heritage is continuing to make progress in securing its goal of ensuring the long-term conservation of this large prehistoric man-made mound.  A programme of on-site works was completed by early October 2001 and involved both the temporary capping of the hole and the execution of a seismic survey of the Hill, with the aim of identifying zones of structural weakness. The survey will provide additional information as to the original construction of the Hill and subsequent archaeological interventions. In addition to the survey work, English Heritage has been carrying out further studies of topographical and written sources and will assess whether any further investigations are necessary and whether further physical works, if any, may be required to ensure the long-term conservation of the Hill.

XII.109 The Bureau noted the information transmitted by the State Party concerning the planning and the protection of the site of Stonehenge as well as the protective works carried out at Silbury Hill. The Bureau congratulated the State Party for the work done on the two management plans of Stonehenge and Avebury respectively. The Bureau expressed its satisfaction regarding the temporary protective works undertaken by the State Party in view of the long-term conservation of Silbury Hill. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to continue the works in close consultation with ICOMOS and the Centre, and requested the authorities to present a progress report in time for its next session in April 2003.