Decision : 32 COM 8B.96
Revision of Statements of Signifiance and Statements Outstanding Universal Value - Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church (UK)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B.Add and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1.Add,

2. Adopts the following Statement of Significance for the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church, United Kingdom:

Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church together encapsulate the history of one of the most ancient of parliamentary monarchies of present times and the growth of parliamentary and constitutional institutions.

In tangible form Westminster Abbey is a striking succession of the successive phases of English Gothic art and the inspiration of the work of Barry and Pugin on the Palace of Westminster.

The Palace of Westminster illustrates in colossal form the grandeur of constitutional monarchy and the principle of the bicameral parliamentary system, as envisaged in the 19th century, constructed by English architectural reference to show the national character of the monument.

The Palace is one of the most significant monuments of neo-Gothic architecture, as an outstanding, coherent and complete example of neo-Gothic style.

Westminster Hall is a key monument of the Perpendicular style and its admirable oak roof is one of the greatest achievements of medieval construction in wood.

Westminster is a place in which great historical events have taken place which have shaped the English and British nation.

The church of St Margaret, a charming perpendicular style construction, continues to be the parish church of the House of Commons and is an integral part of the complex.

Criterion (i): Westminster Abbey is a unique artistic construction representing a striking sequence of the successive phases of English Gothic art.

Criterion (ii): Other than its influence on English architecture during the Middle Ages, the Abbey has played another leading role by influencing the work of Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin in Westminster Palace, in the "Gothic Revival" of the 19th century.

Criterion (iv): The Abbey, the Palace, and St Margaret's illustrate in a concrete way the specificities of parliamentary monarchy over a period of time as long as nine centuries. Whether one looks at the royal tombs of the Chapterhouse, the remarkable vastness of Westminster Hall, of the House of Lords, or of the House of Commons, art is everywhere present and harmonious, making a veritable museum of the history of the United Kingdom.

3. Recommends that assessment for statements of authenticity and integrity / statements of protection and management should be postponed to the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee (2009) awaiting adoption of a methodology and an agreed format for Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for inscribed properties.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Year: 2008
Decision Code: 32 COM 8B.96