World Heritage Site


A World Heritage Site is a place designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) to be one of the greatest cultural or natural sites of its type in the world. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal was designated as a World Heritage Site under the following criteria: Criteria (i) to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius The Aislabies' vision to enhance this part of the Skell valley and create a spectacular water garden was both bold and innovative. The design became influential throughout Britain and Europe and occupies an important place in the development of designed landscapes. Criteria (iv) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history; The garden design took full advantage of the natural setting in the valley and the Romantic ideals of the period. The following generation developed these earlier ideas into the Picturesque and Naturalistic garden styles.

World Heritage Sites

There are currently 911 World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO list. In the north of England they include Saltaire, Durham and Hadrian's Wall.

The National Trust looks after over 25 places on the World Heritage List in the United Kingdom, including the Stonehenge landscape.

See the full World Heritage Site list or find out more about National Trust World Heritage Sites.

Have your say

This year we’re reviewing our World Heritage Site Management Plan.

Before we put pen to paper, we’d like your input into what you think our priorities should be.