A blog about life in London

Wow London Has Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Wow London Has Four UNESCO  World Heritage Sites

London proudly has four UNESCO world heritage sites, I must admit that sounds pretty impressive. But what the hell does it mean, is there actually any substance to it.

Well I suppose the place to begin is what does UNESCO stand for, well it stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization. It is actually a specialist agency of the United Nations. I know for many people The United Nations organisation is nothing more than an ineffective and extremely corrupt organisation, that is a complete waste of space and time. Like wise others think they do a great job.

I will keep an open mind about UNESCO, but it does seem that they like to squander money, would you believe they currently have 100 highly paid directors out of 2000 staff worldwide, how the fuck do they get away with that. I also know that they use to be renowned for jobs for the boys syndrome!

Lets get back on track, so what are World Heritage Sites, well I’m not going to bother researching this one. I would imagine that it involves a lot of talking, lobbying, presentations, as well as countless meetings and money being spent, including probable back hander’s and gifts to various members of UNESCO. Who will then give the proposed site world heritage status, if the proposed site has kissed enough ass and spent enough money!

According to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia a NESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is on the list that is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties, which are elected by their General Assembly for a four-year term. A World Heritage Site is a place of either cultural or physical significance.

The program catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16, 1972. Since then, 186 state parties have ratified the convention.

As of 2009, 890 sites are listed: 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed properties, in 148 states. Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites to date with 44 sites inscribed on the list. UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1200 even though there are fewer on the list.

Each World Heritage Site is the property of the state on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site. There we have it!

So you may be wondering what are the 4 UNESCO World heritage sites in London. Well they are as follows:

The Tower of London:

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1988

The Tower of London has been a part of British royal history for nearly 1,000 years, and has become a national symbol of royalty and power. The Tower of London has a colourful history dating back to the 11th century. Romans once occupied it, it’s the site of Europe’s first fortress, it has been a royal palace, a prison, an execution site, an arsenal, a mint, a keep for wild animals and jewel house – and you can see artefacts from every part of this remarkable history.

tower of london

Westminster Abbey, The Palace of Westminster and St. Margaret’s Church

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1988

Westminster Palace, rebuilt from the year 1840 on the site of important medieval remains, is a fine example of neo-Gothic architecture. The site – which also comprises the small medieval Church of Saint Margaret, built in Perpendicular Gothic style, and Westminster Abbey, where all the sovereigns since the 11th century have been crowned – is of great historic and symbolic significance


Maritime Greenwich:

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1997

Maritime Greenwich, which includes historic landmarks as the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian Line, and the inspirational architecture of Sir Christopher Wren at the Old Royal Naval College

greenwich park

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens:

Designated a World Heritage Site in 2003

Royal Botanic Garden have six greenhouses on a 120hectare site, which is home to one of world’s most extraordinary collections of plants. The Gardens at Kew began life in 1751 as a royal garden. A huge variety of plant species has been collected from around the world since. A wee pointer kew is actually still used for the orginally purposes it was desinged for, which is unusual for many of the UNESCO sites.

kew gardens

So you may be wondering why a city as huge as London, with as many historically significant and beautiful old buildings and parks has only got four. It beats me?



  1. cool thanks for posting this

  2. Hi
    I enjoy your blog and was chuffed to find out London has so many World Heritage Sites, so I went and checked out the UNESCO website but can only find one site on their list (the Tower of London)

    Have the others been removed?

    Keep up the good work!

  3. benastrada, and all those sites are well worth visiting. So much history and beauty to be enjoyed…