DU Wiki > Ă„mnen - Subjects > Tourism studies > KG3012 > Seminar 1 Cultural and natural World Heritage sites > United Kingdom > City of Bath

City of Bath

    Table of contents
    No headers

    City of Bath

    The City of Bath is located in the North-West of England and the entire city is a World Heritage site. 









    Location of Bath  (Bath Heritage, 2013)


    The city of Bath was founded in the 1st century by the Romans who used the hot springs as a thermal spa. The Roman remains especially the Temple of Sulis Minerva are amongst the most important Roman remains north of the Alps. After the fall of the Roman empire Bath became a major wool-production centre. In the 18th century Bath experienced a rebirth and was re-developed by John Wood, Ralph Allen and Richard Nash who planned to make Bath the most beautiful city in Europe (WHC, 2014). Bath city has been on the UNESCO world heritage site since 1987 and is the only destination in the United Kingdom to have a whole city designated as a World Heritage site. Bath is also the only place in the United Kingdom where one can bathe in thermal water that comes from natural hot springs beneath the city surface (Visit Bath, 2014).






    Bath Skyline (National Trust, 2014)


    The value of Bath as a world heritage site can be found in the excellent integration of architecture, urban design and landscape setting. The individual buildings are part of the larger overall city landscape. All of the developments relate to one another and are connected to the wider landscape surrounding the town. Bath is an example of the 18th century building style where the focus was on achieving picturesque views. The urban and landscape spaces are created by the buildings surrounding them making the countryside part of the city and creating a distinctive garden city feel. Bath combines two great eras in human history, Roman and Georgina. Even though bath gained greatest importance in Roman and Georgian time, the city reflects two millennia of developments (WHC,2014).


    Managerial challenges

    In 2009 the City of Bath was almost put on the World Heritage site list of sites in danger, there were some controversial developments such as the neo-Georgian South-Gate shopping mall and plans to build 2,200 flats on the edge of town. The local community had asked the UNESCO inspectors who visited Bath in 2009 to look into the proposed residential development which in their opinion was to modern in comparison to the Georgian buildings in the town (Glancey, 2009). This indicates one of the major managerial issues Bath is facing, combining the facilities necessary in a modern city with the historical aspects of the city. In 2009 UNESCO performed an inspection on Bath city. They concluded that the buildings are well preserved however they indicated that the State Party should embark on a reinforced, integrated and homogenous interpretation for the entire World heritage site and that perhaps a interpretation centre is necessary for this complex living World heritage site (WHC,2009). Another issue is the necessary improvement on the transportation and how this can be incorporated in the garden city feel (WHC, 2014).


    Written by Antionia Broeders



    Bath heritage (2013) Bath. [Online] Available from Accessed 16-11-2014

    Glancey (2009) Bath saves its world heritage status...just. The Guardian. Published 10 November 2009.

    National Trust (2014) Bath skyline. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 16-11-2014]

    Visit Bath (2014) World heritage bath. [Online] Available from: Accessed 14-11-2014

    WHC (2014) City of Bath. [Online] Available from: Accessed 14-11-2014

    WHC (2009). SOC report 2009 City of Bath. [Online] Available from: Accessed 14-11-2014

    Files (0)


    Comments (4)

    Viewing 4 of 4 comments: view all
    Very well written and structured. Maybe one more picture would be nice to see the Roman Bath or the architecture of the city. And most important: author, your name is missing!
    Posted 16:16, 17 Nov 2014
    Thank you for your comment and for noticing that I had forgotten to put my name in the text. Unfortunately for some reason I am not able to add another picture.
    Posted 17:07, 18 Nov 2014
    I really liked the discussion we had in the class, I think it is such a great example where you have all kinds of issues connected in one place. It is so complicated as you need to give a way for the modernity and people's wishes to live their lives in a best possible ways. There should be a compromise though, how did the City of Bath managed to reach it? Do you think it is also risking to being taken away from the list of the WHS? Do you see this happening in connection to the processes you have described? How well protected it feels in your eyes? Best, Albina
    Posted 23:16, 21 Nov 2014
    Hi Albina, thank you for your comment. The local government of Bath has set some rules and regulations regarding new developments. For example there are specific stones that have to be used for buildings and for sale signs are not allowed. In my opinion however it becomes more and more difficult to ensure that the city remains its old like feel while still having the modern facilities people need. This is also why I don't think that they will be able to keep the city on the WHS list for many years. The city is a heritage site where people live and there for they will not be able to preserve it indefinitly. In my eyes it is well protected but there is only so much they can do to protect is as modernisation can not be stopped.
    Posted 17:10, 3 Dec 2014
    Viewing 4 of 4 comments: view all
    You must login to post a comment.