Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church

Overview

Heritage Category: World Heritage Site

List Entry Number: 1000095

Date first listed: 1987

Date of most recent amendment: 2008

Map

Ordnance survey map of Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Summary

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.

This site is cultural site in England. It is located at N51 29 59 E0 7 43 and measures 10 hectares.

There is a World Heritage Site Management Plan for the World Heritage Site (2007) and implementation of the objectives and action plan is undertaken by individual stakeholders of the World Heritage Site. A Consultative Steering Group made up of key stakeholders oversees World Heritage activities.

Statement of Significance

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.

Criteria

This entry is compiled from information provided by UNESCO who hold the official record for all World Heritage Sites at their Paris Head Quarters. This entry is provided for information only and those requiring further assistance should contact the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO.

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.

End of official listing