The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has recognised the Forth Bridge after it was put forward by the UK government following a joint project with the Scottish Government, partnering with Network Rail, Transport Scotland and Historic Scotland.
The World Heritage Committee praised the bridge as ‘a masterpiece of creative genius because of its distinctive industrial aesthetic’ and ‘an extraordinary and impressive milestone in the evolution of bridge design and construction’.
The Forth Bridge is still the world’s second longest single cantilever span and was opened in 1890, clearing the way for a fast rail link between the East of Scotland, Edinburgh and London.
Heritage minister Tracey Crouch said: “It’s fantastic news that the UK’s nomination has led to the inscription of the Forth Bridge. Recognition as a World Heritage Site will draw more tourists to the area as well as making sure one of the UK’s great engineering feats stands for future generations.
“The Forth Bridge is an important part of Britain’s shared national heritage, which is why the UK government put it forward as our nomination for World Heritage Site status last year.”
Secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell added: “The Forth Bridge is an iconic piece of Victorian industrial engineering which has a proud place in the UK’s rich culture and heritage. Being recognised as a World Heritage site is a fitting accolade for this bridge which has played such an important part in the lives of Scots for 125 years.”
“The Forth Bridge joins an impressive list – including the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China plus, closer to home, New Lanark and St Kilda – which have secured the prestigious World Heritage status. I’m pleased that the UK delegation has been able to secure this status for the Forth Bridge.”
The full list of sites with World Heritage Site Status in the UK is listed below.
- Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (2000)
- Blenheim Palace (1987)
- Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church (1988)
- Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd (1986)
- City of Bath (1987)
- Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (2006)
- Derwent Valley Mills (2001)
- Durham Castle and Cathedral (1986)
- Frontiers of the Roman Empire (1987)
- Heart of Neolithic Orkney (1999)
- Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda (2000)
- Ironbridge Gorge (1986)
- Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (2004)
- Maritime Greenwich (1997)
- New Lanark (2001)
- Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995)
- Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church (1987)
- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal (2009)
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2003)
- Saltaire (2001)
- Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (1986)
- Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey (1986)
- The Forth Bridge (2015)
- Tower of London (1988)
- Dorset and East Devon Coast (2001)
- Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (1986)
- Gough and Inaccessible Islands (1995)
- Henderson Island (1988)
- St Kilda (1986)