Spotlight on Top Heritage Site Bids; Two North Areas Seek World Status

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

BIDS to win world heritage site status for two areas in the North come under the spotlight this week.

Experts from across the country yesterday visited the twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, which has been chosen as the UK's nomination for world heritage site status in 2010.

The site consists of two churches, St Peter's, Wearmouth, Sunderland, and St Paul's, Jarrow, and was created by Benedict Biscop in the Seventh Century.

Yesterday it was the venue for a meeting of the Local Authorities World Heritage Forum.

This includes councillors and officers involved in managing world heritage sites and who ensure that local communities derive maximum benefits from the sites.

The Rt Rev Mark Bryant, who is Bishop of Jarrow and chairs the Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership, said: "The worldwide value of Wearmouth-Jarrow cannot be underestimated.

"It was home to the Venerable Bede, Europe's greatest Eighth Century scholar and in its day formed one of the most influential institutions in the western world."

The site also has one of the largest collections of rare Seventh Century window glass in Europe and some of the best surviving Seventh Century structures in the world. One of the strengths of the site's bid for world heritage status is the part it played in the emergence of a European identity. …