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Infrastructure of the Industrial Revolution in the Britain

Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 23 May 2008 09:21 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I am willing to adopt Meltwaterfall's (non)proposal and propose it myself. I find his arguments convincing.

Full name of site: Infrastructure of the Industrial Revolution in Britain

Country: UK

Short description of site (also include multiple locations if applicable): ajor works of Infrastructure created during the industrial revolution
Including: the Menai Straights Birdges including the world's first suspension bridge (and perhaps their miniatures in Conwy), Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Selected parts of the Great Western Railway (Box Tunnel, Maidenhead Railway Bridge, Paddington Station etc), Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Stockton-Darlington Railway, Forth Rail Bridge, Selected parts of London's subterranean infrastructure e.g. Thames Tunnel and parts of the Metropolitan Railway line, perhaps the already inscribed Ironbridge of Ironbridge Gorge and early steam 'railways' in Cornwall, maybe more.

Criteria (cultural, natural, mixed): c i. Many of these works were created by engineers of 'genius' such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel & Thomas Telford and have redefined both engineering and aesthetic standards.
ii. Built from the early industrial revolution through to the end of the 19th century these clearly show the interchange of ideas brought about the industrial revolution
iv. These are perhaps the finest engineering breakthroughs illustrating the industrial revolution.

Outstanding universal value / comparative analysis:

Now I think it is very disparate and unfocussed, but I am thinking that serial sites such as the Belfires of Belgium and France and Pilgrimage Routs to Santiago are developed over a long period of time and contain different facets, maybe for coherence it could be reduced to the works associated with just Brunel? But with some work it would be something that would meet the four criteria set out by Solivagant and to some extent I think it could claim to be the maximum that each criteria could achieve.

a- These were the first of nearly everything, first 'railway', first suspension bridges, first Iron bridge, first underwater tunnel, first underground railway.

b- The influence of these projects essentially redefined the building of infrastructure throughout the world not just limited to the region or British Empire.

c- These were the means by which the industrial revolution redefined production and society, which has had an effect on almost every corner of the world. They enabled Britain to become the predominant world power of the age.

d- These contain several iconic projects most notably the Forth Rail Bridge but also Clifton Suspension Bridge, Menai Straight's Bridge, the 'Tube'

Author paul
#2 | Posted: 23 May 2008 10:33 
A great proposal!

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 29 May 2008 05:55 | Edited by: Solivagant 
You might be interested in what the June 1988 UNESCO Bureau meeting said (presumably on the advice of ICOMOS) about the UK nomination of the Menai and Conwy Suspension Bridges.

"While noting the importance of Menai Bridge for the heritage of the United Kingdom, the Bureau felt that it did not meet with the criteria of authenticity set up by the Convention.
As far as Conwy Bridge is concerned, the Bureau considered that it would constitute a complement of great interest to Conwy Castle, inscribed in 1986 as one of The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward. The Bureau considered that the authorities of the United Kingdom might perhaps wish to propose an extension of this property, so as to include the suspension bridge."

In those days sites didn't have to be on T Lists to get considered but I note that these bridges are NOT on UK's latest T list -though a few e.g's of our industrial past are. I wonder whether the Forth Road Bridge, Great Western Railway and Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct will run into the same view about "authenticity" when their turn comes? On the other hand UNESCO views do change over time and I sense a gradual "creep" over the years as various sites "push" the boundaries and new "case law" is created.

Regarding this proposal I wonder if lumping a number of sites together overcomes individual "weakness" to create a stronger, more coherant whole? To avoid too much variety perhaps the Railway ones could be taken together - but they do cover a rather long period eg Forth Railway Bridge was as late as 1890 - too late to be considered a part of the initial "Railway Creation" period and after many other Railway monuments had been created around the world.

I think there should be some recognition on the list of the UK's early industrial infrastructure "monuments" - Iron bridge Gorge isn't really enough but the UNESCO reaction in 1988 wasn't very supportive of even a couple of e.g's!!!

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