Browsing the archives for the World Heritage category.


Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site in the UK.

UK, UK Travel, UK Travel Guide, UNESCO, World Heritage, world heritage sites
Derwent Valley Mills

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

As the headlines about factory tend to feature China’s rapid emergence as the new global industrial giant, we look to the Beautiful Derwent Valley in England to find the beginning of the modern “factory”.   The factory innovation was so dramatically productive it soon became the key global model for the creation of goods, ushering in the industrial revolution which was clearly among the most significant events in all of human history.

Derwent Valley Mills is considered by many to be the birthplace of the modern factory system we now take for granted.

Photos at Flickr

Here at Derwent Valley Mills, textile production was revolutionized and the Arkwright model of industrial production was used as tens of thousands were eventually employed in several mills in the valley.    Although pieces of the puzzle of factory production had been solved by others in other places and contexts, it was here in the Derwent Valley that  ”A source of power, in this case water power, was applied to a series of complex mechanised processes for the first time on a relatively large scale”.

The Derwent Valley Mills’ historical and cultural significance led to the prestigious “World Heritage Site” designation in 2001. The “Statement of Significance” reads:

The Derwent Valley saw the birth of the factory system, when new types of building were erected to house the new technology for spinning cotton developed by Richard Arkwright.

In the Derwent Valley for the first time there was large-scale industrial production in a hitherto rural landscape. The need to provide housing and other facilities for workers and managers resulted in the creation of an exceptional industrial landscape that has retained its qualities over two centuries.

UNESCO World Heritage Program – USA World Heritage Sites

National Parks, UNESCO, World Heritage, yosemite, yosemite half dome california

Just back from Yosemite National Park in California I’m even more convinced that the UNESCO World Heritage Site list is a great way to guarantee you find fantastic places as you visit countries around the world.      Obviously no small list can be completely fair or inclusive, especially for the huge territory of the USA, but this is a GREAT group of extraordinary natural and cultural places:

Clearly this approach to travel in the USA would probably be supplemented by at least a few days of big city sightseeing.     Many coming to America may want to see places like Las Vegas and  Hollywood which are unlikely to ever have “UNESCO World Heritage” status.    But the UNESCO list is a  superb starting points for your travel, especially to unfamiliar areas.     For the trip to Vietnam I was happy that the list seems to match up well with the “word of mouth” information I’ve been collecting from my Vietnamese pals and others.    There I’ll be able to take in most of the UNESCO sites such as historic Hoi An, Saigon, Hanoi, and Ha Long Bay near Hanoi.      In Italy in June my favorite place was the Cinque Terre – a UNESCO site.      Interestingly, the Cinque Terre and some places really seem to play up this status where I didn’t even know Yosemite was on the list until I checked this morning.



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