York is one of the largest, deepest, most complicated and best-preserved archaeological sites in the UK. The city, intensively occupied for 2000 years, has generated thick archaeological deposits, many preserved in anoxic conditions, which provide a uniquely representative and well-preserved record of human urban settlement over 2 millennia.

York also has a high proportion of well-preserved historic buildings set within a street and property pattern mostly over 1000 years old. The city boasts a near-complete set of stone defences, 2  castle sites, a Gothic cathedral, 4 medieval guildhalls, 20 ancient churches, the King’s Manor, 18th century architectural masterpieces, and the UK's first Mansion House.

World Heritage Sites

A 'World Heritage Site' is a place which meets certain criteria for outstanding universal cultural value. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) nominates sites for World Heritage status in the UK (known as the ('Tentative List'), and UNESCO decides whether or not to add them to the list of World Heritage Sites.

York's World Heritage status

We'd like York to gain World Heritage status so the unique qualities of the city are recognised and celebrated. Such status would deliver a number of significant economic and social benefits for the city.

The York World Heritage Steering Group are currently drafting a bid for the next available opportunity to present our case for World Heritage status. However, the UK Tentative List of World Heritage sites is closed at present.

York was unsuccessful in making the tentative list at the last attempt in 2010.

Also see

Heritage Gateway

Search local and national records of England's historic sites and buildings.

Heritage Gateway


City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA