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Lecture, UNESCO, WHS

10 November 2021 - 10 November 2021

7:00PM - 8:00PM

Booking essential -

  • free

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This is the image alt text Neil Redfern WHS Guest Speaker

The annual World Heritage Site Public Lecture delivered in partnership with University College, Durham.

Making Local Values Universal

Locking down the world has refocused attention on local places, the heritage on our doorsteps and the stories of the places we live, work and grow in. What might be the long-term impact of removing our ability to experience places have for heritage management and archaeology? Despite starting as the Executive Director of the Council for British Archaeology over 18 months ago nothing seems normal. It took me 16 months to meet all my team face to face, 14 months to actually meet people and I still have not attended an external meeting in person. In 2020 all our activities went online, we hosted a virtual Festival of Archaeology, a virtual AGM and a virtual awards ceremony. In 2021 we managed to break out again and our Festival of Archaeology saw over 400 organisations deliver 1200 event and activities. We themed the Festival ‘Exploring Local Places’ to highlight our immediate environments and help people get active in their local areas. I went on a road trip around the country and what I saw was not heritage and archaeology in peril or under threat, but the energy and enthusiasm at a local level for exploring places, stories, memory and meaning. Taking all this into account I will consider in my presentation how it is these local values that are universal and that through local approaches we create meaningful and sustainable heritage.


 Neil Redfern, Executive Director, Council for British Archaeology

Neil Redfern is the Executive Director of the Council for British Archaeology, an independent charity, that brings together members, supporters and partners to give archaeology a voice, champion participation and safeguard archaeology for future generations. He has previously worked for Historic England in York for 18 Years as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Development Advice Team Leader. During this time he was responsible for the delivery of Historic England’s statutory advice on planning, listed building and scheduled monument consent applications in Yorkshire. He has an M.Phil in Archaeological Heritage Management and Museums (University of Cambridge), a BA (Hons) in Geography and Archaeology (University of Manchester). He has over 26 years experience of cultural heritage management, archaeological fieldwork, survey and assessment and museum practice through working for English Heritage, the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the Wordsworth Trust. He is particularly interested in the practical and philosophical challenges of how we value places, work with the wider public and help everyone participate.