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Durham World Heritage Site Research


Durham's World Heritage Site Research Framework 2015 and Site Management Plan 2017-2023

The Durham World Heritage Site Research Framework was published by IMEMS in 2015 and is designed to place academic research at the core of future management, conservation, interpretation and investigation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also seeks to explore and prioritise key avenues for further work, presenting a strategy through which research can be taken forward. IMEMS supports its central philosophy that only rigorous, academically-informed research can progress our understanding and appreciation of the Cathedral, Castle and their environs. In particular, the Framework identified four key research priorities:

  • understanding the WHS today;
  • understanding the built resource;
  • mapping the archaeological resource;
  • and mapping the intangible heritage.

The newly launched Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan 2017 - 2023 articulates with the Research Framework and aims to:

  • protect the Site’s Outstanding Universal Value and setting;
  • conserve and enhance the Site and its setting;
  • support understanding and awareness of the Site and its Outstanding Universal Value and of World Heritage;
  • support communities in realising the economic, social and cultural opportunities and benefits World Heritage status can bring;
  • support visitor and communities’ access, their enjoyment of the Site and its benefits;
  • provide WHS management to deliver all aims.


Further reading on Durham World Heritage Site