Jodrell Bank named a Unesco World Heritage site

The Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire has been added to the Unesco list of world heritage sites with special significance.

Owned by the University of Manchester, the observatory comprising a collection of radio telescopes has been at the forefront of astronomical research for decades.

It is home to the Lovell Telescope, the world’s third largest steerable radio telescope, and joins other historic sites on the Unesco list including Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal.

The listing will “make sure that this remarkable site will continue to inspire young scientists and astronomers all over the world”, heritage minister Rebecca Pow said.

Teresa Anderson, Jodrell Bank’s director, described the listing as “wonderful news and a great day in the history of Jodrell Bank”.

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Image: The observatory is home to the Lovell Telescope

She said it “honours the pioneering work of Sir Bernard Lovell,” the physicist, radio astronomer and first director of the observatory, as well as its most famous telescope’s namesake.

An “absolutely delighted” Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Manchester University’s president and vice-chancellor, said: “This is fitting recognition of the history of science and discovery at Jodrell Bank, and the work that continues today.

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“Indeed, the site is fantastic for the university because of its heritage, its teaching and its research, and also because it is a place where many members of the public come to learn and be inspired about science.”

Jodrell Bank gained World Heritage status thanks to an application process which began in 2010 after a meeting of the world heritage committee in Baku, Azerbaijan.

It is the 32nd site in the UK to receive the status, and one of only about 1,100 sites worldwide.

The Lake District, Royal Botanic Gardens, Stonehenge, Forth Bridge and the Tower of London are among the other world heritage sites in the UK.

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