Written by Jenna Tinning, Conservation Studies postgraduate (2017-18).
At the end of a busy first week for the new 2017/18 Conservation Studies cohort, the students and alumni gathered together on Saturday 30 September 2017 for a study to trip to the World Heritage Site of Studley Royal Park, known by many as home to the ruins of Fountains Abbey. We were very lucky to be led through the day by the extremely knowledgeable Dr Keith Emerick, Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Historic England, who has been involved in the conservation management of the site for many years.
As one of National Trust’s flagship sites (though interestingly managed by English Heritage!) the visit was a brilliant example of sustainable management of a cultural heritage asset as a visitor attraction. Keith picked up on a number of interesting points about the challenges that are faced in making this a reality. We started the day with a bit of background to the site, where we discovered just how many partners are involved in its running and what it means to be a world heritage site – including the fact that ‘fountains’ must have a management plan for every six years, which in turn forms the guidelines for the conservation work on site.
An invitation for expressions of interest in the YCAA’s five-day study tour.
This will be an unique opportunity to explore the current conservation issues in a city of ‘endless metamorphoses’, (Mazower 2005). Situated at the northern extremity of the Aegean Sea, and to the south of the Balkan states, Thessaloniki had been for seventeen-hundred years an Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine metropolis – until 1430AD. Then, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, it came under the rule of the Ottoman Turks until the First World War. Athens, on the other hand, had been promoting and celebrating its Hellenic past since Greek independence from Turkish rule in the 1830s. The result is an intriguingly different focus on heritage in Thessaloniki compared to Athens: the world Heritage site of Thessaloniki has no Hellenic remains, no Acropolis, but comprises an assemblage of Byzantine monuments which themselves have undergone metamorphoses from places of Pagan worship, to Christian churches to Mosques, but all provide evidence of artistic and cultural exchange with those two great cultural centres of Rome and Constantinople.