English Heritage, formerly a Government executive body, became a self-financing charitable trust that manages the National Heritage Collection for England on behalf of Historic England in 2015. The collection consists of over 400 sites, including the Stonehenge monument and the triangular land immediately surrounding the stone circle. (The National Trust owns considerably more of the landscape of the World Heritage Site, some of it bordering the A303.) The Stonehenge visitor centre, car and coach parks are on the boundary of the WHS on a long lease from the landowner.
English Heritage Trust was created in April 2015 and is commonly known as English Heritage. You can follow English Heritage on Twitter @EH_Stonehenge
English Heritage quoted in Museums Journal on line retrieved in July 2021: https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/2021/07/stonehenge-could-be-placed-on-heritage-in-danger-register/)
“Last week at its 44th session in Fuzhou, China, the World Heritage Committee expressed concerns that the A303 road improvement scheme at Stonehenge was a “potential threat to the property” that could have “deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics, notably to its integrity”.
It set the government a deadline of 1 February 2022 to amend its plans – including extending the tunnel – in order to “deliver the best available outcome for the Outstanding Universal Value of the property”. If not, it is expected to place Stonehenge on the heritage in danger list at its 45th meeting next year.
Responding to Unesco’s warning, a spokesperson for English Heritage, which manages the site, said:
“[Stonehenge] is one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in the world, but for far too long it has been cut in two by a major road.
“We’ve already seen the enormous improvement brought about by removing the A344 and the inappropriate old visitor facilities next to the stones. Removing the A303 will completely reunite the ancient landscape and allow everyone to understand Stonehenge better. People will at last be able to explore the wider countryside surrounding the stones, including all the many other fascinating prehistoric monuments.
“English Heritage will continue to work closely with heritage partners, Highways England and Wiltshire Council to ensure that the final road scheme is the best available outcome for the World Heritage site, minimising harm and maximising its benefits.”
Stonehenge and the A303 – Consultation response
7th February 2017 – Interim response
“We are presently considering how the western portal proposals might be amended to ensure benefit to this internationally important ancient landscape. We will include constructive comment on this as part of our formal response to the public consultation and will seek Highways England’s commitment to improving this aspect of the scheme”.
25 July 2016 English Heritage successfully applied to Wiltshire Council for planning permission to permanently extend the Coach Park. Application plans, details and decision notice here.