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Jodrell Bank Observatory has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It has been at the forefront of astronomical research since its inception in 1945 and tracked US and Russian crafts during the space race.

The site in Cheshire is part of the University of Manchester. It is dominated by the landmark Lovell Telescope.

It joins the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon and other locations that have been added to the prestigious list.

Jodrell Bank gains Unesco World Heritage status


BBC News
7 July 2019


The Lovell Telescope forms the centrepiece of the Jodrell Bank site

Jodrell Bank Observatory has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It has been at the forefront of astronomical research since its inception in 1945 and tracked US and Russian crafts during the space race.

The site in Cheshire is part of the University of Manchester. It is dominated by the landmark Lovell Telescope.

It joins the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon and other locations that have been added to the prestigious list.


Soviet cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky (left), who went on three space flights, met Jodrell Bank founder Sir Bernard Lovell in 1967

Scientific research began at Jodrell Bank Observatory in 1945 when the physicist Sir Bernard Lovell came to the University of Manchester.

The site pioneered the then new science of radio astronomy, which used radio waves instead of visible light to understand the universe.

The site's new accolade marks the end of a decade-long bid to gain World Heritage status, following a 2010 application to be included on the UK's nominations shortlist.

A University of Manchester spokeswoman said: "We look forward to the many benefits of World Heritage Site status and the positive impact this will have on our communities, both locally and across the globe."

She said the observatory fulfilled the judges' criteria, which included being "a masterpiece of human creative genius", due to its scientific achievements.


Sir Bernard Lovell (centre) and his researchers were among the pioneers of radio astronomy

Jodrell Bank also hosts the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array, an international project to create the world's largest radio telescope by linking thousands of dishes and receivers across Africa and Australia.

The observatory is among 32 sites in the UK - including Stonehenge and the Giant's Causeway - to receive World Heritage status and joins a list of 1,100 sites worldwide.

More than 185,000 people visit Jodrell Bank annually.

Jodrell Bank Observatory


The Lovell Telescope was almost not completed as its construction ran over budget


The Lovell Telescope, which was the world's largest telescope when it was completed in 1957, is now the third largest

Jodrell Bank was on standby as the UK's early warning system against any potential nuclear attack during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

The Lovell Telescope tracked the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon in 1966, printing the first picture from the lunar surface

It is so sensitive that mobile phone use on the site is normally forbidden and the staff microwave oven is shielded by a metal box to prevent interference

The site featured in BBC's Stargazing Live series, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...ester-48893080