Redhills, a Durham miners’ hall, could join the Pyramids and Taj Mahal in getting UNESCO status

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Redhills, a miners’ hall in Durham, could be added to the 900 global sites given UNESCO World Heritage status, joining the pyramids and the Taj Mahal.

Red Hillsa miners’ hall in Durham, has been selected as one of eight ‘workers’ meeting halls’ proposed for prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status.

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If an international consortium’s bid is successful, it could mean Durham City becoming one of the few places on earth to have two World Heritage sites. Durham Cathedral and Castle already have UNESCO status.

The consortium includes similar halls in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Finland and Canada. The Workers’ Museum in Copenhagen is leading the bid, hoping UNESCO will consider it in 2024.

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What is Durham Miners’ Hall?

Durham Miners’ Hall, known as Redhills, opened in Durham City in 1915. Paid by 200,000 working miners, it placed the hall at the heart of Durham Coalfield’s communities. Collective decisions were made from Redhills that changed the cultural and social fabric of County Durham; Retirement homes for miners became operational, health care was provided for sick and injured miners, and social halls and reading rooms were built. It provided these services to the people of the coalfields a generation before the establishment of the national welfare state.

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Redhills is Grade I listed, with its Pitman’s Parliament named by Historic England as one of its ‘100 Must-See Places’. It is ranked alongside the Palace of Westminster as one of the top ten landmarks in England’s history of power, protest and progress.

What Redhills said about the UNESCO World Heritage application

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Nick Malyan, CEO of the Redhills charity, said: “To be considered for UNESCO World Heritage recognition is testament to Redhills’ international importance. The Miners’ Hall embodies English workers’ democracy and tells a powerful story of struggle and collective achievement. While the nomination and judging process will take time, we welcome the opportunity to ensure the Durham coalfield story is heard on the global stage it deserves.”

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