Valuing Cultural Heritage

Valuing Cultural Heritage

Applying Environmental Valuation Techniques to Historic Buildings, Monuments and Artifacts

Edited by Ståle Navrud and Richard C. Ready

What value do we place on our cultural heritage, and to what extent should we preserve historic and culturally important sites and artefacts from the ravages of weather, pollution, development and use by the general public? This innovative book attempts to answer these important questions by exploring how non-market valuation techniques – used extensively in environmental economics – can be applied to cultural heritage. The book includes twelve comprehensive case studies that estimate public values for a diverse set of cultural goods, including English cathedrals, Bulgarian monasteries, rock paintings in Canada, statues in the US, and a medieval city in Africa.

Chapter 4: Northumbria: Castles, Cathedrals and Towns

Guy Garrod and Kenneth G. Willis

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, public policy


Guy Garrod and Kenneth G. Willis INTRODUCTION The United Kingdom has a rich history and many reminders of the country’s past and the culture it has engendered exist in our towns and cities and in the wider countryside. These reminders range from World Heritage Sites such as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall, to an array of historic houses, monuments and archaeological sites, and cherished landscapes such as the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. Like many nationalities the British are fiercely proud of their cultural heritage, while at the same time taking many of its physical manifestations somewhat for granted. Most of us rely on government agencies, charitable organizations or property owners to maintain the buildings, landscapes and other relics of our past that are the most vivid reminders of our heritage, though we may be happy for a small proportion of our taxes and charitable donations to go towards the cost of this maintenance. If we place a high value on a particular cultural good then we may be prepared to pay to experience it. Thus, we may pay to see a production of ‘As You Like It’ by the Royal Shakespeare Company or to visit an art exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Similarly, where the appropriate producer property rights exist, we may choose to pay an entry charge to visit an historic building or site. If we have a high preference for such sites we may join an organization such as English Heritage or the National Trust, which...

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