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 7: Valuing Different Road Options for Stonehenge

David Maddisson and Susana Mourato

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


David Maddison and Susana Mourato INTRODUCTION Stonehenge is one of the best known and archaeologically most important monuments in the world. It was constructed between 5,000 and 3,500 years ago and is composed of a circle of stones arranged in a pattern whose true significance remains a mystery. Apart from the stone circle, the surrounding area, much of which is owned by the National Trust,1 contains over 450 archaeological monuments such as Bronze Age barrows and the Cursus, which is variously interpreted as an ancient racecourse or a processional way. Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage2 and is one of the 16 UK sites designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site. Last year, 700,000 people paid to get into Stonehenge. Despite the undisputed importance of the site, Stonehenge suffers considerable intrusion in the form of two roads that pass close by on either side. The A303 passes to the south of the stone circle about 150 m away whilst the A344 passes to the north of the stone circle about 50 m away. This road layout is shown in Figure 7.1. Both roads are quite busy (the A303 particularly so) and visitors to the site can hear the traffic whilst walking around the stones. Even though the whole of the National Trust area is open to the public, these roads prevent visitors from wandering over the site. The situation of Stonehenge was described by a recent public enquiry as a ‘national disgrace’. Prompted...

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