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Attributes are aspects of a World Heritage Site which are associated with, or express, its Outstanding

Attributes are aspects of a World Heritage Site which are associated with, or express, its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The Attributes help to articulate that OUV and, within the decision-making process, they should assist the assessment of the impact of any proposed change to the site or in its immediate vicinity. This list of Attributes is based on the current draft ‘Contributory Statement’ for Hadrian’s Wall.

Attributes are not officially adopted and have no official standing, but they provide a checklist for people who are considering policies or planning activity that might affect the World Heritage Site.

  • Hadrian’s Wall is a frontier which was designed and constructed to protect the Roman Empire. It is a symbol of a common heritage.
  • In its engineering and construction it illustrates the technological and organisational ability of the Roman Empire, and is a reflection of the way that resources were deployed by the Roman army.
  • Hadrian’s Wall displays the complexity and variety of the elements of the frontier system, their inter-relationships, and the relative completeness of the system as a whole.
  • The frontier was occupied by the Romans for three centuries; its remains therefore display considerable evidence of repair, rebuilding, re-use, re-planning, and decay.
  • The retrievable archaeological information that survives – in the form of buried structures, artefacts, ecofacts, and data about the palaeo-environment – is still extensive and is a significant attribute of the OUV.
  • The setting of the WHS offers the opportunity to understand and appreciate Roman military planning and operations.
  • The settlements associated with the frontier illustrate the impact and attraction of the Roman economy.
  • The course and extent of the frontier zone, its massive size, and its infrastructure, all influenced the subsequent development of the landscape, both in open country and in urban areas.
  • Extensive stretches of the frontier within urban areas, and some other discrete associated elements, are not yet designated as Scheduled Monuments; they are therefore not included in the WHS but they represent an associated attribute of considerable significance which is worthy of protection.

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