Page last updated at 21:09 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 22:09 UK

Isle of Man bids for Unesco World Heritage status

Laxey Wheel - courtesy of Manx National Heritage
The Laxey Wheel could become a symbol of a Manx Unesco site

Bids are being prepared for two of the Isle of Man's most important historical sites to receive global recognition.

Tynwald Hill and the Laxey Valley are being put forward by Manx National Heritage (MNH) for consideration for Unesco's World Heritage list.

People are being urged to write to MNH outlining why they think the sites are important to Manx culture for inclusion in the June application.

The bids will be assessed by UK experts before submission in 2011.

The first bid will focus on Tynwald Hill and its importance as the oldest continuous parliamentary site in the world, dating back to the 9th Century.

'Growth and decline'

An MNH spokesman said: "A World Heritage Site has to offer the world something today.

"The modern Tynwald continues the Norse tradition as an open-air assembly by holding one meeting each year outdoors on 5 July, where in the ancient form, new laws are read aloud, both in English and Manx Gaelic."

The industrial history of the Laxey Valley from Snaefell to the sea will form the basis of the second application.

The spokesman said: "It is an amazing physical record of the growth and decline of industry alongside the growth and decline of a new form of tourism which catered for the workers in the industrial north of England on their holidays."

It is the first time in a decade that the UK has invited new bids for consideration for submission.

If successful, the sites will join a list of 28 World Heritage Sites in the UK including Hadrian's Wall and Stonehenge.

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