Developers destroy 2,000-year-old Winchester Roman wall

AFTER: The site after the wall was destroyed.

BEFORE: The surviving remains of the Roman wall.

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IT was a plan that sparked outrage.

But despite pleas to save a 2,000-year-old Roman wall from destruction, developers have gone ahead and carted the relic off in a lorry.

As previously reported, historians were angered when it emerged that Bargate Homes were considering breaking the wall down to make way for 14 homes at the site, in Southgate Street, Winchester.

But the proposal has now become a reality.

Colin Cook, of the Winchester Area Tourist Guides Association, witnessed the destruction.

He said: “It’s desperately sad. I have got sympathy with Bargate Homes but Winchester City Council planners need to be a lot more aware of the sensitivities of these sites when they’re giving permission. As far as I can see it’s gone away on a lorry. There is no possibility of rebuilding it anywhere else.”

A spokesman for Winchester City Council said that a medieval ditch found at the site would be preserved, but added that “preservation of part of the surviving remains of the city wall within the site is not possible, hence detailed archaeological excavation and recording has been required.”

In 1971 an excavation on the other side of the road revealed the remains of a Roman bastion.

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A spokesman for Bargate had said it would “not be physically possible to preserve the wall” but students and local history groups had been invited to tour the site.

Comments (15)

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11:36am Mon 31 Mar 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Et tu Brute?
Et tu Brute? Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 4

11:36am Mon 31 Mar 14

sotonboy84 says...

A spokesman for Bargate had said it would “not be physically possible to preserve the wall” but students and local history groups had been invited to tour the site.

Of course it's physically possible, preserving it would impact on the number of homes you could build and your profits which is the only issue here. It's about time that town planners and councils had more of a back bone and stood up to developers because once it's gone, it's gone. The wall sat happily enough for the past 2000 years under a number of later buildings so it is desperately sad, inconsiderate and short-sighted that these developers decided to destroy it.

Interesting comment from Bargate Homes' website…

"Founded in 2006 by Gerard Price, Bargate Homes have gone from strength to strength. Boasting high quality homes in beautiful locations, we aim to act in a responsible, sustainable, safe & considerate fashion."
A spokesman for Bargate had said it would “not be physically possible to preserve the wall” but students and local history groups had been invited to tour the site. Of course it's physically possible, preserving it would impact on the number of homes you could build and your profits which is the only issue here. It's about time that town planners and councils had more of a back bone and stood up to developers because once it's gone, it's gone. The wall sat happily enough for the past 2000 years under a number of later buildings so it is desperately sad, inconsiderate and short-sighted that these developers decided to destroy it. Interesting comment from Bargate Homes' website… "Founded in 2006 by Gerard Price, Bargate Homes have gone from strength to strength. Boasting high quality homes in beautiful locations, we aim to act in a responsible, sustainable, safe & considerate fashion." sotonboy84
  • Score: 15

11:42am Mon 31 Mar 14

loosehead says...

In the previous article on this it was said they'd take it down & rebuild it elsewhere so what happened to that plan?
Maybe they could have used the bricks to build up Hadrians Wall ?
I think this is so wrong it's the City Of Winchesters heritage which attracts thousands of tourists each year . an intact Roman Wall would have been a must on any historical tourists itinerary.
In the previous article on this it was said they'd take it down & rebuild it elsewhere so what happened to that plan? Maybe they could have used the bricks to build up Hadrians Wall ? I think this is so wrong it's the City Of Winchesters heritage which attracts thousands of tourists each year . an intact Roman Wall would have been a must on any historical tourists itinerary. loosehead
  • Score: 3

11:50am Mon 31 Mar 14

snapperdownunder says...

Cultural vandalism at its worst. Remind me not to ever buy a BArgate Home if I ever come to live back in my homeland.
Cultural vandalism at its worst. Remind me not to ever buy a BArgate Home if I ever come to live back in my homeland. snapperdownunder
  • Score: 11

12:04pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Kingontail says...

there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on.
there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on. Kingontail
  • Score: -9

12:32pm Mon 31 Mar 14

sotonboy84 says...

Kingontail wrote:
there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on.
The wider issue is this sort of thing goes on all the time across the country. Councils & planners should take more control & come to compromises so the best interests of an historical area are addressed as well as those of the developers. Currently it appears that decisions are controlled by developers profits & not the best interests of the local area.

I don't believe for a moment that it wasn't possible to keep this wall, record it & cover it back over. I'm sure it would involve amendments to the existing plans but this is where the compromises should come in so things like this are preserved for the future & developments still happen alongside it.
[quote][p][bold]Kingontail[/bold] wrote: there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on.[/p][/quote]The wider issue is this sort of thing goes on all the time across the country. Councils & planners should take more control & come to compromises so the best interests of an historical area are addressed as well as those of the developers. Currently it appears that decisions are controlled by developers profits & not the best interests of the local area. I don't believe for a moment that it wasn't possible to keep this wall, record it & cover it back over. I'm sure it would involve amendments to the existing plans but this is where the compromises should come in so things like this are preserved for the future & developments still happen alongside it. sotonboy84
  • Score: 9

12:37pm Mon 31 Mar 14

bigfella777 says...

I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that?
I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that? bigfella777
  • Score: -16

12:49pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Hiram Abiff says...

Winchester City Council planners, the architects and the senior officers of Bargate Homes are all Freemasons so it's a mutual brotherhood 'thing'.

If you don't believe that, look up the name Hiram Abiff in a search engine. I could have my neck cut off for revealing the above!
Winchester City Council planners, the architects and the senior officers of Bargate Homes are all Freemasons so it's a mutual brotherhood 'thing'. If you don't believe that, look up the name Hiram Abiff in a search engine. I could have my neck cut off for revealing the above! Hiram Abiff
  • Score: 2

1:11pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Mr E says...

Somewhat surprised that Winchester City Council allowed it to be broken up by JCB rather than taken apart by archaeologists and then removed for study.
Somewhat surprised that Winchester City Council allowed it to be broken up by JCB rather than taken apart by archaeologists and then removed for study. Mr E
  • Score: 9

1:18pm Mon 31 Mar 14

jonone says...

Hilarious. Planning permission has been granted for Barton Farm, a hideously ugly development and updates have been given to Silver Hill, which will be an equally ugly development in the heart of the city.

But you are all up in arms about a fragment of wall.
Hilarious. Planning permission has been granted for Barton Farm, a hideously ugly development and updates have been given to Silver Hill, which will be an equally ugly development in the heart of the city. But you are all up in arms about a fragment of wall. jonone
  • Score: -12

1:50pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Positively4thStreet says...

jonone wrote:
Hilarious. Planning permission has been granted for Barton Farm, a hideously ugly development and updates have been given to Silver Hill, which will be an equally ugly development in the heart of the city.

But you are all up in arms about a fragment of wall.
Yes,but they won't still be here in 2000 years time.
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: Hilarious. Planning permission has been granted for Barton Farm, a hideously ugly development and updates have been given to Silver Hill, which will be an equally ugly development in the heart of the city. But you are all up in arms about a fragment of wall.[/p][/quote]Yes,but they won't still be here in 2000 years time. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 7

2:13pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Dai Rear says...

Kingontail wrote:
there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on.
You share the view of one time Communist Mussolini and the late Mr Ceausescu. let me guess what your politics are......
[quote][p][bold]Kingontail[/bold] wrote: there doesn't seem to be a lack of roman rubble. If it is suggested that everything that is or could be found is preserved then nothing would get built. If its outstanding or has some meaningful significance then keep it - if not move on.[/p][/quote]You share the view of one time Communist Mussolini and the late Mr Ceausescu. let me guess what your politics are...... Dai Rear
  • Score: 2

2:20pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Dai Rear says...

bigfella777 wrote:
I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that?
Your argument-if that is what it is-would be more persuasive if not written in the language we inherited from them. Try it again in the Germanic single syllable speech used on the streets by our Spitting Classes?
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that?[/p][/quote]Your argument-if that is what it is-would be more persuasive if not written in the language we inherited from them. Try it again in the Germanic single syllable speech used on the streets by our Spitting Classes? Dai Rear
  • Score: 2

2:48pm Mon 31 Mar 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Pity Time Team has finished, they could have extended its life for three more days.
Pity Time Team has finished, they could have extended its life for three more days. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Mon 31 Mar 14

loosehead says...

bigfella777 wrote:
I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that?
I think you'll find that was the Ancient Britons or the Celtic people(Welsh) not us the invading Saxons or Engly as it's known(I hope) in Gaelic
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: I always thought the Romans invaded us and subjected us to slavery and torture for over 500 years. What is there to celebrate in that?[/p][/quote]I think you'll find that was the Ancient Britons or the Celtic people(Welsh) not us the invading Saxons or Engly as it's known(I hope) in Gaelic loosehead
  • Score: 0

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