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.
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.