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Call to save thousands of Roman artefacts for Grantham

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Thousands of ancient artefacts discovered by archaeologists at the site of Grantham’s new bypass should be saved for the town.

That’s the view of district councillor Charmaine Morgan, who has called upon Historic England to protect the site as an ancient monument.

Many Roman artefacts have recently been uncovered at Spitalgate Heath , where the Grantham southern bypass is due to be built over the next three years.

Roman buildings terraced into the hillside. (42181039)
Roman buildings terraced into the hillside. (42181039)

A Roman settlement has been uncovered with the foundations of buildings revealed, as well as pottery, jewellery and even human remains.

Coun Morgan says she would like to see the artefacts kept in Grantham, possibly in a purpose-built building or an existing space such as The George Centre.

She said: “I think the road will go straight through the site. I am not saying it should not go ahead, but I think we should preserve the site and relocate it elsewhere, rather than let it be bulldozed.”

Coun Morgan says she does not want to see the artefacts put in an archive in Lincoln. She said they could be a a big tourist attraction and a boost for the town’s economy.

In a message to Historic England she said: "The area just north of Saltersford, which is among the most sensitive with regard to archaeology, is in effect to be carved up by a combination of the relief road footings, road and footpaths cutting through the woodland across and along the river valley.

"There is no attempt to protect or build into the plan the existing archaeology, despite its potential interest to residents and visitors alike. A significant opportunity lost given the presence of Roman wells, walls, cemetery etc. on the development site.

"The Iron Age ring visible in the aerial photographs will be destroyed.

"The bronze age barrow just outside Little Ponton, a designated structure will be left isolated in a corner of the development in a small field and totally out of context of its rural setting."

A spokesman for Historic England told the Journal: “I can confirm that we have received an application to protect this site through scheduling and we are carefully assessing it.”

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