Friday, 15 April 2011

News - Campaign launched to save remains (Southwell)

A campaign has been launched to try to protect the site of Southwell’s Roman remains from development.

Save Roman Southwell, run by local heritage groups with the support of the Chapter of Southwell Minster, wants the Church Street site turned into a Roman heritage park.

Campaigners hope the land could be brought back into public ownership and form part of an outstanding heritage area including the neighbouring Bishop’s Palace, prebendal houses, Saracen’s Head Hotel and Southwell Minster.

Caunton Properties Ltd is looking to build 29 homes on the former Minster School site.

However, some experts claim the site is of national importance, believing the archaeological remains could provide a link between Roman Southwell, a Saxon church build on the site and the creation of Southwell Minster.

Professor Warwick Rodwell, archaeologist and architectural historian to Westminster Abbey said the development would be an act of cultural vandalism.

Mr Peter Kent, of Save Roman Southwell, said: “The emergence of an Anglo-Saxon church and the later Norman Minster from a high-status Roman complex presents a unique tourism, heritage and educational opportunity.

“There is considerable scope to develop the unique story of Southwell’s growth through the ages by incorporating the components of the historic core into an Outstanding Heritage Area.”

The group aims to acquire and landscape the site together with the adjoining Orchard site — recently bought by the town council.

Further development of the Roman Heritage Park would include interpretation boards, a facility for community investigation, digs, educational projects and visits.

The groups hope as many people as possible will join them to campaign for Newark and Sherwood District Council to reject Caunton Properties’ Limited application.

Petitions will be held online and in the town. People are also being encouraged to write to the district council opposing the development.

The groups leading the campaign are Southwell Community Archaeology Group, Southwell Civic Society, Southwell Heritage Trust and Southwell Local History Society.

People can support the campaign online through a Facebook site, which should be online within days at

Links to the online petition will be available at or


1 comment:

  1. The Save Roman Southwell is gaining traction - see