Sunday, 15 May 2011

News - Stepping up campaign to save Roman heritage (Southwell)

A toga-clad campaigner helped to inspire about 400 people to sign a petition to protect Roman remains in Southwell, where home-owners are being asked to let archaeologists dig in their gardens.
The Save Roman Southwell campaign wants to see the former Church Street site of The Minster School, which is earmarked for 29 homes, protected against development and transformed into a heritage area.

Campaign member Mr John Lock dressed in a toga to encourage people to sign the petition in the Market Square on Saturday.

Mr Lock said he bought the material for his costume from Boyes of Newark and Roman-style jewellery from Primark to complete the look.

Residents are also being asked to consider letting archaeologists excavate their gardens to look for Roman remains.

Nottingham University’s archaeology department is hoping to find out more about the nature of the Roman settlement in Southwell by undertaking the excavations.

They believe the town was a thriving centre of Roman activity and was possibly one of the most important locations of its age.

From Saturday, June 4, to Saturday, June 18, archaeologists from the university will be working in the area, carrying out surveys and small-scale excavations.

They are looking for volunteers to have test-pits dug in their gardens.

In a location agreed with the home-owner the team will excavate a one-metre by one-metre pit that will be completed in a day unless something interesting is found and the home-owner is happy for work to continue.

After the excavation, the area will be returned to its previous state.

In return for allowing access to their garden residents will be invited to participate in the excavation and learn more about what the archaeologists find.

They will also be invited to the end-of-excavation party.

Anyone wishing to be involved should contact Dr Naomi Sykes on 01636 813460 or email with their contact details and possible dates when the excavation could take place.

To sign the petition or find out more about the Save Roman Southwell campaign visit

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