Flood defences offering a step back in time...

Members of the Heritage and History Society visit the new flood defence works near Hemingby. Photo: Bob Wayne EMN-160403-155153001
Members of the Heritage and History Society visit the new flood defence works near Hemingby. Photo: Bob Wayne EMN-160403-155153001

It may be one of the most modern developments in the area but Horncastle’s flood defence scheme is arousing the interest of historians.

Contractors working on the £8.9million project near the village of Hemingby have discovered ancient wooden posts and a shard of worked flint.

According to the Environment Agency. the posts are believed to date from the Iron Age and the flint from the upper Paleolithic age (around 10th century BC). The resulting archaeological investigations – combined with wet weather – have led to a small delay in the scheme which, when completed, will offer protection to 600 homes and business.

Members of Horncastle History and Heritage Society visited the site last week. They were welcomed by Paul Arnold, the Environment Agency’s catchment officer for Lincolnshire, who showed plans of the proposed earth dam and explained the challenges encountered by contractors VPA.

The society inspected a massive concrete spillway that will automatically control the water from the River Bain and were able to walk along the chamber, through which the river will be diverted.

They also saw the timber posts and woven wattle panels. Archaeologists are still debating what the posts were used for with potential theories suggesting they reinforced the river bank or were a means of helping Iron Age settlers harvest fish from the river.