Boost in bid to save Horncastle’s Roman wall

Resident Ronald Marney who has added to concerns about the town's Roman Wall
Resident Ronald Marney who has added to concerns about the town's Roman Wall

Help could finally be at hand to preserve Horncastle’s historic Roman wall amid fears it is in danger of disappearing off the map.

Residents and councillors have contacted the News in recent weeks to raise concerns about the condition of the 2,000-year-old structure.

Now, members of Horncastle’s History and Heritage Society hope to form a group dedicated to preserving the wall.

One of their first initiatives will be to invite Historic England to a meeting to outline what grants could be available to save the wall.

Mary Silverton, from the History and Heritage Society, said a representative of English Heritage - Ben Robinson - had been in touch with local historian and Roman enthusiast Sheilah Jonkers.

She explained: “He (Mr Robinson) still had responsibility for the wall and visited it a few weeks ago so it is obviously still on his list of priorities.

“He clarified the legal situation regarding responsibilities for safety and repairs and spoke about grants available - provided there is ‘concrete’ evidence of ownership.

“However, grants can also be made to groups of people who work on a project to protect such monuments, like the wall.

“I am going to contact people who may be interested in forming such a group.

“The plan is to then invite Mr Robinson to explain how it all works.

“Hopefully, this will be an opportunity at last to start protecting the wall in Horncastle.”

Earlier this month, town resident Ronald Marney said he feared a section of the wall of St Mary’s Square was in danger of collapsing.

The pensioner added he feared walking next to the wall, adding two large chunks of masonry had recently toppled off.

Mr Marney said: “It is very dangerous. One of the pieces that fell off is the size of your head - the other is two or three times bigger.

“It was lucky no-one was walking by at the time. They could have been seriously injured.”

Mr Marney, who lives in a nearby property, called for some action to be taken to protect the wall.

He added: “I can’t believe that someone isn’t doing something to protect a very important piece of the town’s history.”

Two months ago, the town’s County Councillor Bill Aron complained that vandals were taking pieces of another section of wall, near to the Community Centre.

Coun Aron planned to raise the matter with relevant officials at County Hall.

He admitted a major problem is that serval sections of the wall are on private land but it appears that particular headache could now be overcome.