Is this the last chance to save a section of Horncastle’s Roman wall?

Sheila Jonkers in front of a section of the Roman wall in Horncastle Library. EMN-180418-101553001
Sheila Jonkers in front of a section of the Roman wall in Horncastle Library. EMN-180418-101553001

Volunteers are stepping up their efforts to save a section of the town’s Roman wall which is under threat from erosion.

The wall is at the Community Centre where a public meeting has been called on Saturday April 28 to discuss a report that has identified the urgent work required to save the 2,000-year-old structure.

The walls have been on the ‘Heritage at Risk List’ for many years but recent damage inflicted by the ‘Beast from the East’ has made matters even worse.

It is feared this could be the last chance to save the wall for future generations.

The wall is of national importance and is a rare reminder of the town’s Roman roots.

The report has been compiled by Doctor David Watt, a chartered surveyor and expert on historic buildings, and was funded by a grant from Historic England.

He carried out a detailed condition survey of the wall identifying all the areas that require repairs.

Volunteer Sheila Jonkers said: “It is totally incomprehensible to me how such an important monument can have been at risk for so many years.

“It’s great to reach a point where we can now start to move forward.”

The work required to save the wall needs to be carried out by specialist craftspeople and the costs will total ‘many thousand of pounds’, much of which will have to be raised by the community.

This sum involved is far in excess of what the Community Centre Management Committee, who lease the site, can raise - in addition to their running costs.

As a result, volunteers from the Horncastle History and Heritage Society are assisting them with the project and looking at how to fund the work required.

Anyone with an interest in the town’s history and wants to find out more about saving the wall is invited to attend the meeting.

Local archeologist Dr Ian Marsham will speak about the history of the wall and why it needs to be saved.

Mrs Jonkers, who has led the campaign to save the wall, will also talk about the progress made so far.

This will be followed by a presentation from Kathryn Moore (Historic Lincolnshire) who have offered to provide advice on the sources for funding.

There will be a chance for questions - and a discussion on how to proceed to raise the money.

It is hoped to extend the project to other sections of the wall although the majority of the structure is on privately owned land.

There are calls for the walls to form an integral part of plans to attract more visitors to Horncastle.

•Anyone interested can contact Sheila Jonkers on 01507 524727 or karel.jonkers@btinternet.com.