Crowding in on Horncastle heritage conservation

The Roman wall at Horncastle Community Centre is considered to be the most 'at risk' section
The Roman wall at Horncastle Community Centre is considered to be the most 'at risk' section

A project to save Horncastle’s 2,000-year-old Roman wall is moving into the digital age.

Horncastle History & Heritage Society has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise money towards the £10,000 match funding required to help secure a £90,000 grant to conserve the areas of the wall most at risk.

The wall is protected by law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument because of its national importance, but it has been on Historic England’s “Heritage at Risk List” for decades.

Last year, a report commissioned by Horncastle Community Centre, custodians of the wall’s most ‘at risk’ part, identified the specialist conservation work required to save it, which is estimated to cost around £100,000.

Working together, volunteers from the Horncastle History & Heritage Society and Horncastle Community Centre launched the ‘Sponsor a Stone’ appeal in January, which cemented the interest in the wall.

Dr Ian Marshman, chairman of Horncastle History and Heritage Society, said: “When we offered people the chance to sponsor a stone for just £10, we hoped we might get a few donations, but we didn’t anticipate how many local people would want to take part.

“Over 50 stones have been sponsored so far and they continue to keep coming in.

“Together with previous donations, we’ve raised well over £1,000.

“It’s great to see so much enthusiasm for protecting our town’s heritage.”

Now the online crowdfunding appeal means anyone from anywhere in the world can donate to the campaign at the touch of a button.

Dr Marsham said: “In just a few days almost £250 has been raised, with word spread via Horncastle History & Heritage Society’s social media.

“To find out more about the project or to donate click here

Paper sponsorship forms are also available and can be found around the town - at the library, the Community Centre and on the Society’s notice board by the River Bain.

Everyone sponsoring a stone online, or on paper, will have their name added to a special plaque at the community centre, although donors are also welcome to remain anonymous.

Dr Marsham added: “The volunteers acknowledge there is still a long way to go to reach the target, but we are applying for a number of other grants, with a range of fundraising events planned.

“These include guided tours of the town’s Roman remains, as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival in May and for the Heritage Open Days this September, plus a special guest lecture later in the year.”