Rotherwas Ribbon – English Heritage Seek To Preserve ‘Very Fragile’ Site

Just a very quick update to report that English Heritage have visited the site, I think on the afternoon of Monday the 9th, and it is expected that a decision will be reached over the next few weeks…

English Heritage inspectors made a visit to the 4,000-year-old archaeological feature in Herefordshire on July 9 to advise the council on further archaeological investigations, preservation measures and to see if it should be preserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The 197ft (60m) long curved ribbon of stones, dubbed the Rotherwas Ribbon, is a surface of cracked stones discovered as a result of the archaeological investigations carried out prior to the construction of the Rotherwas access road, located just south of Hereford city.

Its discovery has sent ripples of excitement through the archaeological community and beyond and now a groundswell of opinion is building that opposes the original council plan of preserving the site in a protective casing and allowing the road to be built over the top of it.

Whilst many might be surprised that there’s even a debate over the future of the site, and would question why a ‘cease and desist order’ regarding the road construction wasn’t immediately nailed to the nearest noticeboard, supporters of the campaign to preserve the site will doubtless take heart from the fact that an official government body have seen fit to visit the site so promptly, an indication of the importance they attach to the site, as we see from their statement…

English Heritage, who have been advising the council on the preservation of the site, issued a statement on July 10, which read: “In the long term, English Heritage considers that this is a significant find worthy of being fully recorded for future research and protected in-situ.”

“Each part of the find is very fragile and by keeping the remains in their context they can help us understand how people used to live in this landscape setting. English Heritage will make sure the local authority has access to its expertise in this process.”

The sooner this site becomes scheduled as an ancient monument, the better, and as there appears ot be every indication that the planned road would have been of limited use or commercial value, so there should be no problem in not only saving the site, but generating sufficient funds for the necessary archaeology to take place – with the long term prosepect of the site becoming accessible to the public, who are the true owners of any nation’s ancient heritage. (TJ)

see also: Save The Dinedor Serpent (or Rotherwas Ribbon)

e-Petition 10, Downing Street – (256, signatures so far, a few million more should do the trick)

2 thoughts on “Rotherwas Ribbon – English Heritage Seek To Preserve ‘Very Fragile’ Site

  1. Hi again,
    The appearance of the inspectors seem to bring hope that in the very near future, a block will be imposed on further road building on top of the Serpent (I prefer the term ‘Serpent’ to Ribbon, it’s more celestial). My only concern is over whether the council are able to continue preparations at present or have to await the conclusions of English Heritage and any other official bodies. Either way I still cannot believe there is still the option to cover it up. I’m an advocate of educating people of the origins of the site and how bronze age man (up to Romans, saxons etc) may have forged a life in this part of the UK.

  2. Hi Alex, I would imagine construction work is halted immediately, but one can never be sure in such situations – hopefully common sense will prevail and the site left alone till EH conclude their deliberations.

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