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An Undiscovered Stretch Of Hadrian Wall Unearthed

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    Posted: 05-Jun-2005 at 12:07
 
ROMAN FIND BYPASS HITCH
Published in News & Star on Saturday, May 21st 2005

Ancient route: The River Eden  looking south from Stainton, the site of the proposed Carlisle bypass
Ancient route: The River Eden looking south from Stainton, the site of the proposed Carlisle bypass
EXCLUSIVE by Mark Preskett

AN UNDISCOVERED stretch of Hadrians Wall has been unearthed by archaeologists on the route of the 30 million Carlisle Northern Development by-pass.

The team of archaeologists from Cumbria County Council have discovered a section of the Roman wall and fragments of ancient pottery on the banks of the River Eden near Stainton, west of Carlisle. The discovery is directly on the line of the planned Northern Development Route and could mean further delays to the long-awaited by-pass now more than three years late.

The Northern Development Route (CNDR), which will provide a vital link between West Cumbria and the M6, should have opened last December. Work on the road, which is seen as crucial in relieving crippling traffic congestion in Carlisle, was to start in 2006 and be complete in 2008.

A county council spokesman said archaeologists had found several fragments of Roman pottery. He said: A single course of flat stones was also discovered, which is likely to have been the base of the wall, and on the southern side of the wall there was clear evidence of the vallum an earthwork mound and ditch. The position of the new find broadly matches the assumed line of Hadrians Wall west of the city.

County archaeologist Richard Newman described the historic find as significant. He said: Before this find we did not know whether the wall survived to the immediate west of Carlisle.

The council is now in talks with English Heritage, the Governments adviser on the historic environment, to decide what to do next.

The council spokesman admitted the find did have potential implications for the CNDR timetable, but said it was too early to assess what these might be.

He said: A full report to be published next week. It remains Cumbria County Councils intention, as far as possible, to press ahead with the start of construction of the CNDR in 2006.

Once the report is published, the council will have to decide whether to continue the build on the existing route or re-route the road around the archaeological site.

Cumbria County Council is currently assessing bids for the CNDR contract from four companies. The bill for building the by-pass is estimated at around 30 million.

The cost of the 30-year PFI contract, including maintaining the parts of the existing road network, is expected to be around 100 million.

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