Saturday, 31 January 2009

Weymouth Relief Road - archaeological rape and pillage

Looking across the ancient Dorset landscape from Maiden Castle.


Above the original road into and through Weymouth in Dorset is the Dorset Ridgeway, an area of obvious archaeology in the form of barrows and part of a much bigger ritual prehistoric landscape. I have just discovered that the new relief road around Weymouth has gone slap bang through the middle of this landscape. But hold on, it's alright, Weymouth Council kindly allowed archaeologists in EARLY so they could record it before it was utterly destroyed and covered in concrete. I realize that because I've not done any Dorset searches recently I had missed out totally on this happening, but it still makes my blood boil to think that there were probably several alternative routes, but this was deemed the best option as "only some archaeology" was in the way. That is the way Councils country-wide think about archaeology - it doesn't count for anything. Check out my friend Thelma's blog - the January 14th posting - for details of proposed housing on a garage site at Avebury. AVEBURY - the most phenomenal archaeological site in Britain (as far as I'm concerned it knocks Stonehenge into a cocked hat). She cites the reports of all the respected archaeological bodies concerned, who categorically state this redevelopment should NOT go ahead. The Parish Council said that they saw no reason why the houses should not be built and it was PASSED! For God's Sake . . . Not one blardy brain cell between the whole kit and caboodle.

Anyway, I digress. Here's your last chance to see what the archaeology looked like before half a million cars and lorries a day zoom over the top of this ritual landscape:

http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=390745


And here's a link to some wonderful aerial photographs of the Dorset archaeological landscape. Enjoy before THEY too are turned into housing estates.

I shall go and weep for the ignorance of men . . .

6 comments:

Greentwinsmummy said...

oh thats glum news,I hadnt heard anything about that:o( why does it need a relief road? I am carp with roads,being a newbie driver,where are the cars going that will be on the relief road?
Theres much talk round here of the joining up of Sherborne to Yeovil.In between is at the moment fields,mostly given over to wheat & corn.Harvests have been tough & the sad thing is some farmers may be ready to throw in the towel & take the money offered.

At risk of sounding like my dad! theres simply too many people :o( & more & more live alone,not in extended families as households used to.these houses built will have scraps of gardens,meaning more people unable to grow a decent proportion of their own food,argggg I can feel myself spiral into a rant hmpfp
GTM x

Pat aka Posh said...

How sad... It totally pisses me off when historical things are torn down or destroyed for "progress" it happens here too.

Morning's Minion said...

I have always cherished the thought of Great Britain's "ancient history" as the place from which my maternal families sprang centuries ago. It is possible to create wildlife reserves, to "restore" the buildings of an old village site--it isn't possible, surely, to bulldoze a fragile remnant of older civilization, cover it in concrete and ever hope to resurrect it!

daisy said...

I totally understand how upset you must be feeling, I'm not into arcaeology but it makes me wild that the powers that be see fit to build on every bit of green and every bit of history that this country has and the thing is once its gone, its gone forever just because of pompous mens ignorance.

Wild Somerset Child said...

What have we come too !!!!! A total lack of understanding of the past, its significance, and beauty of wild spaces to lift the spirit. A herding together and rushing. I won't write more - it makes me too angry, and that is a bad thing. Ugh.

nancy said...

I'm Sooo sorry. Priorities are so twisted.