Destroying our past

YET again we have, as archaeologists, been horrified when examining the development of a car park at the Beechwood College, off Hayes Road, Sully.

Horrified because we have yet again seen the destruction of more of Sully’s unexcavated past; that of its once very large medieval village.

In 2011 the work on the Glebeland, the land across the road from Sully Church, witnessed the wholesale destruction of the remains of some medieval structures - component parts of the village – without any archaeologists monitoring the development before it was too late to stop the damage.

In 2013, at Beechwood, we have seen the loss of more 1200s to 1300s medieval Sully, again without any form of archaeological monitoring.

Archaeology Cymru has recovered a handful of medieval pottery produced locally and finer pottery from as far afield as Bristol and known as ‘Ham Green ware’.

It is likely that, when the car park was being levelled, there were at least two medieval homes, other than building rubble and pottery; now all we have is just that – a pile of soil with stone work and the waste materials of our medieval ancestors from 700 years ago.

It is now of great concern that archaeological remains are no longer relevant, and development anywhere can go ahead unabated – with our archaeology, and the link to who we are and the past, being lost forever.

Karl-James Langford (senior archaeologist, Archaeology Cymru)

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