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121108 | Town archaeology is given national status |

From The Cornishman Thursday 8 November 2012

Town archaeology is given national status

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Cornishman


THE national significance of two of Hayle's most important archaeological sites has been recognised after a battle lasting a decade.

The sites, which span more than 2,000 years of history, are now on the official list of scheduled monuments in England.

  1. ?Cornwall Councillor for Hayle North John Pollard assessing the state of the Roman-era Cunaide Stone on the Plantation.    John Bennett

    Cornwall Councillor for Hayle North John Pollard assessing the state of the Roman-era Cunaide Stone on the Plantation. John Bennett

The oldest site, between Carnsew Road and Plantation Lane, includes an Iron Age hill-fort, an early Christian memorial stone and 19th-century landscaped paths.

The other is the 18th- to 19th-century mill complex, ropeworks and associated water management system east of Millpond Avenue, Foundry.

Town councillor John Bennett, who became involved in the case when he was a planning officer at Penwith District Council, said: "I'm extremely glad they've done these two very important sites, although it did take nine years longer than we would have hoped."

Designation would ensure sympathetic development to produce a more integrated environment, he said.

Of an estimated one million archaeological sites or find spots in England, only 20,000 are scheduled monuments. Georgina Schofield of the Hayle Archive has also fought to get the sites protected.

"With the hill-fort we have the second oldest Christian burial site in England, and it was a trading hub," she said.

"In the Iron Age, all roads led to Carnsew."

Scheduling had begun in 2001, she said, but due to changes at English Heritage's office was never finished. Now the process was completed, both sites had actually been given a higher importance than was originally planned.

"The millpond they consider at a very high level because it's the original foundry," she said, adding that she hoped the new designation would mean more help from the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council in protecting the sites.

"They could create a great gem in Hayle," she said. "It's fantastic for tourism and fantastic for education."

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said the scheduling was delayed by a review.

"Though funds are very limited, scheduled monuments may receive grant aid through English Heritage in the form of management grants, or through the Heritage Lottery Fund," she said. "In addition, the process of applying to English Heritage for Scheduled Monument Consent before any works can be made to the monument does provide control over development."