Ross-on-Wye



Ross-on-Wye

Excavations Continue

6th December 2008

The Original Excavation

The original excavation (06-12-08)
The original excavation
(Click for a larger image)

Work on the original excavation site is continuing and being further enlarged out under the area that the cover was extended out over.


The Prospect

This shot shows the top of the Prospect where the excavations are continuing and the spoil heaps from the digs are being created.

The Prospect (06-12-08)
The Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

The New Excavation

As reported in The Journal (3/12/08) the new excavation is believed to be of a 800 year old wall belonging to the Bishops Palace that sat somewhere in this area prior to the building of the Royal Hotel and Prospect Garden. Herefordshire Council has put in a bid for Heritage Lottery funding as it is thought that this new find combined with the 1900 year old Roman remains could be a great tourist attraction for the area and needs to be preserved and suitably displayed.

30th November 2008

The New and Old Wall

If the new and old walls are compared then it is interesting to note that the new wall is weathering quickly so that it is already beginning to match and blend in with the original wall.

The new Prospect Wall (30-11-08)
The new Prospect Wall
(Click for a larger image)
The old Prospect Wall (30-11-08)
The old Prospect Wall
(Click for a larger image)

The New Excavation Cover - completed

The cover and viewing platform have now been completed and further excavations are being carried out.

The completed new dig cover (30-11-08)
The completed new dig cover
(Click for a larger image)

The new excavations continue (Click for larger images)

23th November 2008

The New Excavation Cover

The new dig cover (23-11-08)
The new dig cover
(Click for a larger image)

A new cover and viewing platform is being constructed over the new excavation area in the centre of the Prospect.


The view of the new excavation (Click for larger images)

15th November 2008

The Dig Cover

The extended dig cover (15-11-08)
The extended dig cover
(Click for a larger image)

The extension to the cover over the site has now been completed.

The extended cover (15-11-08)
The extended cover
(Click for a larger image)

The Dig

Further works at the dig have been carried out.

The extended dig (15-11-08)
The extended dig
(Click for a larger image)

8th November 2008

The Dig Cover

The cover over the dig site is being extended as the dig is being extended.

The cover over the dig (08-11-08)
The cover over the dig site
(Click for a larger image)

The extended cover over the dig (08-11-08)
The extended cover over the dig site
(Click for a larger image)

The New Fence

The new fence (08-11-08)
The new fence
(Click for a larger image)

This is the new fence as seen from above.


Kyrle's Gate

Kyles Gate (08-11-08)
Kyrles Gate
(Click for a larger image)

The gate has now been returned. Interestingly the gate itself has a special bottom hinge that means that if the gate is released it automatically closes itself using its own weight as part of the mechanism.

Kyles Gate hinge (08-11-08)
Kyrles Gate hinge
(Click for a larger image)

2nd November 2008

The Dig

The excavations are continuing in the area where the base of the tower was uncovered.

The dig (02-11-08)
The dig site
(Click for a larger image)

The Prospect

New excavations in the Prospect (02-11-08)
New excavations in the Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

The new pit (02-11-08)
The new pit
(Click for a larger image)

In the Prospect a new pit has been opened up.

The pit seems to contain part of a wall and some other interesting features. It has to be remembered that the Prospect used to contain a fountain that formed part of the Town's water supply. Quite where this was located is unclear so the wall could be related to this or some other structure that has been in the Prospect in the past.


Kyrle's Gate

John Kyle's Gate has been reopened. The Gate itself is missing but the gate arch is now usable.

John Kyrles Gate (02-11-08)
New excavations in the Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

25th October 2008

The South Wall

The railings have been refitted to the top of the wall as this part of the work nears completion.

The south wall (25-10-08)
The south wall
(Click for a larger image)

The Dig

Further work has been carried out at the dig site as the excavations have been extended.

The dig (25-10-08)
The dig site
(Click for a larger image)

The Prospect

The main turfed area of the Prospect has been re-seeded as the tidying up continues.

The Prospect (25-10-08)
The Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

17th October 2008

The Sequoia Tree

The Prospect (17-10-08)
The Prospect with the tree removed
(Click for a larger image)

In order to be able to further the works in the Prospect, the Sequoia Tree in the Prospect was cut down today.

This will allow the excavations to be extended under the area where the tree was located thus extending the works. If no further information can be gained from this extension then the buttress to retain the Prospect will be built in this area around the "Roman" remains that were found in the corner of the site. The aim is to preserve the remains so that they can be put on permanent display whilst restoring the wall and the viewing point out over the river.


The log being removed (17-10-08)
The log being removed
(Click for a larger image)

Acer Tree Services from nearby Hereford were employed to fell the tree and remove it from the site.

A log on the trailer (17-10-08)
A log on the trailer
(Click for a larger image)

The logs (17-10-08)
The logs
(Click for a larger image)

The tree rounds (17-10-08)
The tree rounds
(Click for a larger image)

The tree stump (17-10-08)
The tree stump
(Click for a larger image)

All that remains of the tree on the site are the stump and some sections of the tree (each about 1200mm or 4 ft in diameter).


The War Memorial

The area around the War Memorial has been tidied up and the final layer of tarmac surrounding it will be laid tomorrow in preparation for Remembrance Sunday in a few weeks time when it will be rededicated

The War Memorial (17-10-08)
The War Memorial
(Click for a larger image)

The Excavations

Some further excavations have been taking place and this will presumably soon be extended further back now that the tree has been removed.

The excavations in the south west corner (17-10-08)
The excavations in the south west corner
(Click for a larger image)
The excavations (17-10-08)
The excavations
(Click for a larger image)

10th October 2008

South Wall

The completed south wall (10-10-08)
The completed south wall
(Click for a larger image)

The south wall has now been completed and the capping stones have been fitted to protect the top of the wall. Presumably all that is required now is the fence to be replaced on the top.

John Kyle's Gate has been tied into the new wall and the steps up to it have been tidied up. The various fencing in the area has been removed which is a great improvement to the appearance of the area.


John Kyrles Gate (10-10-08)
John Kyrle's Gate
(Click for a larger image)
The steps to John Kyrles Gate (10-10-08)
The steps to John Kyrle's Gate
(Click for a larger image)

The Sequoia Tree

As has been reported in the local newspapers, the Ross Gazette and the Ross-on-Wye Journal, the Wellingtonia (or Sequoia) tree is to be removed so that the reinforcing needed to retain the wall can be built without destroying the archeological remains.

The Sequoia Tree in the Prospect (10-10-08)
The Sequoia Tree in the Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

The Tree or the Roman Remains

The latest article in the Ross-on-Wye Journal5 states:


Quoted from 'Ross-on-Wye Journal'
Tree will go at Prospect
THE TOWN council has reluctantly supported the controversial decision to fell a Wellingtonia tree at The Prospect in preference to destroying Roman remains found at the site. The remains were discovered during works to repair a listed wall. The tree is a casualty of rebuilding the wall but will be replaced. The wall must be rebuilt for the safety of park users and to prevent damage to adjacent property. Councillor John Jarvis, Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for the environment and strategic housing, said: "The form and structure of The Prospect requires the collapsed retaining wall to be reinstated and this will either lead to the destruction of the archeological remains or the removal of the wellingtonia.
"While no-one likes to remove an established tree it can, unlike the archeological find, be replaced by another mature tree and the wellingtonia was not a part of the original park as laid out by John Kyrle, 'the father of Ross'."
Seven letters were received on the issue. Six express a preference for the tree to remain - three considered the tree of greater importance than the archeological remains. The other three suggest that the tree be kept but with the archeological remains left for investigation at a later date - but this could not be done without a retaining structure that would result in losing either the tree or the remains. The seventh letter said the display of the remains shouldcarefully reflect the historical design of The Prospect.
Denise Mason at Ross Town Council said: "Those letters must have gone direct to Hereford Council as we have only received one from the Civic Society."
The bidding for Heritage Lottery funding for a public display of the remains.

It seems, from the summary of the responses, that I may not have been the only person who was caught out by the original article in the Gazette.

Now that the fate of the tree is sealed, it has to be hoped that the display in the Prospect will be sympathetic to the area and that this will be an additional potential tourist attraction for the Ross area.

The Excavations

The Excavations (10-10-08)
The Excavations
(Click for a larger image)

As part of the ongoing works, the viewing ramp has been removed so that it is no longer possible to look down on the excavations.


The War Memorial

The War Memorial has now been completed at its new position in the centre of the Prospect and will be ready for Remembrance Sunday in November.

The War Memorial (10-10-08)
The War Memorial completed
(Click for a larger image)

4th October 2008

The Prospect

The Prospect is slowly being tidied up as various aspects of the works are completed.

The Prospect (4-10-08)
The Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

South Wall

The south wall (4-10-08)
The south wall
(Click for a larger image)
The new south wall (4-10-08)
The new south wall
(Click for a larger image)

The south wall has now been rebuilt as far as possible until a decision is made on the future of the archaeology that was found behind the west wall.

The complete wall (4-10-08)
The complete wall
(Click for a larger image)

The Tree or the Roman Remains

A recent article in the Ross Gazette3 (followed up the following week4) stated:


Quoted from 'Ross Gazette'
Roman remains or landmark tree?
ROMAN finds at the Prospect can be put on show but only at the expense of the beautiful Wellingtonia or Sequoia which dominates the Ross landscape. Town Councillors were told of this dilemma by Bill Bloxsome, Herefordshire Council's Conservation Manager, at Monday's meeting of Ross Town Council. He said that further excavations could be made and said that experts did not really know what the find was but they were more or less certain that it was Roman and that it was unique. The Wellingtonia was probably planted around 1850. Sequoias are popularly said to have 'an air of prehistoric mystique'.
The Mayor, Councillor John Davies asked if the people of Ross would have a chance to express their opinions and Mr Bloxsome said that people could write to him with their views but the decision needed to be made by the end of September.
Letters should be addressed to the Herefordshire Council Conservation Team, Plough Lane, PO Box 4, Hereford, HR4 OXH.


As a concerned local resident I wrote a letter regarding this stating that the works need to be completed so that the Prospect can be reinstated. I also questioned how additional investigations would assist in the understanding considering that the current archaeology was not conclusive. My suggestion was that the tree should not be cut down to extend the excavations as this would not be beneficial and the remains should be covered over to allow the works to be completed.

Due to some ambiguity in the article, which was highlighted in the reply received from Mr. Bloxsome, it was not clear that the issue was not displaying the remains and extending the site at the cost of the tree, as originally believed, but was in actual fact that it was either the tree or the destruction of the remains.

The issue is yet to be resolved.

War Memorial

The War Memorial (4-10-08)
The War Memorial
(Click for a larger image)

The War Memorial has been partially rebuilt in its new position in the centre of the Prospect.

The cross that forms the top is yet to be replaced.


The top of the War Memorial (4-10-08)
The top of the War Memorial
(Click for a larger image)

25th September 2008

War Memorial

The parts of the War Memorial have been moved close to its new position within the Prospect.

The base has started to be rebuilt and will soon be in place.

The War Memorial (25-9-08)
The War Memorial
(Click for a larger image)

The War Memorial top (25-9-08)
The War Memorial top
(Click for a larger image)
The War Memorial base (25-9-08)
The War Memorial base
(Click for a larger image)

13th September 2008

The building of the stone face of the wall is continuing.

The south wall (13-9-08)
The stone facing
(Click for a larger image)
The new south wall (13-9-08)
The south wall
(Click for a larger image)

The works on the dig site have been halted until the finds have been analysed to try to determine the date of the site, still thought to be Roman, and what other details can be ascertained.

As reported in the Ross Gazette3, further excavations can only be carried out if the Wellingtonia or Sequoia tree in the Prospect is cut down. The tree is thought to have been planted in around 1850 and the decision on further works has to be made by the end of September. Currently opinion is being sought from residents of the town.


The Sequoia tree (14-9-08)
The Sequoia tree
(Click for a larger image)
The Sequoia tree seen from Vaga Crescent (14-9-08)
The Sequoia tree seen from Vaga Crescent
(Click for a larger image)

The Sequoia tree can be seen from all over the surrounding area and the tree line of the view of Ross would be considerably changed by its removal.

As for the additional pit that has been dig in the Prospect, this has been expanded and what looks like a walkway is being built from it to one of the original paths through the Prospect.

The excavation in the Prospect (13-9-08)
The excavation in the Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

30th August 2008

The concrete wall (30-8-08)
The concrete wall has been completed
(Click for a larger image)

The new concrete retaining wall has been completed along this stretch and the soil has been back-filled in behind it as work starts to restore the Prospect to its former glory.

There are numerous drainage holes and what look like expansion gaps built into the wall which are likely to be there to prevent a repeat of the wall collapsing.


A 2nd sample section of the wall has been created in preparation for the main wall being rebuilt.

Maybe a different stone mason created this or maybe it was to test a different mix of mortar.

Another wall sample (30-8-08)
Another sample of the new wall has been created
(Click for a larger image)

There are various heaps of stone along the length of the concrete wall and the first stones that will form the new face of the wall have been laid. This seems to be another sample area that has been laid to check that the small samples can be translated into building the actual wall.

The new wall (30-8-08)
The new wall has been started
(Click for a larger image)
The new wall again (30-8-08)
The new wall again
(Click for a larger image)

Additionally a new pit has been opened up in the Prospect. Presumably this is related to the archeological works at the west side of the Prospect where the base of the structure was unearthed.

The excavation in the Prospect (30-8-08)
Excavation in the Prospect
(Click for a larger image)

Apparently at the dig site beside the structure base a horse skeleton has been unearthed but currently no other details have been released.

18th August 2008

The new wall sample (18-8-08)
A sample of the new wall
(Click for a larger image)

This sample of the face of the new wall has been created to demonstrate how the wall and mortar will look once the stone facing is put on the wall.


17th August 2008

Here we see the new concrete retaining wall for the south side of the Prospect. This will be faced with stone so that it is in keeping with the original wall.

The drainage pipe behind the wall has been put in place to help prevent a build up of water behind the wall which was partly why the collapse occurred.

The new retaining wall (17-8-08)
The new retaining wall
(Click for a larger image)

The front of the retaining wall (14-8-08)
The front of the retaining wall
(Click for a larger image)
The back of the retaining wall (14-8-08)
The back of the retaining wall
(Click for a larger image)

17th July 2008

The wall that was beside John Kyrle's Gate has been removed and the gate is now being supported by the framework that has been added around it.

The Prospect (17-7-08)
The Prospect wall works
(Click for a larger image)
The John Kyrle Gate (17-7-08)
The John Kyrle Gate
(Click for a larger image)

The lack of a doorway is seen as a sign that this may not have been a tower at all. It is possible that this is pre-Roman such as a Iron Age shrine. Another possibility is that it is post-Roman and a tower or structure related to the Bishops Palace.

The structure (17-7-08)
The Prospect structure
(Click for a larger image)
Stones at the works (17-7-08)
Stones
(Click for a larger image)

The foundations of the south wall have been laid down. The new wall will presumably be built up upon this and then faced with the stone from the original wall.

Stones at the works (17-7-08)
The wall foundations
(Click for a larger image)

8th July 2008

The tower (8-7-08)
The tower
(Click for a larger image)

The wall that crossed the tower base has been removed which has revealed another part of the base of the round structure.

The outside edges of the tower have been excavated to see what is below or the extent of them.


Recently Kyrle's Gateway has had a support structure built around it to prevent it from falling over due to it leaning out towards the church yard. This was presumably due to the pressure exerted by the built up area of the Prospect.

Kyrle Gateway (8-7-08)
Kyrle Gateway
(Click for a larger image)
Kyrles Gateway (8-7-08)
Kyrles Gateway
(Click for a larger image)

The work on the foundations of the new south wall are continuing as can be seen here.

The new wall foundations (8-7-08)
The new wall foundations
(Click for a larger image)

27th June 2008

Further work has been done with regard to adding a cover to the site. Now the sides have been added and the covers over the walls have been removed.

The covered area (27-6-08)
The covered area
(Click for a larger image)
The cover (27-6-08)
The cover
(Click for a larger image)

The site (27-6-08)
The site
(Click for a larger image)

The tower (27-6-08)
The tower
(Click for a larger image)

The site is now uncovered and the walls and round structure can be clearly seen. The walls bisect the round structure thus leading to the idea that the walls were a later addition.

The round structure seems to be a basin with a post hole in the centre. The post can be seen to the left.


The tower (27-6-08)
The tower
(Click for a larger image)
The tower and walls (27-6-08)
The tower and walls
(Click for a larger image)

13th June 2008

The roof has now been completed over the site.

Additionally at the south-western corner a ramp has been added and a viewing platform so that the progress on the dig can be seen by the public.

The Prospect roof (13-6-08)
The Prospect roof
(Click for a larger image)

The view from the platform (13-6-08)
The view from the platform
(Click for a larger image)
The platform ramp (13-6-08)
The platform ramp
(Click for a larger image)

The Prospect trench (13-6-08)
The Prospect trench
(Click for a larger image)

The trench where the south wall used to stand has now been completed and the base of the new wall has been started.


10th June 2008

Recently a scaffold has been erected beside the site and now a structure had been built over the top which looks like it maybe a roof.

The Prospect scaffold (10-6-08)
The Prospect scaffold
(Click for a larger image)





1 The Ross Gazette - Wednesday June 4th 2008
2 The Hereford Times - Thursday June 5th 2008
3 The Ross Gazette - Wednesday September 10th 2008 - no. 6727 - article: Roman remains or landmark tree?
4 The Ross Gazette - Wednesday September 17th 2008 - no. 6728 - article: A new home for Ross War Memorial
5 Ross-on-Wye Journal - Wednesday October 6th 2008 - article: Tree will go at Prospect
6 The Ross Gazette - Wednesday November 25th 2009 - article: Prospect restored
7 http://en.wikipedia....ncient_Roman_pottery, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samian_ware
8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius
9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epona


[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]






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