How Pubwatch could save the Roman Wall

16/11/19: Story courtesy of Horncastle News

Organisers of the campaign to save Horncastle’s Roman Wall are happily toasting the success of one of their latest donations – from a surprising source.
Members of the now defunct Horncastle Pubwatch Scheme have handed over £480 to the wall appeal fund.

Public houses used to pay into the scheme which featured an early warning about any potential trouble.

However, the scheme stopped a couple of years ago but any remaining money was never used…until now.

An appeal to save the wall is being led by the Horncastle History and Heritage Society.

The society had raised over £10,000 towards the cost of the £107,000 project which will restore a section of the wall behind the Community Centre and 
St Mary’s Square.

The bulk of the funding will come from Historic England.

However, any celebrations were put on hold when it was announced the repairs would cost more than originally thought.

As a result, the History and Heritage Society was tasked with raising an additional £2,000.
However, thanks to the Pubwatch cash – and continued donations from the public via a ‘sponsor a stone’ scheme – the society is well on course to reaching the new target.

Society chairman Dr Ian Marshman said: “Since the recent story in the Horncastle News, there has been a renewed flurry of people sponsoring stones with some money already received and more on the way.

“The society and the community centre were also delighted to find out that they will be recipients of £480 from the defunct Pubwatch scheme. Their donations will help ensure the town’s oldest monument is preserved for future generations.”

The wall is nationally important and protected by law as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, one of only two per cent of archaeological sites across England to receive the status.

But the wall has been at risk for some time now as hundreds of years of weathering and decay have taken their toll on its ancient stonework.

The extra £500 in match funding received in recent weeks will enable the volunteers to ask Historic England to contribute another £4,500 to the restoration.

This means there is only another £1,500 to raise in order to secure the £128,000 investment it will take to save the section of wall.

Dr Marshman said: “We are closer now than ever before to seeing this precious part of Horncastle’s history preserved.”

NPW Editors comment: A silver lining to a disappointing underlying issue relating to Horncastle Pubwatch. Pubwatch schemes fail for a number of reasons, sometimes due purely to key individuals moving out of the area. NPW can provide the crucial source of good practice advice and information and we stand ready to help Horncastle licensees to put their scheme back on track should there be enough local support for a re-launch.