Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bradwell Saxon Shore Fort looted

Bradwell on Sea, Essex © David Gill
The Roman fort at Bradwell on Essex formed part of the Saxon Shore series of fortifications stretching from Portchester in Hampshire to Brancaster in Norfolk. The site of Bradwell is stunning with its views over the Essex salt marsh. A Saxon chapel was built over the fort's west gate and includes reused Roman material.

It now appears this historically significant site has been the target of metal-detectorists. It is reported today (Cahal Milmo, "'Nighthawks': Tracking the criminals plundering ancient sites with the latest equipment", The Independent December 30, 2015):
Another Roman site at Bradwell in Essex was attacked earlier this month, leaving the landscape pockmarked with tell-tale holes.
Essex police are conducting Operation Chronos at the moment, and PC Andy Long is quoted in the report:
People in this country love their heritage. If someone came along and started removing the stones from Stonehenge, there would be outrage. When a Saxon necklace is taken out of the ground illegally it is the same thing. You are changing the story of the landscape.
This deliberate damage to archaeological sites will continue until a clear message is delivered that such actions are unacceptable.

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