After a long wait the path through the Roman Gardens has finally been reopened , restoring access to the river. The section of pathway has been closed for many months to allow repairs to the historic walls to take place.
The council’s Bridges and Structures Team arranged for recycled Roman masonry to be used to repair the damaged walls.
Roman masonry excavated from the old Odeon site has been used to build a protective ‘capping’ layer which allows water to run off and prevents any new vegetation growth. The council stress that no Roman buildings were damaged during the excavations at the site – the masonry was from below-ground foundations and also a Roman drain.
Repairs were carried out to the section of walls at the bottom of Barnaby’s Tower which probably dates from the 13th Century. This Grade I listed building was originally a watch tower and was modified to become a feature of the walls when the top of the tower was made level with the walkway between 1702 and 1708. Ivy and other plant growth along with general weathering had caused erosion at the base of the walls, and left loose and fragile rock in place.
Ivy and other vegetation growth, along with general weathering, had caused erosion at the base of the walls. The remaining rock was loose and very fragile
. Councillor Brian Clarke said that he was “delighted that these repairs have been completed using Roman materials sourced from elsewhere in our historic city. It is fascinating to hear about the history of this section of the wall and we have now secured its future for many generations to come.”
The gardens themselves were created in the 1950s to house a varied collection of Roman remains which were discovered all across the city during excavations. Famously the wall itself was breached here during the Civil war siege of 1645. Great to see access restored , and we hope the now historic scaffolding on the Northgate wall will be the next target for repair.