In a wonderful bit of optimistic spin by East Sussex Council the above story leaked into the inner pages of the local paper this week. The opening statement “Archaeology enthusiasts working along the route of the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road have helped unearth what is thought to be one of the most significant finds of prehistoric remains in the country” it goes on to say “At the Eastern end of the link road, near Upper Wilting Farm, the team uncovered the evidence of Early Romano British industry” where the County Archaeologist assured me there was no evidence of Roman occupation or Saxon Settlement activity and at the Public Inquiry for the road assured the Inspector the earthworks on this site was post medieval. Here it is claimed the artefacts are “pre-historic” in a transparent attempt to mitigate the clear evidence of Roman and Saxon activity on the Hastings Burgh site. Since when was “prehistory” in the Roman and Saxon period – lets call a spade a spade – that’s plainly not right?
How long I wonder before it occurs to someone with influence that Roman and Saxon occupation was the hallmark of all the Burghs installed by Alfred the Great and that the earthworks, recently partly destroyed by our friends the road builders, may indeed be connected to the old town of Hastings where the port of Hastings was once located. Exactly the right size in exactly the right place. It would be very strange if the town of Hastings was anywhere else as there never was a town called Wilting, never has been, so where did this prehistory disappear to? The port of Bulverhythe recorded in manuscripts was recorded as the Port of Hastings and that was next to Wilting. Well of course I havent seen any boats yet say the experts who havent looked in the port area and would rather die than look. The same experts who told me and the Inspector there was no Roman evidence on the site. Not what HAARG says now. So who is right? Who do we trust here – politicians or archaeologists?
Long after these people who destroy our heritage have gone people who have integrity like the people who work at HAARG (Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group) will still be on this site and the truth will come out. You cannot change history because it does not suit your politics. In the meantime its only a matter of time before the penny drops with the heritage organisations that its time to call a halt to the devastation of Alfred’s Burgh at Hastings.