HC Deb 11 March 1969 vol 779 cc1140-1
2. Mr. Peter M. Jackson

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will schedule the earthworks reputed to be the lost monastery of Hefresham situated in Levens Park, Westmorland.

Mr. Mellish

About 12 sites in Levens Park have already been scheduled. The Department has sponsored an excavation of some of these: but this has revealed no evidence to identify or connect them with the lost monastery of Hefresham. If further significant sites are discovered, I will consider scheduling them.

Mr. Jackson

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Can he give the House an asurance that should the motorway go through, and should the monastery be discovered, he will undertake a crash excavation programme before the remains are destroyed by the motorway?

Mr. Mellish

Should any important site be discovered which had implications for the road scheme I would certainly undertake to discuss it with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, and should bring home to him very forcibly the importance of such finds—if we find them.

Mr. Jopling

Is the Minister aware that the threat to these earthworks has caused great dismay both at home and abroad? Will he follow the excellent example of the Minister of Transport, who visited the site a week ago?

Mr. Mellish

I do not mind visiting the site, but this is all about a lost monastery that has not yet been found.