HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 cc190-1W
Mr. Martlew

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many ancient monuments in Wales are currently scheduled; how many he estimates ought to be scheduled; when he estimates the scheduling will be complete; how many scheduled monuments have been damaged or destroyed in each of the last five years; what were the causes of that damage or destruction, and if he will make a statement.

Sir Wyn Roberts

Responsibility for this subject has been delegated to Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments. I have asked the chief executive, John Carr, to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from E. A. J. Carr to Mr. Eric Martlew, dated March 1993: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Wales about the scheduling of ancient monuments in Wales since the matters you raise are the responsibility of the Agency. The identification and scheduling of monuments of national importance is a key activity for the Agency. An evaluation of all known archaeological remains in Wales is underway and currently 2,697 monuments have been scheduled. It is estimated that when this exercise is completed, the total number of scheduled monuments in Wales might be of the order of 5,500. We have been considering how the Agency's work in this area might be accelerated and you will be interested to know that during the next financial year, Cadw will be supplementing the work of its Inspectorate by employing a contractor to work on the scheduling enhancement of Roman military sites in the Principality. We shall also be reviewing the way in which contractors could be used to further accelerate this work. The Agency routinely monitors the condition of all scheduled monuments on a three year cycle, and where damage has been identified all such cases are investigated. Depending on the circumstances of each case our response has ranged from a warning to those involved to a prosecution of the offenders. In two cases a successful prosecution has been mounted and a further two cases have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. The Agency has no precise record of the number of scheduled monuments that may be damaged each year but from the monitoring arrangements I mention above this is kept under review. You might find it helpful to have details of those monuments descheduled in the last five years due to reasons of damage or destruction though you will see that in each case damage occured before 1988. 1988–89 Y Gaer Camp, Clwyd: The site has been levelled and landscaped removing any evidence of the monument when developed as a caravan park in the 1950s. 1989–90 Mount Sion Round Barrow, Dyfed: This monument was situated in the middle of two gun ranges and was destroyed by gunfire in 1981. Mynydd Llanybyther, alignment of standing stones, Dyfed: No remains of this monument survive. It was probably destroyed when the area was first planted by the Forestry Commission in 1957. Siemens Laboratory, West Glamorgan: Demolished following grant of scheduled monument consent in 1987. 1990–91 Castell Dol Wlff: The monument was lost when the site was levelled and a bungalow built over the site in 1983. Rose Valley Barrow: The remains of the barrow are thought to have been lost as a consequence of natural erosion. The original mound is thought to have been levelled when the site was brought into agricultural use and ploughed probably in the 1970s.