MP calls for more details and reassurance over ancient henge found in Raunds

The henge at Warth Park
The henge at Warth Park

An MP has written to East Northants Council to find out what happens next after the discovery of an ancient henge in Raunds.

Winvic, who are carrying out work for the Warth Park expansion, tweeted a photo of the excavated henge that archaeologists unearthed earlier this week.

It was described as an ancient henge with an approximate age of 4,000 years and spanning 100m in diameter.

The tweet has since been deleted, but led to lots of discussion about the site and its history.

A number of sources including Historic England and an expert in archaeology have since said the henge has been known about since the 1980s.

However, the excavations have led to pictures and drone footage of the henge emerging, which has sparked a lot of interest in the site.

This interest has prompted Tom Pursglove MP to contact East Northants Council (ENC) about what happens next after this week’s discovery.

Mr Pursglove’s open letter to David Oliver, chief executive of ENC, said: “It has come to my attention that, this week, a henge has been excavated at Warth Park in Raunds, where planning permission has been granted to significantly extend the existing industrial/warehouse development.

“In light of this discovery, a number of local people have contacted me seeking reassurance that this site will be thoroughly excavated before any further works are allowed to be undertaken and have enquired as to what will happen now, in terms of the process, given the historic value of this site.

“I would therefore be extremely grateful if you could provide me with an update on this matter that I can share with my constituents, given the significant public interest and the historic value of this site.”

A statement issued by ENC yesterday (Wednesday) said: “The henge was known about prior to a planning application being submitted and, once we received an application for this site we consulted the Northamptonshire County Council archaeologist who is a statutory consultee in the planning process.

“One of the conditions imposed on the application as recommended by the archaeologist was that a scheme of works be developed that sets out how the developers planned to investigate and record their findings.

“This report was submitted and approved by the council in consultation with the archaeologist a year ago.

“The second part of the condition was that before any work starts the developers must fully investigate the site and report back to the archaeologist on their findings.

“The work that is currently taking place on the site is the archaeology investigation and not the start of building works.

“The archaeologist is in regular contact with the developers and is being consulted throughout the process.

“The final archaeologist’s report will be made available on our website once the investigation is complete and approved by the county archaeologist.”

To read more about the henge, click here