I have kept my word and now I have requested that the Saxon burial site be registered as an ANCIENT MONUMENT.
This will provide the best protection possible for this important burial site. It should not be built upon or disturbed further but should now revert to a pleasant tranquil place that reflects the heritage of the burial site of a Saxon King or Prince and I have already asked the officers to do what is necessary to secure Ancient Monument status for the site, which will give it the same protection as Priory Park.
It’s now sometime since we sat down with Parklife to find a way forward to the Priory Crescent issues that suited everyone. Out of that meeting came an agreement, they would leave the Camp Bling site, we would improve Cuckoo Corner without going into the park and we would landscape the Saxon burial site. That work is now completing and I have kept to my word indeed I believe we have gone further to honour the spirit of the agreement and to respect both the site and the wishes of residents.
It must, by now, be clear to anyone who has travelled along Priory Crescent that the works at Cuckoo Corner have not gone into the park and that extensive planting has taken place with lines of Horse Chestnuts in the park and over the next few days the completion of the landscaping at Cuckoo will see more shrubs and trees in place. A new gate, designed to reflect the Priory, has been installed to improve pedestrian access to the park and access is further improved by safe road crossings.
I met again with Parklife a few months ago to discuss the plans for the Saxon burial site. I had promised a natural feel to landscaping that would respect the importance of the site. Parklife liked the proposed plans, indeed they said they were pleasantly surprised by them. Work started on site a few weeks ago and is now taking shape, many new trees and bulbs are being planted, they are natural British species, the slope of the site is being softened at the northern end and all along the back against the railway fence natural hedging is being established to form a backdrop and a low wooden rail will go along the road side edge. The site itself will be tastefully identified and a simple memorial will be placed there. Yesterday I visited the site again with my colleague Cllr Jarvis who has responsibility for our parks and we were both very pleased with the progress and how it was coming along.
It will take a few years to fully establish but it will be fitting and lasting tribute to the Saxon Prince.