A ROMAN fort discovered in Burscough has been given special protection after its importance was recognised by Historic England.
The site was first discovered by Steve Baldwin in 2003 when large sandstone blocks were displaced during agricultural works in the field.
Recent work carried out at the site by landowners had raised concern among archaeologists and local volunteers who had been digging at the site over the years.
Residents were also concerned by the potential for irreversible damage at the site and the harm that may be caused from use of the land as a campsite.
Last week West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper secured commitment from both Historic England and West Lancashire Borough Council for the protection of the Roman Fort.
The site is now registered as a Scheduled Monument and has been recognised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as of ‘national importance’.
This scheduling does not automatically rule out all development but does ensure that no damage takes place to nationally important archaeology, or that if damage can be justified by the public benefits of the proposal it is kept to a minimum and it is properly recorded by professional archaeologists.
MP Cooper said: “This is fantastic news for Burscough and West Lancashire that the site of a Roman Fort has been found and is now registered for special protection as a site of national importance.
“Future archaeological digs could find out lots of valuable and historic information about the origins of the fort and the wider area.
“The excitement around this could lead to a tourism boost for Burscough and West Lancashire so I am pleased that the council, Historic England and the Department all recognise the site and will work to ensure its long term protection.
“Historic England tell me that Roman sites are very rare here, and this site is of significant importance as this multi-phase fort fills a gap in understanding of the military occupation of north-west England.”