St Albans pupils camp it up Roman style on historic site

St Michael's School pupils Oscar Jones, Lily Oates, Jasmine Oates, Finn O'Regan and Freya O'Regan ca

St Michael's School pupils Oscar Jones, Lily Oates, Jasmine Oates, Finn O'Regan and Freya O'Regan camped out in the paddocks where the last organised camp would have been the Romans - Credit: Archant

Land last camped on by the Romans was brought back into 21st Century use by a party of schoolchildren and their families – and now the camp is set to be an annual event.

Around 80 youngsters and parents from St Michael’s primary school in St Michael’s Street, St Albans, pitched tents in the Paddock next to the village church and slept there overnight.

PTA co-chairman, Kern Roderick-Jones, explained that because the Paddock is registered as a Historic Monument, special permission had to be received from the Diocese of St Albans which owns the land, English Heritage because it is a historic site and even the Secretary of State for Culture and Media which came back with a stipulation about the length of the tent pegs that could be used.

Kern went on: “Our PTA had always wanted to do this and had come across the red tape and given up.

“The children were well up for it. They had never done it before at the school and liked the idea of being somewhere historical where no-one had officially camped since Roman days.”

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Around 300 people joined in a barbecue on Friday night before the heavens opened and those who had homes to go to went off while the campers dived for the tents. The following morning Kern cooked bacon rolls for all the campers, who ranged from age four upwards.

Kern described it as a ‘back to basics’ camp where the children sang songs around the camp fire and had hot chocolate and biscuits before bed.

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He added: “It was a really good experience and one they want to do again every year.”

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