Spiked railings reinstalled to protect St Albans’ Roman Wall

A section of railing has been installed to prevent people from climbing on the Roman wall in Verulam

A section of railing has been installed to prevent people from climbing on the Roman wall in Verulamium park - Credit: Archant

Spiked railings have been reinstalled on the 2,000-year-old Roman Wall at Verulamium Park to prevent people from clambering over the ancient structure.

One year after St Albans Civic Society expressed concerns about the removal of the railings protecting the wall, they were reinstated last Friday.

St Albans district council yesterday admitted that people had been scaling the defensive wall of Roman Verulamium, built between 265 and 270 AD.

A local resident, who did not want to be named, said he and other park-users had been horrified when the fencing was removed in September 2012 as they feared it would encourage visitors to climb and damage the wall.

Spiked railings at its base were removed as a safety measure for cyclists, while a footpath through Verulamium was turned into a dual pedestrian and cycling path.

The man added: “I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of visitors climbing the wall. I also find it worrying to see that local children are using the top of the wall as a footpath for their journey home in the evenings.”

Simon Rowberry, interim head of planning at the district council, said railings along the wall at ground level had been removed to make the Roman structure more accessible to people.

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“This is in line with English Heritage’s policy of opening up archaeological remains of buildings to the public.

“However, people have been climbing up onto the wall and walking along the top. We have now installed railings at both ends to prevent people causing damage to it.”

Mr Rowberry said the council was granted ancient scheduled monument consent by English Heritage for the work: “The work was paid for out of the fund for the cycle path in Verulamium Park, linking King Harry Lane and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub.

“This fund is made up of Section 106 money provided by the housing developer at King Harry Lane for investment in infrastructure.”