A TWO thousand-year-old Roman wall in the heart of Winchester has been destroyed to make way for new homes.

Local historians were outraged when it emerged that Bargate, who are building 14 new homes at the site of the former Peugeot dealer in Southgate Street, were considering breaking the wall down.

On Wednesday, that became a reality.

Colin Cook, of the Winchester Area Tourist Guides Association, witnessed the destruction.

He said: “It’s desperately sad. I have got sympathy with Bargate Homes but Winchester City Council planners need to be a lot more aware of the sensitivities of these sites when they’re giving permission.

“As far as I can see it’s gone away on a lorry. There is no possibility of rebuilding it anywhere else.”

A spokesman for Winchester City Council said that a medieval ditch found at the site would be preserved, but added that “preservation of part of the surviving remains of the city wall within the site is not possible, hence detailed archaeological excavation and recording has been required.”

In 1971 an excavation on the other side of the road revealed the remains of a Roman bastion.

Professor Martin Biddle, a world-renowned archaeologist who carried out that work, told the Chronicle earlier in the month that so long as the site was fully excavated and recorded, he did not feel the wall was necessarily worth preserving.

“Cities are living things,” he said.