|Excavations are due to continue until May|
The body responsible for deciding whether to schedule or list heritage structures and ancient monuments has concluded that the four elements of the site that were submitted for consideration – the Great Dock, the Great Basin, the 17th Century Mast Pond and the Officer's Terrace – are not worthy of protection because 'insufficient evidence of the survival of nationally important archaeological remains'.
Deptford Is… in receipt of the EH report, released last month, which was furnished by the Heritage Protection Team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The deadline for a formal request for it to be reviewed – with grounds – is 16 May 2012.
Deptford Is… disappointed and puzzled that EH has decided there is insufficient evidence of survival of national importance. The report does not take account of currently available data and admits "we are aware of on-going archaeological excavation…but the results of these investigations have not yet been collated."
English Heritage was asked to review its previous decision made in 2010 not to schedule the site, in the light of new archaeological information and because the decision was believed to based on erroneous assumptions and incomplete information. And although this review has concluded once again that the main elements of the site do not qualify for statutory protection, it does acknowledge that the river wall, which had previously been dismissed, is in fact worthy of assessment for listing after all.
|Part of the river wall which is to be assessed for protection|
EH also admits that some of the information on which it based its previous decision not to schedule was incorrect. It is our belief this 2012 review of the 2010 decision contains yet more errors.
The report conclusion states: "Based on present evidence we do not believe that the site meets the criteria for scheduling. However, further attention ought to be given to the river wall as mentioned above."
Reasons for Designation Decision:You can download the 10-page document here.
Four elements of Convoys Wharf – the Great Dock, the Great Basin, the C17 mast pond and the site of the Officer’s Terrace – are not recommended for scheduling for the following principal reasons:
• Survival: insufficient evidence of the survival of nationally important archaeological remains;
• Potential: because of insufficient archaeological evidence of survival at present it is not possible to assign firm archaeological potential to these elements at Convoys Wharf.
• Documentation (archaeological): existing investigations are keyhole in nature and inconclusive. Good below ground survival cannot be assumed, nor can the extent of these elements of the dockyard be defined without much better archaeological evidence.
Deptford Is… intending to discuss the report with all interested groups in order to make a joint response, but in the meantime, readers and supporters can do their bit in the coming week or so by writing to MP Dame Joan Ruddock to request that she herself makes representation (by 16 May 2012) to the DCMS to get this decision reviewed yet again. We will endeavour to apprise Ms Ruddock of the relevant details with which to provide sufficient grounds.