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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 18:05 GMT
Historic tower wrapped in jacket
The tower. picture courtesy of Powys Council
The tower will be buried and its position marked
A innovative fabric jacket is preserving a 14th Century Brecon tower which has been reburied in a road project.

The D-shaped tower, found during excavations at the junction of Watergate and Market Street, has also been hand-packed with soft pea gravel by archaeologists.

The preservation means work can progress in that area on the third phase of Brecon's 2.4m inner relief road.

The 18-month road project has met with controversy from some people who wanted to see the town's ancient finds restored.

Finding the tower was completely unexpected
Dylan Roberts, Powys Council

"We have been working sensitively in the area," said Dylan Roberts, project manager with Powys Council.

"The structure of the tower has been wrapped in a geo-textile fabric which protects the surface of the walls and it has been surrounded with stone similar to pea gravel.

"We have put marker tape around the structure. We have done this instead of capping it with a slab of concrete.

"This way we have been able to leave more of the tower in place," he added.

The fabric helps protect the structure from vibration and contamination, such as mud.

Instead of using mechanical vibration equipment, archaeologists have done the work by hand and reburied the structure.


"It has a radius of four and a half metres and at its widest point it is nine metres wide, next to that section is the old town wall."

"Finding the tower was completely unexpected."

Archaeologists have found a Queen Anne coin and the remains of an ancient cobbled street during their work.

One Brecon resident, retired actor Ian Milton, wanted to see the area restored and landscaped so tourists and visitors could appreciate the discoveries.

"It's a terrible loss, there has been an awful lot of interest locally," he said.

"Last week there was a talk by a local historian and he showed where it was on the old maps."

After a delay in the immediate area of the finds, the workers recorded and took samples from the area.

Experts from the Brecon Beacons National Park, Cadw, Brecon Museum and Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust have regularly met to discuss progress over the road.

A 'footprint' - of different coloured stone - will be placed on the surface to show the tower's size at ground level.

Historic finds halt 2.4m road
19 Jan 04  |  Wales

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