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Archaeologists invite Bishop's Stortford residents to view work on site of new estate

A peep at Bishop's Stortford's hidden past is on offer to residents this coming week.

Archaeologists working at the site of Countryside Properties' new 750-home estate off Whittington Way are hosting open days to view their excavations and finds on Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22.

Experts from L - P : Archaeology – whose East of England office is on the Woodside industrial estate off Dunmow Road in Stortford – and Oxford Archaeology have been investigating an area of Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon activity with evidence for settlement and agriculture.

An aerial picture of the Bishop's Stortford South development site (28842841)
An aerial picture of the Bishop's Stortford South development site (28842841)

The dig began last autumn ahead of the building of new homes, a primary school and a relocated Bishop's Stortford High School.

Visitors will be welcome to drop by between 10am and 3pm each day. Pre-booking is not required and the events are free. There will be a display of artefacts found at the site, the chance to ask questions of the archaeologists involved and view the areas being dug, with ongoing excavation on Friday.

Visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes and warm, waterproof clothing as the excavation area is exposed and the ground isuneven and muddy.

There is no parking at the site. Access is via the Hertfordshire Way public footpath, with entrances on Obrey Way and Thorley Street, which will be signposted. The 508, 509 and 510 Harlow to Stansted Airport bus services stop at Whittington Way every 10 minutes.

Full planning permission for the first phase of the Stortford South development was granted by East Herts Council in December.

The first 142 homes are being built at the northern end of the site, between Whittington Way and the Hertfordshire Way footpath. Permission has been granted to create access from Whittington Way and a north-south road that will run through the development to St James Way.

The second phase of the estate – a further 608 homes, a local centre with shopping facilities, a secondary school, a primary school, a care home and up to 10 acres (4ha) of employment land – has been granted outline planning permission.

Once The Bishop's Stortford High School has relocated, it is proposed to build 223 homes on its redundant London Road campus.

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