Roman fort project set to become a reality

Reporter:

Jim Green

AMBITIOUS plans to create a Roman fort and settlement in the region are set to become a reality.

Roman Fort Project, which is based in Flintshire, won £50,000 in a competition organised by Barclays.

The not-for-profit project is now looking for a suitable site in Flintshire or Cheshire.

Paul Harston, 44, of Caergwrle, runs a company providing Roman tours around Chester to thousands of children each year.

He created Roman Fort Project to help realise his dream of building an authentic full size first-century fort.

He said: “The idea originally came from my father and I inherited it from him.

“An awful lot of hard work has gone into the project already and this prize means we can really move our plans forward.”

Mr Harston said the fort would become an educational centre used to teach children about Roman history and archaeology.

“Our plan is to construct a two acre fort using traditional materials and techniques,” he said.

“It will form part of a bigger 60-acre settlement which will feature authentic plants, trees and crops.

“This will be the only historical habitat of its kind in the world.

“It will be truly unique and allow people to engage with the past.”

Mr Harston said he had been approached by lots of organisations wanting to support the project since winning the prize.

He encouraged anybody interested in getting involved with the project to come forward.

“Barclays getting involved has really made people sit up and take notice.

“We’ve been approached by a camera crew who want to film our progress and a guild of timber framers who want to help build the fort.

“The public voted in their droves to support our idea. That is a fantastic endorsement and really gives the project kudos.”

Mr Harston said he was currently in talks with a landowner over a possible site.

More than 5,000 businesses registered to take part in the Barclays Take One Small Step competition.

Judges shortlisted 27 entries across nine UK regions and the public then voted for their favourite online.

The Roman Fort Project was the Wales regional winner.

See full story in the Leader

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