BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

11 February 2015
Accessibility help
Text only

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


About Herefordshire

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > About Herefordshire > Rotherwas Ribbon - NEW PHOTOS

Rotherwas Ribbon - NEW PHOTOS

Have Your Say

Should the Rotherwas Relief road go over this important archaeological site? Tell us what you think should be done with the Rotherwas Ribbon.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

I dont get it, just dig it back up later, thats what you archaeologists get off on right?ahh well, this is what happens when you get a load of ecofreaks in a small area I guess

peter little
Absolutely not - so far as one can tell from here (Tokyo) the relief road is a thoroughly ill-conceived project and its funding stinks. There is hardly any point building any roads at all in the face of the likely effects of the peaking of oil production, almost certain to occur in the next five years and almost certainly with the effect of dramatically reducing all travel by road transport. The site is beyond value, the road is worthless.

For the benefit of employment at Rotherwas, wher more than one firm has relocated because of the difficult access, the "Ribbon" should be carefully covered to preserve it, & excavations take place in adjacent areas. Presumablythe section recently uncovered cannot be the whole of it.

Tim (local builder & resident)
This relief road is simply an excuse to build houses on the land at Bullinghope - it is nothing to do with reviving Rotherwas. After all, how could Rotherwas estate expand if surrounded by housing?Protect the Ribbon!

Dr.Ana Maria Vazquez Hoys-Madrid University
This is the most important religious site I know to study ancient serpent cults in Europe.Dr.Vazquez Hoys,"serpent cult"

Paul Atkins
Absolutly NOT ever. Preserv it for ever.Stick the road through the councillors gardens instead.

Richard W. Boyd
The Rotherwas Relief road should NOT go over the site. The Ribbon should be preserved as a destination for education instead of a road to somewhere else!

Jean O'Donnell
I think it should be fully explored with a series of excavations after geophysical surveys and then a portion, not under the road, should be conserved with an interpretation board and aerial photos.

The obvious question – not asked – Is Dr Keith Ray's identification of the remains correct?

Alastair Lambert.
Teh site should definitely be further excavated and preserved.

26/7/07: Today they started concreting the Serpent over, after doing their best to let it wash away in the floods... Monstrous... What ever happened to the review of this ancient monument by English Heritage ? Who cares about the Green Belt - LETS MAKE SOME MONEY... Vandals!!!

barbara c seeley
I think the road should be re-routed and the site saved with further exploration of the surrounding area.

Graham Hedley
Putting a road over something of such importance and age is an act of historical vandalism. Moving a road would be an act of foresight and an acknowledgement of our past and our ancestors. Their history should be able to be seen by future generations.

Lea Cowin
I believe this site should be preserved and not destroyed by building a road.

Tom Hughes, Ph.D. - American Perspective - again
It appears the madness continues: Decisions in secret, the arrest of peaceful elderly citizens, continued exposure to heavy rains. My ancestors were from that shire, but I plan to take my tourist visit to other places like Wiltshire this coming September that know how to preserve antiquities (a.k.a Stonehenge). Best wishes to your preservationists.

sam hemming
most definately not !We are custodians of such sites, and must not do anything that may jeopardize such an important find.

Sarah Williams
Being an archaeology student in Hereford, I will definately say do not cover it. Howeer I would not say completely stop the developement of the road. Comming into Hereford nearly every day I know that this road would be a great help to reduce the traffic problems. Continue with the road, but please divert it and do not cover this great archaeological find.

John Gardner
The direction of the road should be adjusted so as to leave the ribbon open for the public to see

v stephens
no, also having seen aerial pdotos taken years ago. i cannot understand why the route was not geophysed first but that might have revealed this earlier and put paid to the plans. yes hereford needs a relief road but it also needs jobs.tourism is the best way for this county to keep it identity and to not become an identikit of other counties. we have lost enough heritage.

J Elliott
At the moment they're doing a nice job of destroying it by leaving it open to the elements in a big pit! No effort has gone into surveying the site using modern techniques (e.g. Geophys) and no effort or thought has gone into how to channel rain water away from the open feature!

Mr James Hamey
Tourism is a very important industry nationally, and may soon become one of our top 3 earners. All the political parties are manifestly behind supporting all efforts to encourage and enable this to happen. So they claim.Herefordshire has a rich history and few counties have the variety and wealth of sites and buildings along with the unspoilt rural landscape.The development of our tourist trade based around our history and countryside would be far more fitting and reflective of the county.This is far more environmentally sustainable than attempting to attract heavy industry in a rural environment, as well as being more cost/return efficient.The number of people who would benefit from an increased investment in tourism far out numbers the few Industrialist, or is it the Developers, who are doing very nicely already, would benefit from the road, Tourism in Herefordshire is badly promoted, not by those trying too, but by those who should be but are not, there has been little investment, lack of debate, co-ordination, and a failure to produce and act on a policy to actually do something.People have expressed strong feelings against the treatment of the monument, many have shown their respect for such things, Archaeologists around the world are very interested, it is now important to people, and now that should be respected like any other similar site.

Alex Griffiths
"PROMOTE TOURISM!" "OF LIMITLESS VALUE!"This is another five minute wonder for the busy bodies of this county. This road is needed for the environment of Hereford city centre, the ease of investment in the region and for peoples jobs. Nuff said.

Ashley Elliott
Having been taken on an excellent tour of the excavated site I was at first very unimpressed as there is not a lot to look at. However what you see is only a very small part of a ritual feature that could run from the hill to the river! It is vast and very little is known about it. This is clearly a unique and very important site. The council cant go round it but instead of being honest they treat the electorate as idiots.

This site should be kept, not just for now but future generations, not cast aside as of no worth. It is part of the heritage of our land and should be treated with respect. If a road is really essential build a flyover, but dont destroy what our ancestors created

It would be wonderful for a reconstructed drawing or image to be done so as to get a truer idea of the whole picture... and of course to discover what else is there... is there no way it can be saved apart from covering it with sand and burrying it again?

Michael Howes
It would be typical for Herefordshire council to bury what could possibly be a great tourist attraction thus boosting the local economy,possibly more than a road which we have done with out for years..They would probably bury a pyramid if they found one in the way!

Rhianon Turrell
I think it would be criminal to build over one of the most significant finds in the county. Money should be spent to protect it and make it accessible to the public, possibly encouraging tourism,rather than on new roads which always generate even more traffic.

Anne Lewis
The site has to be protected but I don't think a road should be built over it. Heavy traffic will damage it for future generations.

Charles Couzens
Surely such an important cultural find should be preserved and displayed for future generations to study and learn from. Cover it in an unneccessary new road is a waste of resources and make the site inaccessable for many generations to come.

Sue Sheridan
Thank you for bringing this dilemma to our attention - of course it must be preserved and treated with enormous respect. It is a monumental find for England and of such significance in understanding our forefathers need for ceremony. This is how they honoured their Gods. Cover it up and we will be the laughing stock of the world.

David Beresford
The road should be diverted and the rest of the site protected. It is unlkley that this was built in isolation there must be more archaeolagy here

I think you should all take a look in some prehistoric archaeology books, the "serpant" is not unqiue in Eurpoe, it isnt even unique to this country, who ever compared it to Stonehenge has spent to long in Hereford and needs to get out into the real world, the only way to preseve it is to bury it back under the ground thats kept it safe, the road traffic wont "shake it to bits" , if the site is 4000 years old then it has no conection with the Dinedor camp as this is an iron age camp. if you think its going to be a big tourist attraction then why dont promote all the hillforts in the county, credenhill is one of the largest in the country yet how many people have asked for a visitor centre to be built there?, just about every hill in hereford has a story to tell, but no one seems bothered...until a road is planned..

Mark Jonathan Snell
If it is of such International importance there should be no question - it should be preserved (Not Covered) However this would only be worthwhile if the site would attract visitors - is there anything to see or is just a pile of stones to many people? Can the site be expanded? Finally, the Victorian drain looks very similar to land drains we were laying in the Ross area 40 years ago!

sorry, but talk about the emporor's old clothes. This doesn't stand up to any comparison with Stonehenge. Cover it up and move on.

Is this the same council who wanted to SELL the Mappa Mundi. Oh help, the ribbon really is in trouble. 2000 years survived and in our council hands 5 mins dead. WAKE UP it is a great oppertunity to promote tourism.

Well if Hereford Councils passed form is anything to go by, the ribbon will be covered up and a distant memory before long. Would someone tell them how much stonehenge generates in tourism income, as that is our major income in this county. Poor old Hfd council cant see further than there noses. WAKE UP NOW BEFORE IT IS TO LATE.

Emma Carpenter
We should preserve it so people can learn about what it is likely to mean archaelogically. Make the road bend to avoid the site.

Clare Ferguson-Walker
This is a really exciting and important find by the sound of things, it should definatly be preserved, I'm sure that the road can be built away from this, if it really needs to be built at all!

Derry O'Neill East
Quite obviously, if this 'Ribbon' is as important as you think, then it must be protected. However, a schematic of what it would look like in its entirety would help the casual viewer to understand it better - at the moment, it just looks like a serpentine path (which, of course, it may well be).

Charlotte Yonge
No the should not go over the site - we want to see it and to learn of previous indigenous cultures. Our heritage is neglected, we are Celtic, and yet we don't have sufficient cultural roots connecting us to the countryside of our origin, to preserve a sense of sacredness and locality. It has everything to do with re-enchantment with nature and the environment, ecological issues and how to live in peace and harmony with eachother. The road needs to be re-routed.

This is too important a find to be covered in tarmac. A road funded by 3,000 houses on grade one land is already a farce, please can common sense and the importance to tourism of this find prevail over building a road to a roundabout.

Betty Park
I think that there will be regrets if the site isn't saved, obviously more archeologists worldwide will need to evaluate it, but I can see that it doesn't have the romantic appeal of standing stones. However, Roman sites are saved with no more than foundations.

Andrew Ball
Living in South Wales and having helped to save the Newport Ship I would dearly love to do the same to the "Rotherwas Ribbon".However realistically it sounds as though whatever preventative measures might be approved to save the monument none in the long term seem likely to succeed taking into consideration the fragile nature of it.Of course this is unfornuate for a number of reasons but lets accept that it has been recorded well and having been covered over will perhaps one day be recovered and its specific use be accounted for by future Archaeologists.What a great Bronze Age find!If it was a ceremonial site or another feasting site as implied by the heated cracked stones this should have great implications and Prehistorians should think long and hard what this and other similar sites has relevance to our present knowledge of the Bronze Age.

did we keep the old city ditch open?NO.did we keep the old excavations of the castle green open? we want to bring more work to hereford,thus keeping hereford a city worth living in?YES.SO FILL IT IN!!!!!

Could it be possible for the 'Ribbon' to be a tribal marker? as with the white horse. We have alot of dragon myth in the area,without seeing the rest of it we will never know. Also Has anyone noticed the Roman items coming to light at this dig? I came across a document 'THE GEOGRAPHY OF BRITAIN - ACCORDING TO PTOLEMY'(The Search for Bullaeum)By R M Garrett (kliene university?). this gentleman believes that one of the lost Roman cities (apparently there are 18 roman settlements that we have records of,and have not found)is situated in the area of Bullingham.Please stop the economic butchery (development) of this beautiful county and save the 'Dinedor Serpent'

alan dennett
Like Stonehenge the road should be re-routed to avoid damge to it. I have just seen the first Tetrapod tracks in Kerry Ireland. THe Ribbon is as significant and should be preserved.

sue morris
yes. we urgently need this relief road, employment is our childrens and grandchildrens futures, without this we will have less and less means of employment which is very megre at the moment, and if this relief road had not been dug, neither would the ribbon have been found, it is common sense that this kind of thing is going to be found all around Hereford.

Steve, UW
When I listened to that chap on the radio stating that the site would be carefully encased in sand etc for future generations to come, I thought 'what a joke'. Whose interests does he have...the public or himself?

Kay Read
Had the relief road not been agreed to this would not have been discovered at all.

It should be preserved as a site to be visited. The road should be slightly re routed it. It would be a source for visitors from all over the world to visit.Covering it over is like putting the stones from Stonehenge into storage. Are the council just motivated by the fact that changes will have to be made to their plans and this will have a financial implication?

It is worth pointing out that what has been uncovered so far is a 60metre long section, of something actually much bigger - which has yet to be uncovered and investigated. The Serpent runs at 90 degrees to the road, and continues both sides of it - which means that the road cannot be diverted around it. If the road goes over it, the Serpent will be cut in half for ever. There is therefore no option but to stop the road altogether. Lets be creative - respect and protect the Serpent properly, build an exciting visitor centre for the cultural benefit of the whole nation, and create economic benefits for Herefordshire which will outweigh anything Rotherwas business could ever acheive.

Nicholas Keeble
We should not be surprised at the actions of a council which destroyed its mediaeval gates and its Town Hall (all of world importance) and, as recently as 1978, The Black Swan (in Widemarsh Street), simply the RAREST mediaeval building form: a galleried inn. Hereford has always been governed by philistines, and all praise to the handful of councillors prepared to speak out in favour of preserving this unique find.

Nick Broadbent
I agree with those who say that it really must be properly evaluated, by experts from English Heritage and, if it is as unique as has been stated, experts from the body that manages World Heritage Sites. I think, as has been said elsewhere, that the financial benefits and prestige that would be derived from preserving such a potentially important site would far outweigh the cost of re-directing the road. It makes you wonder why the Council are treating experts and public with such contempt. I hesitate to mention the recent report that highlights corruption endemic in the awarding of local authority contracts...A society that rejects its past has no future.

You really have to question if this is just down to the enthusism of a few historians. Whilst our heritage is important, surely it is just "pie in the sky" to believe that by setting up a heritage centre that all and sundry are going to flock from fqar and wide to Hereford to visit it. I don't think so. By all means preserve it under the new road. We really need to get a sense of perspective over this before the whole idea starts to run away with itself.

Michael Greening-Lewis
A fascinating discovery. I should be preserved and available as a tourist attraction,either by bridging the site or roemving it to display alongside the new road.Planners ambitions in the office, their unwillingness to compromise, and cost must not always be the unalterable controlling factor.

Elizabeth Stead
We must begin to value our heritage at some stage in our history. Failure to do so is tantamount to vandalism. The site should be preserved for those who wish to visit along with all the other so called 'inconvenient' ancient sites prehistoric sites.

G Luchini
According to experts this is an important archaeological site. Lets preserve it. Divert the road! Unlike the members of Hereford council there are plenty of engineers with the imagination and skills to re-route the road to the benefit of both sides. Whatever the outcome I trust the council members are busy completing application forms for new jobs.

Victor Lindesay
I think the Ribbon should be thoroughly investigated. Then a rational common sense decision can be made about the road and the landscape. If that means the road is halted then so be it.

The archaeologists should be given time to excavate and study this unique find.Some on here seem to think it's a waste of time.Well theres a lot out there I would consider a waste of time and money. The millenium dome springs to mind.It would not be difficult to build a structure over it as has been done over the Corlea Trackway an Iron age wooden road found in a bog in Ireland.People can see the trackway from a walkway.The whole thing is under cover so no damage from the elements, plus as this trackway is wood the humidity is kept just right. There is also a visiter centre too with exhibits about Iron age life.The ribbon is a lot older, nothing like it has been found before in this country.A covered stucture with a walkway around it would not be an impossible task.As for the road. Stop it or divert it. Also would it really ease traffic and prevent accidents. I've heard this argument before. Does'nt make any difference. Unless people slow down and stick to the speed limit then accidents will still happen. No amount of new roads will stop this.The ribbon might not look much to some but it obviously was to those who built it thousands of years ago without the aid of JCB's.What a lot of people don't realise is that even the smallest earthwork such as a round barrow, took time to build.This might be made of small stones but it is also quite a size.It would not have been an over night job.Just because we have technology does not mean we are better than out ancient ancestors.Try making a flint hand axe from scratch. It's not as easy as you might imagine.

Peter Jennings
Build the road without delay, carefully covering the ribbon.If the find projecting at the road side is examined in detail and found to be really ancient and worthy of tourism it's heritage value will pay for a later bridge over it.

Bernie Prior
Keep it, this government wants to kill England anyway by covering everything in masses of concrete.

Craig Round
The Rotherwas relief road should not be built over this important piece of our ancient history, i do not understand how the local council could even be contemplating this option it is all down to big business and money! these people are only eleceted councillors because the local people have voted for them, they must listen to the people who put them in the position they are in today! . It should be scheduled by english heritage and given all the protection possible so that future generations will have the chance to see and understand this part of our nations history. the excavated part of the rotherwas ribbon should be housed inside a interprative building as has happened at other sites such has Flag Fen Bronze age trackway which is a great attraction to tourism in the area.

D Newton-Sealey
As a proud Herefordian I believe that this find is beneficial to the history of Hereford. There are many thing that make Hereford great, whyelse is Hereford mentioned in the Mappa Mundi. The coat of Arms for Hereford city is one of only two in the country with the Peers Helm the other is the City of London. Why is it that London celebrates its heritage and we bury ours???

Cllr Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes
As an elected member I have asked for an extraordinary meeting of council, this has been denied. There is a full council meeting, on the 27th July 2007. Please send your questions in before the 18th July 2007. To the Herefordshire council, email:- is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Herefordshire and must not be destroyed, but protected as was the Mappa Mundi. Quite ciearly we need to have an independant evaluation of the site not just that of English Heritage. The limited thinking of Herefordshire Council must not cover up our future as well as our past. The Herefordshire Council does not have the right to dismiss the public and their opinions with such contempt. With some vision a Heritage Park could be developed as has happened in other parts of this country and Europe, securing a long term income and employment for this county that would dwarf the cost of re-routing the relief road.

Hereford will do what Hereford always does...take no notice whatsoever of the views and wishes of its residents, so goodbye important ancient relic, hello to more tarmac.

If it is as old as it is said then it should be preserved for people to see. There are too many things that have been lost in the dim and distance past. History is important and therefore should be kept and not forgotten or lost.

This site should be fully explored now. It should be preserved in a way that the public can see it. The economic benefits of a new and important tourist site in the County will outweigh those of a new road which, in any case, can be re-located. Don't spoil our heritage for a ha'p'orth of tar!

Roy Sturman
Can't see anything to get excited about. Cover it up and forget it.

A unique and large ceremonial feature 4000 years old will bring in revenue. The road will cost us all money as the council has not found the funding and want to try and pay by allowing more house building!

It seems as though there is a lot of hot wind spoken about the subject .If the snake is left exposed the elements will destroy it anyway and comparing it with Stonehenge ,is like chalk and cheese . Also at what cost will the be?

Philip Pankhurst
This county has a long history of phillistinism over its heritage and this situation should surprise no one. The suggestion that the site can be protected by covering it, building a road over it and pounding it with heavy lorries defies belief. I don't accept that the road cannot be diverted - if it gave easy access to this site, it might lose its 'road to nowhere' tag.

This site is unique. It forms part of a complex of archaeological features in the area so must be preserved. The road is not necessary but who stands to earn from the road's construction? Which individuals? Which corporations? It will be another contest between the real wishes of Hereford's [and Britain's] population and the greater power of those that stand to gain financially.

I agree with everything, everyone has said. The Goddess is emerging and the patriarchy want to bury her!People of our Mother Earth rise up and protect our Heritage - it is ours!! We need to quickly ORGANISE before these philistines cover up our serpent past. They may regret it when they're voted out but we will never forgive ourselves if we do not act now!We need to protest at the Council offices and allay building until democratic processes can be put in place or appropriately assess this find. We need more opinions than that of provincial 'experts'.Contact me on if you feel the need to join forces...

virginia morgan
This remarkable find should be properly examined and protected from the weather so that an informed decision can be taken for its preservation. Even a small country like Malta preserves the marvellous pre-historic temples there. They are a tremendous tourist attraction as this serpentine structure could be here if it is visible.

Gerald C Hedges
It would be absolute insanity to bury, and probably destroy for ever, 4,000 years of history! Just think of the potential as a tourist site if the snake was preserved for all to see. True, the Rotherwas road is important, but an alternative route must be found.

virginia morgan
This remarkable find should be properly examined and protected from the weather so that an informed decision can be taken for its preservation. Even a small country like Malta preserves the marvellous pre-historic temples there. They are a tremendous tourist attraction as this serpentine structure could be here if it is visible.

Hazel Wynn
This site should be studied, protected and preserved for future generations, for the council to say that sticking a road over the top of it will do this is, quite frankly, barbaric . Would the council suggest putting a by-pass over stone henge i wonder !!!!

Barbara Chapman
This site should be preserved not destroyed. There is much talk about saving Planet Earth, this is not a wild life project, but an archeological one and no less importance, the road should be stopped immediately before it is to late. We are letting to many British artefacts either going out of the country or being destroyed.

Get real Herefordshire! How many of these people who have left comments have seen the site? hardly any I expect. The road contract was agreed months ago and the council will have to pay even if the road is stopped. If tax payers want to shell out another £5-10M for diverting the road, visitor centre etc let them pay for it - a snip at £100 per household. Listen to the experts and document it then cover it up to save for future generations. imaigne what future technologies could be used to discover the significance of this site - there was no geophysics 30 years ago. Let the anti-road brigade fight their case honestly and not by hiding behind some new found interest in archaeology. And remember this - if they had won before and the road had never been built we would never have found this site. a paradox too far for the small minded green brigade!

Owen Evans
Divert the road. Or stop it. The site belongs not us but our children and their children's children. For them to see, value and discover its purpose. We will never know really who we are until we understand were we have come from.What a unique opportunity to see if our local government really can act as our public servants and not as buearocrats. Its not their "site" but ours.

Philip Woodward
The Herefordshire Council would have left Herculaneum covered up for safety. For the sake of research and posterity, DO NOT BUILD the road. Stonehenge has not suffered from exposure.

Angela Williams
No, the relief road should go round it. Think how it will bring extra income to the local community through tourism.

Put the road over it to preserve it and help the people who are alive today and living in Hereford. They are only guessing what it is anyway.

Phil, Hereford
Not sure I agree with Robert below in anything other than the BBC distorting the facts. Still, I suppose that's slightly better than ignoring the facts, at least in this case they have stirred up rightous indignation. The least you could do BBC, as a publicly funded organisation, is express views in an unbiased way.

"Nearest parallel the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio". Hardly. Said mound differs by being first, an earthen mound and, second, in the shape of a serpent. The descriptions of the Ribbon are hardly borne out by any of the published material. I suspect that the closest parallels are more local in the form of the multitude of odd heaps of burnt rocks, spreads of burnt rocks and pits full of burnt rocks scattered across bronze age northern europe.

Shirley Marshall
Perhaps - for once - members of Hereford Council will act in a responsible and caring way: listen to what people are saying; think about the destructive and (likely)irreparable consequences of their proposed action, and do NOT allow this important archaeological site to be 'lost' under yet another ill-conceived road 'improvement'. There are so many potential advantages for people living in Herefordshire, and a wondrous phenomenon for the many visitors it would attract. It would be an act of bureaucratic vandalism to build the Rotherwas Relief road over this unique find.

james mcluskie
save a 2000 year unique piece of history or give white van drive a reduced journey of 5 minutes ,no chance the powers that be won't be happy until this whole island is concrete from one end to the other

holden rowan
this site sounds unique and who knows how important.....? a road is not. Do not let the road go anywhere near it

Stephen Wallin
Of course it should be preserved and further researched, with the road moved well away from the site.If Stonehenge was buried and discovered today would they consider the road works over the site more important?

The road building should be stopped immediately - this appears to be a very important find. The coucil should be censured for advocating continuation of the construction work.

Why don't Herefordshire County Council propose the tarmacking over of Sutton Hoo, Stonehenge, Avebury, and the chalk carvings to name just a few. Let's fill in Offa's Dyke, break up the remains of Hadrian's wall and use it for hardcore. Why not tarmac and pave the whole of the country so there's nothing left of beauty or historical significance to make us wonder?Don't build a road over this great find - no matter what the cost.We have precious little remaining from this period in our history, there is no excuse for damaging some of what remains for the sake of a road.

Dave Ward
Any other country would preserve it as an important historical and national treasure. Unfortunately this is England.

Hmmmm, a unique 4000 year old archaelogical gem or a brand new road (which doesn't even go anywhwere) - bit of a no-brainer really!Don't you dare build on it!!

Lindsay Pettifor
This site is of imperative importance and must be preserved. It lies in one of Herefordshire's most important archeological areas (the ancient Dinedor camp sits above it)and is unique. The planned relief road is proposed to be part of the Hereford by-pass - which has been argued about for over 50 years - and does not even have planning permission or an agreed route to continue around the outskirts of the city. All it will do is propel people to the centre of the industrial estate and then leave them to try and find there way through this already very congested city. It is an entirely pointless objective and when the importance of the 'Rotherwas Ribbon' is set alongside the viability of this 'relief' road, the idea that it should take prominence over a unique and ancient monument is ridiculous and horrifying.

Paul Gibson
We have little enough respect for our heritage without building a road over such a find - it is clearly too big to lift and relocate so it should be protected within a building and open to the public to visit. What else might there be on the site?

tracy lock
the ribbon should be preserved, and construction of the road halted where by the ribbon can be investigated further. It is part of the heritage of Herefordshire, and we should be thankful that the new road has given us the opportunity to discover this site.

Simon Davies
Save our heritage.The Council should be made to wait until English Heritage study the site and make a judgement. Council planners are quick to react when regular people extend or alter their own houses.

mike gleadow
do not put the road over it , are they crazy ?? we can learn so much from it.

Ian Shuter
No it should not, the road should be in some way rerouted, if only a few yards from it. the ribbon should then be put on public display

Roland Bott
Has anyone considered building a bridge over it so everyone is happy?

The site will be preserved,if not visible (which will probably protect it more) even if the road is built. No need for Tony Robinson and his cronies to turn up - they are not the only archaeologists in the country, you know.

David Beresford
To find something as unique as this and then cover it in tarmac beggars belief, Did not any of the planners for this road ever consider than in a landscape as ancient as this, with Dinedor camp within yards there would'nt be ancient remains. The ribbon will not have been built 4000 years ago in isolation there must be other archaeology near by.DO NOT BUILD THE ROAD

Joyce Banes
It should not be too difficult to build a bridge over the site, there must be enough room either side of the site to raise the planned road over it instead of building directly on to the site. But the road must be built,! do the people who object to the road being built live on the road leading to Rotherwas?,i e Holme Lacy Road. Do they have to put their lives at risk every time they make their way to work at Rotherwas ?. This road was made for Horse and Cart not huge lorries such as roar up and down today. The revenue that will be made by leaving the Ribbon for all to see will, I am sure, far exceed the extra cost of building a bridge over it. We can expect visitors from all over the world coming to look at it.Not only that, the road will leave the way open for an expansion of the industrial estate, more attractive to other businesses which will be good for Hereford and will make a change to building more supermarkets.

This monument must NOT be buried. We've been waiting ages for the Rotherwas relief road without much pain - so a few more months while they sort out an amended route won't hurt. What's another road compared to a unique piece of ancient history? Let the people see it!

James T
As suggested below how is this site to become a vistor attraction the archaeology is of a fragile nature, and will have already been compromised by being exposed. This site would not have been seen at all, as most of british archaelogical discoveries are made by civil and development works like these manned by professional Archaeological companies in the present day.The world cosy expansive excavations is the presrve of time team and universities funded by the media and paying students and volunteers. These type of site never pay for themselves and would the council tax payers of hereford consider a rise in council tax justified for the development not to mention the road movement cost,this can offten cause more damage as archaeologist points out these types of feature are generally part of a larger site.The archaelogical investigation in fact destroys the site and the best soulition is for the road the preserve the site insitu and will not destroy the whole site, leaving the area for future less destructive Archaeological investigation.

Jennifer Shoesmith
I am married to an archaeologist, and since the news of this site broke I have heard no end of impassioned statements about it. What seems to be missing in the public domain is the voice of reason. Here we have an amazing discovery of international importance which needs, for the benefit of historical learning, at the very least to be studied thoroughly and carefully recorded. It also needs to be assessed by experts in the field - English Heritage are not only such experts, but have the weight of government legislation behind them to enforce appopriate action, and are not above taking further advice if necessary. The most important thing is to grant them the time to do this.

Rob Hattersley
There is no business case for this road anyway with empty industrial sites at Leominster and Moreton - according to the government who refused to fund the road. This has huge potential for Hereford's tourism with some imagination - so says the Chair of Stonehenge and Salisbury Tourism Partnership.

Judith Gallimore
If the 'Rotherwas Ribbon' is truly unique and if it would be disfigured by the new road, then the road should be diverted around it. Tourism is vitally important for the local economy and hopefully the potential increase in visitors would help to recoup the cost of changing the route of the new relief road.

Brian Caldicutt
This find should be looked at from this point.What would have happened if this ribbon was found prior to any road being approved. The answer would have been "No road along this route". This should be the stand point now.

Susan Doncaster
No, definitely not. Relief roads & other modern developments take far too much priority over our heritage. This is a site that could be developed i a way that would preserve it for the interest and enjoyment of many over the coming centuries as a link with the past. As civil engineers of long experience I am sure it is not beyond the skills (and the pocket) of McAlpine, in conjuntion with an organisation like English Heritage, to do such a development rather than selfishly covering it over.

To cover this site over and to push on with yet another project that would destroy a find of such significance is madness. For the relative small cost of a re -route, this could be preserved, interpreted, studied and explained to the current generations and preserved in all its wonder for my childeren and their children. Get the site listed by English Heritage and then spend time studying it. We could have a massive find of global significance right on our doorstep.

Mrs Duke
It's a disgrace to even suggest to bury it under a road. It's such an exciting historical find and should be on show for OUR generation to enjoy and learn about. The Rotherwas Serpent, along with an information centre, a museum showing artefacts found and a cafe would make a great tourist attraction and would be a wonderful site for children to learn about their local history. Come on Herefordshire Council, do something right for a change - this is such an opportunity.

Ben Humphries
No, archaelogists should be given an opportunity to preserve this important find for future generations... there are numerous ways that the road could be diverted... if it is actually required!

Jonathan Antony
There is no doubt that the find should be carefully and properly preserved - the question is whether a road should then be built over the top. The answer has to be NO! If it is so delicate then allowing 10 ton lorries to thunder over ther top is clearly crazy. The issue of whether it can be put on public display in some way should then be addressed carefully. There must be a way of preserving it and using for cultural and educational benefit. At the very least the road should be put on hold for 6 months to allow a full and considered assessment. Remember the road is not a major artery - it is simply an access for lorries to an industrial estate.

Dave W
If you cover this with sand and a membrane and then cover it with a road and vehicles of upto 50 tons drive over it at speed how will this preserve the site.Shock waves will travel down through a solid road compacting everything underneath to quite a depth, you have only got to examine the soil below an old road when they are renovating it.Ask that question of the council.

Madeleine Holmes
Protect this extraordinary find, make it beautiful to visit, move the road.

Shaun Kenny
There is no way that this road should be allowed to impact on such an important site! The Rotherwas Ribbon is unique & preserving & opening it as an attraction would bring far more revenue to Hereford than the ill conceived relief road ever could! Herefordshire council must not be allowed to bury our past for the sake of a few vested interest's!

Ian Cooke, Malvern
May I suggest that all the people who have posted here set up and sign an e-petition on the No10 Web site asking that The Secretary of State for the Environment instruct English Heritage to designate the site as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. If this was done then Herefordshire County Council would have to stop all work on the road works at the site and preserve the archealogical remains for the common good of the English peioples.

Patricia Pitts
I understand this site is unique to this country - more needs to be know about it and it should be more fully investigated before any decisions are made. If money is the problem, surely visitors to the site would generate income. Our history is important - don't let us hide it away.

Julie Sheppard
There should be a delay in the construction work so that it gives people enough time to go and view this important historical site.

Charles Edwards
Preserve this site for those who will come after us.More time is needed to explore the site properly.Whoknows how big and what secrets it has yet to give up.Do we really want this road to nowhereland.

George Smith
Go on Herefordshire Council surprise us all and bow to public opinion - SAVE THE SNAKE. Send for "Time Team".

Rollo G
I saw this site a few weeks ago and looked at it from the materials source point of view. The archaeologists have stripped the ground back to what it was but it is denuded of vegetation and binding material in the soil.When wet it turns into a muddy sticky quagmire and the only way it has lasted has been due to the burial. Consider it to look more like a thinly laid gravel path.How do you intend to preserve this? Watch the weather destroy it? A few heavy showers wash it out. Put a building over it? With an access road and car park? Watch the soil dessicate and destroy it? Unfortunately preservation is best done by burying it again which sadly means that we won't see it again for a very long time. At least it has been carefully recorded and the information not lost.

I would normally believe that the structure should be totally preserved, and the road plans scrapped. However I know how important the road is to Hereford, so it should go ahead in my opinion.Maybe McAlpine should be forced to build a visitors centre with displays, models and a part of the "ribbon" in a special back garden type display at the side of the road?!

Jenny Cooper
There is no way that this ancient site should be covered with a modern road. Please preserve it so we can all visit it !

Nicola Bradbear
Of course the road building should be stopped.

STOP THE ROAD!!!!!!!!! save this archeoligcal site. it's unique. roads are not.

What happened in the past has helped to shape the Britain we have today.The Americans envy us for our history yet certain Philistines want to destroy it. OK, so its going to be "preserved" as lipservice to its importance but what on earth is the point if it's going to be buried under several feet of rubble and tarmac? Macalpine and their paymasters are probably cursing the fact that the Ribbon was ever found but fortunately it was.Forget about short term financial implications and inconvenience. In the big scheme of things it is insignificant. What matters is that this missing piece of our history can be studied and experienced by everyone. Roads are "two a penny". The Rotherwas Ribbon is not.

Shane Jenkins
We the taxpayers should have the decision whether or not to divert the relief road... I for one will be disgusted if this wonderful discovery is buried under grotesque 21st century tarmac.

Clive Lawrence
Site is now of 'world heritage' importance, Site should be fully surveyed and developed for public viewing. Rotherwas road should be diverted to avoid site.

shirley hambelton
lets try to keep this important piece of history, surely the road could be realigned...........with quality presentation it would be a great tourist draw, and we cant afford to miss a chance that can never be seen again for future generations.........I hope that other people may feel the same, thank you

Ruth Neilson
When will we be allowed to see this? I live 5 minutes from this site and pass it daily on the school run, but it was Radio 4 who alerted me to the find! Since then I have read about it on the net - and it sounds so important and exciting! I( drive past very slowly now with my daughters, trying to get a glimpse - what an opportunity for real, local, interesting learning, I would love to view and understand this - surely with the expert opinions of the significance and rareity of this find we should be discussing how to re-route the road? Sorry, that sounds too obvious to mention? But hey, that's our council-nothing if not consistent in their blindness. HELLOOOOOO!!!!!

I agree with Mark (below), i would rather show my grandchildren something or historical importance, than yet another road. we have enough roads in this country, and far too few places like this.

M Heron
Please save this site from insensitive interference. A road can go elswhere. this structure deserves to be interpreted and seen as it can't be under a road!

robin dunford
The site should be left open so that all the public cane see it, and it would be a great tourist attraction for Hereford

Rob Hattersley
Government refused to fund this road - to an industrial estate, saying that with empty estates nearby expanding this one was not necessary. The UDP inspector ruled that alternatives had not been considered - such as a route further away from historic Dinedor Hill, a rail spur into the industrial estate, and improving access under a problem bridge. All ignored by the local council. We now find something of huge historical importance, which could bring more income from tourism to Hereford too, and still the council leadership decide to continue. They didn't even consult councillors, who knew nothing of it until the heard it on the radio. How can this be allowed? Visit to find out more.

Preserve it under the road - better to wait until funds and political climate favour proper excavation than doing a 'rescue' excavation under tight time pressure before the road is built. Even better - move the road elsewhere and establish a proper dig now, but I doubt this would be practical or affordable.

Kevin White
Uncover the full site. Declare as a national monument open to the public, in order to share this wonderful discovery with the people of today,and generate economic growth for the local community

Wendy Harvey
I think it is vital that there should be a full public consultation at local and national level given the international significance of this site before any action is taken to cover this site. The unseemly haste with which the Council are moving to cover the site with the road is likely to come from a fear that their already unpopular road plan will be halted and then perhaps will run into financial difficuties. There are big questionmarks about the financial viability of this road project and whether it will end up being an enormous cost to the community anyway and the council seems to be jumping out of the frying pn and into the fire to justify its decision and in the process risks being responsible for the loss of a unique historical site which should be accessible for all to view and which could become a major tourist attraction for the town and bring Hereford more prosperity than this dubious road ever could.

Tom Flowers
I dont know about burying the ribbon just yet, for it seems to me that the area inwhich it lies hasn't yet been fully investigated. I have been to see the ribbon (from a distance) and can say that it lies in what was once a magical place that will be completely spoiled by the road. Get rid of the nearby scrap-yard while you are at it!

Cllr Sally Robertson
What an exciting find for Herefordshire! I too would not wish to see this monument covered over because once gone, its gone for ever. The Rotherwas Ribbon could be a fantastic learning resource for our children and future generations, not to mention the economic boost to our tourism.So let's all work together and put on our thinking caps to find out how best to preserve this monument.

Mervyn Morgan M.Sc.
Further to my previous comment - please correct Herefordshire Tourism from erroneous £140,000 pa to correct £170,000 pa.

Mervyn Morgan M.Sc.
No. Because:-1. DEFRA figures of £13.8 billion from UK tourism &(£140,000 in Herefordshire)make carefully considered preservation,public access & promotion of this unique find, an economic tourist priority. 2. In the sweep of 4000years, our industrial, now oil-based era will, in future, soon be seen as a very brief environmentally destructive spasm. 3. Imminently future communications will increasingly be digital in cyber space, dictated by climate change & oil run-out. 4.Biblical wisdom advocated 'Peace Be Still'.(The Bronze Age was remarkably peaceful). Ancient Greeks believed that 'They whom the gods would destroy they first make mad'. We have much yet to learn from our wise Forefathers by a much closer,lengthy study of & reverence for this unique ritual relic.

Elizabeth Johnson
No. Please save it so that more people will visit Hereford and promote the tourist industry. I appreciate the fact the burying it is in line with current best practice but such an opportunity to feel our history.

becky gill
i cant believe the council are just going to build a road over this wonderful find,if previous generations had treated the mappa mundi and the chainedlibrary with such disregard then hereford and the world would have missed out on wonderful pieces of historyno no no we must stop this madness

Elisha Barnell
If this site is as unique as it seems it would be unforgivable not to excavate it as it is part of our heritage. It should be preserved and not buried.

Mrs m parsons
It should be kept it is our history,and would draw people from all over the country, we as a council are too fast to cover things up with tarmac,what about the roman rd, that was covered up, shame on you if you do. A bridge over would be fine.

The BBC have done a good job of distorting the facts to whip up rightous indignation. The archaeological experts (who know more than any other commentator about the significance of this site) say that the council should save it for future generations. The only way to do that is to cover it with a protective membrane and sand layer. To leave the site open and on the surface for the current generation to view will ultimately destroy it. The people shouting save the Rotherwas Ribbon need to understand that the experts believe the best way to do that is to consign it back to the earth with a protective layer. This is the sustainable approach and the right thing to do.

Caroline Walker
No, read the caption to picture 10 "it has international significance". It should be preserved, conserved and the modern access road - highly unlikely to be of international significance in 4000 years' time - should be re-routed.

James Elliott
This road has been a disaster from the beginning and now they want to build over what could be a world famous monument.Who decides these things!?

Why do we ordinary people keep allowing those elected on tiny minority votes to do things of which the majority so obviously disapprove?

Jo Potter (again!)
'we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children' Antoine de St.Exupery

Jo Potter
The road should not hide such an important site which belongs to the nation and is/could be so beneficial to Herefordshire. They can quite easily change the layout of the road, but they can't move the Ribbon... the Ribbon was put there for a reason so why not leave it as it is.

Tony from Newent
This appears to be of such historical and significant importance to the area that is should be both protected and made permanently available to both the general public for viewing and to archaeologists to study. The road is only of passing significance whereas the Ribbon is of historic and permanent importance. The road should be shelved until a alternative route or an alternative form of transport, that does not impact on this treasure, can be proposed.

Diane Worthington
It is an absolute outrage that something so important to our understanding of our past should just be covered over and no one to have access to it. Would it not be possible to re-route the road ...... its hardly rocket science is it?Where are English Heritage in all this?

David Mortimer
This should be preserved in a way thyat everyone can access it, not encased to preserve it for the future. We should be able to view it, our children, should be able to view it and so on , not wait for some indefinable time in the future for it again to be reveled to a small , select few .

Anthea Clarke, Devon
Herefordshire County Council must re-think its plans for the Rotherwas Serpent. To cover up and build a road across such an intriguing site would be the work of philistines!

Mike Privett
No - Suspend the building of the road and remove any decision making on the Rotherwas Ribbon away from the Council to ensure that this National Heritage site is preserved for all generations to visit.

Phil, Hereford
Bury it under the road preserving it for future generations. Then those future generations can also wonder at our stupidity for not recognising its significance when we had the chance. Dr Keith Ray, Herefordshire County Archaeologist is quoted as saying ‘Had we discovered this at a much earlier stage we could have featured it into the planning process’Well it’s not too late to do that now Dr Ray, use your position to demand the site is preserved. Surely that’s your job?What’s the apathetic MP for Hereford doing about this and other controversial issues in his constituency like the closure of Hereford and Worcester EOC? All too often authorities’ steamroller their way objectives forward with total disregard for the views of the public. It happens all the time, but all too often, you have to trawl the media to discover what’s going on because these bodies are all too good with their propaganda. The media only choose to publish what suits them, old school tie methinks. It would pay these people in positions of authority in councils, governments and such like to remember how they got there.

Dr. Helga Joergens-Lendrum
No. Under no circumstances. This should be a World Heritage site and should be preserved and open for the public to see.

Laura Sommerville
Can you imagine how stunning the Ribbon must have looked to the 'Herefordians' at the time as it snaked across the landscape? The site should ideally be preserved and the road routed around it.

Alice Lee
I think that it is very short sighted to continue the road building over such an important find. It is not only historicly important but from a religious point of view. Structures with no obvious perpose are most ofen build as religious monuments. A structure such as this could help us to understand pre christian religious practices in Britain.I don't see why they could not bridge the site so that it could still be accessed beneath.The heavy lorries that will be constantly using the road will seriously damage such a structure as they break up the road above and so i think that it is wrong to continue with the current building plan.

emma morris
Typical of Hereford's Authorities to be so dismissive of Herefordians wishes and opinions. Everyone I know wishes this important find to be showcased as a tourist attraction. We should be proud of our historical inportance and spend the money on this treasure, rather than on another road which nobody wants anyway.

Jenny Gay
I want to know who has been digging before to put the pipe in - see picture 4!And no, I don't think the road should go ahead as planned. It should be elevated so that the Ribbon can still be accessed for all.

It is a good thing that they started to build the road where they did, as it lead to the discovery of this important site. However, now that it has been uncovered, it should remain so. We should take the opportunity to stop the blind worship of the infernal combustion engine, and realise what a gift this is. Find another way!

Gareth Kinsey (Hereford)
As other people here have already said; how can building a road over this important find be described as preserving it? It would almost be funny if it wasn't so shocking.

Rose Privett
To concrete over this fantastic archeological find would be a disgrace - I say NO!

jeremy james
How typical of Hereford - cover it up again - has no one the vision to rethink the roadway and exploit this finding for the community and visitors?

Matthew Thomas
In 4000 years time I sincerely doubt the discovery of a buried 'Road To Nowhere' will excite in the same way this find has done so far. The council complain of 'brain drain' and talk of looking to the future, yet this is the perfect example of why people would be driven to leave - it is the past that dictates our future - what good can possibly come from plain ignorance in the blind pursuit of money? I am staggered that anyone could even consider concreting over something of international significance when we have so little else to cheer for in the county. Having said that, sadly I would not expect anything less from our council.

Mike Biddulph
No, a relief road should not go over this important archaeological site. English Heritage should intervene to find a new solution.

Dave Harrison
I just can't believe that anyone would even consider covering this up. It would be an absolute tragedy if this find is not preserved for future generations. A road can be built anywhere, it's just crazy not to re-route the road.

I was born in Hereford and lived for years close to this area and am saddened to hear of this ludicrous idea to just go ahead and build over this precious site - there should be no question - save the serpent and re-route the road.

Brian Ellis
I think that the importance of this find should be properly assessed by national experts and their recommendations followed up.Afterall a few months delay won`t affect Rotherwas

Ben Durman
This sounds like a major discovery for Europe. It seems criminal to just cover it up for future generations to enjoy.

Mark Barry
It is criminal that the fate of something that could well be of global importance could be decided by a few people (who have an interest in the road being built) behind closed doors and in such a short space of time. Lets hope Herefordshire County Coucil act responsibly for us all and suspend work on the road for at least the time it takes to properly investigate the greatness of this discovery.

Would anyone consider flattening Stonehenge and building a road over the top? Of course not! If a relief road is needed, build it somewhere else. Let our history be preserved.

Martin H. Staple
A no-brainer, I would have thought; in fact, I find it faintly surreal that there need be any argument about it at all. One wonders whether the city fathers are bent on emulating their Victorian forebears who tore the mediaeval heart out of Hereford in the name of what they understood as progress.

matthew and lisa hart
we cannot believe that the council are considering continuing with the plan to cover over this incredible site. Are they mad? There has to be a way around it, even if it costs a lot more;this find is priceless!

People seem to be missing an obvious issue here. Hereford is gridlocked now!!!If this becomes an international site of interest, how are all these visitors going to get in and out of the city? The roads cannot cope with the volume of traffic we have now and people are suggesting we lose the access road AND invite international visitors to this site!

Llyn Crawford
Please save this important unique ancient site. With modern technology it should not be too difficult to build the road over or around it.

Graham Cooke
Far too important a find to be buried divert the road or re assess the need for it and perhaps reduce the carbon footprint of Herefordshire Council

Fiona Hopes
What a gift for Hereford! And what an opportunity for McAlpines to do something good for the country, rather than just rake in more money from building a road that should never be there, and will have limited use. It would be a crime on a par with the United States bombing the history out of the land between the Euphrates and the Tigris to cover over this important find. It has so much potential in our understanding of the past, and hence our way into the future. To lose this gem for the sake of short term money-grabbing industrial thinking would be reflection on our attitude to our own heritage and respect for our land and our history. There are other ancient monuments in the locality, and the whole area could be developed as a tourist attraction, with a different infrastructure of roads and heritage centre, and McAlpines could still make their money by doing the right thing, rather than hiding the Rotherwas Ribbon beneath tarmac.

Tom Hughes/an American Perspective
As a first generation American with parents from Wiltshire and Yorkshire and with many ancestors from Worcester I plan to visit England this coming September to view such wonders of my ancestors before some all-powerful idiots destroy the foundations of my heritage. Please take control of those idiots.

No, absolutely not. The process by which this road came about is at best dubious and is being challeged in the High Court at the moment as a result. The cult of secrecy that pervades our Council meant that Councillors themselves only found out about this by listening to the BBC! If this were a private housing development would the Council be covering it up again so quickly? Given the Council's contempt for the environment above ground there is scant hope for anything below it. They're hell bent on building this road to nowhere no matter what the cost to the ratepayer or the environment. The Cabinet member for Highways and Transportation should be removed from his post immediately.

Andrew Findlay, Herefordshire
Absolutely not. This is a site of major historical significance. Any other 'civilized' country would build a dome over it and open it to the public. Move the bloody road!!

wesley midlands uk
personally i think its outrageous that something of such historic significance could be just overlooked and buried for the sake of convenience and to build a road??

Martin Wyness
Judging by the majority of comments so far, it would appear that the people of this County do not want to see a road cut accross this important monument. Stonehenge is diminished by its close proximity to a modern road and our Dinedor Serpent would be likewise spoiled if the building of the relief road continues.Here in Hereford, we stand at a crossroad, where one direction takes us to a destructive, harebrained road project. The other points to a properly displayed and interpreted unique historic monument that will put this County on the global tourist map once and for all. This find must be cherished, nurtured and above all, protected from those who seek to hide it under a road as if it were some damn inconvenience.I hope we hear Prince Charles get into this debate, likewise our MP and all the prospective MP's in waiting.

it is tragic that this internationally unique site is going to be buried under a road - we are no better than the Romans, arrogantly blasting roads through millennia of priceless heritage. When will the Establishment understand that it is not enough to know that our heritage is buried beneath our feet, that we need to *see* our cultural heritage, in order to learn from it, enjoy and fully appreciate it?this 'find it, bury it' mindset must change

Paul Bamber
A snap decision I am sure, encase and preserve the find within a protective structure. This cannot be undertaken effectively without fully investigating the ancient monument to understand what other archeological evidence which may be present that may, therefore, need further protective or restorative treatments and investigative measures. I think a six month (minimum, provisional period) of suspension of current activity MUST be put in place while thorough investigations, not only into alternative routing of this now controversial road, but also, as has been mentioned, topographical surveys, and full analysis of all factors are considered before any concrete (looks better than tarmac) decisions can be made.

History and archeology send me to sleep BUT even I realise the significance of this. We need to retain our history to realise how we became who we are today. Not everyone's cup of tea (sure not mine) but come on lets start looking after such sites for those who are interested - of which it seems there are many. How about council decisions that REPRESENT the views of the people they are meant to make decisions for??? We and our kids deserve better than destroying such historically important sites.

Nic Howes, Hereford
Preserve the Ribbon and rethink the road. This site is clearly of world importance historically and lies in a county rich in biodiversity and geodiversity. The Foot and Mouth disaster revealed the importance of tourism in the county's economy and the potential of this site should be realised instead of gambling on a road to generate a small increase in secondary industry at Rotherwas.

Neil Preston, Wiltshire.UK
The SAS should be sent in at once to save the monument from the road builders.

Zoe Gibbs
This site is a tremendous find both for Hereford and archaologically. To encase this would be a tragedy.

Alan, Herefordshire
Thank God Hereford's councillors aren't in charge of Wiltshire - they would have demolished stonehenge and built a supermarket.

Tupsley resident
The decision to entomb this unique site under the relief road is going to be disasterous for the county and for the world. The decision has been widely condemned by British and international archaeologists. Please: contact the planners at the council and let's make sure we stop this stupidity and arrogance.

Paige Mitchell
Most of the comment so far demonstrates a deep passion for our cultural heritage, and in this case, for evidence of ancient attitudes to the Earth. The serpent is a universal symbol of earth powers, or processes. It is mind-blowing that the evidence of these attitudes should be uncovered in the course of road building — now one of the most blatant expressions of our disregard for the Earth. Most of the comment also urges that the road should be stopped or moved. Herefordshire Council could have built an access road to its industrial estate on a shorter, cheaper route closer to the city which would have in all likelilhood received government funding (even though the traffic case for the road was weak, and even though no alternatives to road building were properly examined).Instead, the Council chose a route along the already safeguarded alignment of the Hereford Bypass, defeated in 1992 on environmental grounds and thrown out of the national roads programme in 1998 because alternatives to road building were considered preferable. The only explanation for going to such expense is that this supposed 'access road' is simply one part of the same bypass, now renamed 'Outer Relief Road'. The plans for this outer relief road take absolutely no account of climate change, the need for drastic reduction in our carbon emissions or the likely impact of oil shortages on transport and the local economy. Thus the contempt for ancient relationships between humans and nature demonstrated by the proposal to bury this internationally important discovery under a road is only a small token of Herefordshire Council's much wider contempt for the future precautionary relationship between humans and nature on which our survival depends. The discovery of the serpent, a Herefordshire dragon, is wonderfully spooky. The serpent/dragon emerges to challenge the profound offensiveness of this road with a poetry resonating on a wavelength of millennia. The Council should heed this sign and back down immediately from its destructive and grandiose ambitions. If they really want an access road to Rotherwas, why not build the one originally recommended by their consultants? The 'Rotherwas Serpent' (they've already tried to kerb its power by calling it a 'ribbon') would be preserved and the money saved could be used to build a study centre to understand and celebrate this find.Will saving the serpent help to save us?

please, please, preserve, preserve, preserve it belongs to we britts, its our heratage, we want to keep it

Martin Knight
There was global condemnation of the Taliban when they destroyed the ancient carved Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan, but if these remains prove to be of similar historic and cultural value then the burying of them under a new road is no less destructive. It is staggering that such a potentially important site does not merit proper investigation and long term protection. English Heritage has both the statutory power and duty to intervene immediately, perhaps by affording Scheduled Ancient Monument status, and to lead a reasoned assessment over how best to protect our past and facilitate the needs of the present.

Charles Grylls /Chair Hereford Society of Architec
Another terrible decision by the Herefordshire County Council, following in the bow wave of an ill conceived flood defence system, and redundant bypass.Why not turn this find into a massive positive for the county, this is going to run and run.

Alex Wenyon (Hereford)
I'm all for moving the road. I couldn't believe it yesterday morning when the Radio4 reporter casually mentioned it was going to be partially covered by the road, From ellation to anger in seconds. As peple have correctly mentioned, Hereford Council doesn't pay respect for the historical elements of the county and this matter should be given the highest level of attention away from the councils grubby reach. Move the road build a museum. Lottery money??

How can the council possibly justify that covering the 'Rotherwas Ribbon' with tarmac will preserve the site for a future generation to discover? We've discovered it now... so let's make the most of it! As a student of A-level history, I am fascinated by this attraction and I truly believe that it should be preserved, in order that it can be a source of interest and education for years to come. Why are our council allowed to destroy such a treasure? The answer is- they should NOT be allowed to.

Simon Brown, Monmouth
Preservation is a must - allowing access for current and future generations - another tarmac road adds nothing to the great human endeavor, whereas this find most definitely does.

our historical sites should be preserved no matter what the cost. it is not just our heritage but the heritage of our children and our childrens children. in my opinion it isn't ours to destroy. we are caretakers of a country and a planet and in the future our generations will be judged as brain dead slaves to numbers on a piece of paper

Liz Bradshaw
For those of us who follow the pagan religions of our Ancestors, the discovery of this site has been a cause for celebration. To learn that it is then going to be covered over, for the road-building plans to continue - is a travesty. Where is the sanity in this? This is a sacred place of my Ancestors, it is a holy place. Would they build over an old abbey if it lay there in place of the Serpent Mother? Of course profit and greed triumph again in these dark times. It breaks my heart that I did not get a say in the future of something which is a part of the heritage of my spiritual culture.

S Clark ( Herefordian)
When I read about this Fantastic find I was filled with excitement . Not only is it a major Historical find for the whole world,but also a major part of Hereford's History. I was completly gobsmacked to hear that our Idiot council would even consider covering it over. It should be protected and preserved for all to see.

Scott Campbell
Absolutely not, how can they even consider building over such an important site? This is a truely significant find and something that would further secure tourism. It is a part of all of our history, how dare Herefordshire City Council even dare consider taking it from us!

Louise Preece
I can't believe building over the top of such an historical site is even being contemplated. This matter needs far more thought and debate

Dean George
This site needs to be checked out and fast , this could uncover fantastical revelations.

Rob Williams
Imagine being known as 'The Fool who built over this ancient find !' I wouldn't want that as my legacy. Re-route the road !

Dr Mike Trew
Such an important discovery as this should be preserved for all time.

E J Burrell, Architect
The road was already a disaster for the landscape and the claims of its need and financial / traffic advantages to Hereford a complete nonsense. This discovery makes absolutely clear that the road should be stopped and the natural beauty and historic significance of the area preserved and enhanced not destroyed!! Where is our fabled democracy? Are the profits of greedy psychopathic corporations going to be allowed to rule over our culture and heritage as human beings? I hope not!

Audrey Bailey, Worcester UK
No, it should not. Would Hereford cathedral be treated with such contempt? This is a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. Other ancient monuments that have been discovered (Hadrian's wall, countless buried Roman remains) are given due protection and the public allowed to see them, the same should apply here.

Nicola Turton
It should be exposed, investigated and celebrated. But will it be? Of course not; let’s bung a road over it and try and pretend its not there, in case a degree of imagination and planning is required.

how can you even consider this to be a debate.. Part of our history is uncovered.. lets learn and enrich ourselves will this astounding find

Please save this important find, it could be a major tourist attraction to Hereford and surrounding areas. This is too important to bury again for another 4000 years

Gary Blick
As a Archeologist currently living in the north east of england we are constantly battleing local planning issues recently a section of a roman vicus was going to be built but public outcry stoped this i would advise everyone to contact local planners and try to put a stop to this project if the site is of european or world importance this road project needs moving or stoping whilst the whole area is fully investigated at least 6 months......

Marco Walker (Hereford)
Again the council lets us down, covering this ancient ruin with a road is a tragic and shallow decision. Just shows the mentality and narrow mindedness of our council. No wounder they have a reputation of being simple minded, slow and gutless. This could bring in new tourists to the area. I am so glad I pay my council tax!

John Philip
Building a road over the top of this would be a cultural crime and to go ahead would indicate how Herefordshire Council clearly lack the vision to preserve and promote this county for its unique character: this is a find of significant international importance.

Stuart Thomas
This is a unique and fantastic discovery. I feel very strongly that the Council should urgently re-evaluate the route of the road, once this road is built this unique structure will be lost for viewing in its entirity forever and will never again be viewable to the public as a complete structure. This find is much more important than the road and building should be delayed with immediate effect while an alternative access route is evaluated. With the right preservation and presentation the Ribbon could become an important ancient monument in its own right and a major visitor attraction for the area.The local Council, English Heritage and the Ancient Monuments Commission must work together to protect this important find and preserve it in a manner where present and future generations can view and appreciate the structure in its full glory.We would not dream of defacing existing ancient monuments and this unique find should be treated in the same way. Stuart Thomas CarmarthenshireWest Wales

Greg Hill
On no account should the road be built over this site. The site should be carefully excavated and opened to public view. This is an importance part of our heritage.

Juraj Mikurcik
Coming from a country with less than 1500 years' history, it seems unbelievable to even think about covering over a historic site that is 4000 years old! If we are to preserve it, let's show it to the world, not bury it under a lump of tarmac!

Jo Hart
I work on the Rotherwas estate and live in Hereford on the other side of the river. The traffic has been horrendous for many years - a bye pass was fist discussed over 20 years ago. This relief road (which enables larger vehicles to access the estate - currently prevented by a low and narrow bridge) will help to keep Hereford economically active. The Rotherwas Ribbon is an important relic, but should be removed, restored and displayed at another venue so that its history and importance can be properly investigated and so that future generations can learn about it.

Andrew Bird
The Site should be protected from development. It's about time all such sites had protection from any kind of development. They can be used to encourage tourism and create jobs. Bedford had a henge and it was built on by Tesco's. It's time to stop these kinds of things and protect them for future generations. We can't learn from our ancesters if everything they built has been built on.

Hilary Hines
I am absolutely delighted to hear about this astonishing find. As a former student of Anthropology I am determined that this find should be preserved properly and put on display for all to see. What an amazing tourist attraction for Hereford. For the council to even thnk that they can cover it up is a matter of real negligence if not desecration. ( Would it be a legal matter?) I hope that it will be taken up at the highest level - English Heritage, Culture Secretary etc One has little confidence in Herefordshire Council's ability or will to do such a thing. Have all the Archeology Depts of our universities been contacted?

I'm surprised that we are even discussing this! This is much more important that a road - the road is for a few people - the Rotherwas Ribbon is for all of us.

Maggie Taylor
How can anyone think of building over this when it is the only one in Europe.vibration from the road could damage it even if preserved.DO NOT BUILD.

B woollard
It sounds as if the new road is already giving 5* access to the general area (when it is opened). Aren't there more imaginative solutions than careful burial waiting for a time when the road is no longer wanted ie signing off because it is all just too difficult.

Councillor Gerald Dawe
As the Councillor for the Ward I think the road scheme should be cancelled. There is no economic nor traffic case for it, and the Leader of Herefordshire Council has already borrowed £-millions for building it: wasted money, with significant on-costs for Herefordshire's people. This important monument needs to be preserved, Stonehenge-style, with cars kept away from it and people allowed to approach with true reverence, on foot, and in wheelchairs. It will undoubtedly contribute much towards Herefordshire's already important tourism industry, currently worth £170m per annum, and give the people of the County something to be truly proud of.Councillor Gerald Dawe(Hollington Ward, Herefordshire)

Dave Spencer
A find as important as this should be preserved for all to see. It's typical of the councils to destroy our historical past. What are we to teach our children when all our past history is under tarmac.

Chris Sidwell
If the site does have the international significance suggested by the archeologists then there should be no question that it should be preserved and accessible to view. However if a new route is agreed there may be very real problems if further remains are found when work starts on a detour.It may be a vast site.

Tom Mason
BRILLIANT! Hereford has stumbled upon a potentially major international tourist attraction, exactly what the local economy needs. The infrastructure is being built to take the tourists to the site, all they need to do is build a car park!!!...and what alternative have they chosen..bury it - good move.

ken bick
The site should be preserved at all costs and made a great tourist attraction

Helen Nash
We think the site should be restored and conserved. There should be more investigation on the site . Who made the dcision to cover it over in the first place?

Jonathan Hines
I am a local resident and am staggered that the Council could even THINK about covering over something so significant! It is cultural vandalism! Especially considering that road is simply an access for lorries to an industrial estate - access to the estate could have been improved long ago without this road. This find is of such significance that it should be preserved and displayed for current and future generations. It could do wonders for our understanding of past societies and for Herefordshire's tourism. We should be creative, rather than build destructive roads! The road should be halted whilst options are considered.

William M
This site must be preserved and the landscape around it. You cannot understand any unique find without preserving the topography of the area. The road will ruin any chance of understanding the importance of the find. Furthermore, the ribbon may indicate the presence of other unique features - a henge or barrow perhaps?

Anne Cooke (Hereford)
SAVE this .It would be a gross act of vandalism to cover it in It would be like covering Stone Henge. We don't need this road anyway (what we do need is a by pass for the A 49 road!!) We are denying future generations if this major find is not preserved

This road is and was never needed, it always was a crime, cutting across a lovely hill. destroying archaeology for it makes it even worse

Ian Murray
Hereford has a limited portfolio for tourism, adding this new site a mile or so from the Mappa Mundi can only provide a boost. It might only be a lump of rocks (from the limited photos I have seen) but it is one more saleable attraction, and Herefordshire’s poor depressed economy, off the main tourist and buisness trails, needs every little bit of help it can get. Much of it must be opened to the public with a car park and visitor centre. As for building the road over it, I am not qualified to say, but the site is important, and therefore the decision makers should be looking at what is best for the archaeology and potential tourism, the cost of moving or delaying the road should not be factor.

Steffen Cleaton
What a cop out - preserving it for future generations by tarmacing over it! There's no point in having heritage if people can't enjoy it.

Sophie Hughes-Pries
Greed, speed and ignorance will be the only legacies our generation leave if 'Rotherwas Ribbon' is not saved. This is a national treasure that should be protected and celebrated whatever the cost. Stone-age man valued the site, so should we....

L Martinelli
This unique find could become a fantastic tourist attraction for Hereford and could turn it from being into a "half a day" city into a "whole day" city (as tour operators refer to it).Covering with a strip of tarmac it would be myopic and utterly inconsiderate, typical of the small-scale thinking that has plagued this county.

malcolm chapman
no, i don't think the relief road should be allowed to go over this unique site. would we consider putting a road through stonehenge? i think not! the whole area should be carefully searched and enclosed by building shelter over it.

Nigel Twigg
If this turns out to be a site of international significance then, of course, it should be preserved; but exposing it to the threats of modern day pollution will not help.The McAlpine Rotherwas Ribbon Museum has a nice ring to it don't you think ?!

Donna ...Childswickham
make it a tourism sitereroute the rd...we have an opportunity to make tourism revenue..+i'd love to see the complete snake in its entirity...left uncovered.

Ingrid Barton
This is obviously a really important and exciting site that should be made available for everyone to see. Roads can be moved - OK it'll probably cost a bit, but get the council to think of the tourist revenue!

Mary Webb - Salisbury
I would have liked to say - Salsibury District Council would never take this decision without consultation with the private Tourism businesses being involved - I would encourage any tourism related business (including English Heritage)to get together and ask the council to meet them to discuss any other options

Debbie Clifford
The archaeological site should be preserved. This is a great find and should be on show for all to see. This would be a great tourist attraction and bring alot of revenue to Herefordshire.

Kerry Jones
it's an absolutely travesty to cover this find up, the council should dig deep into their pockets and find the money to move the road - something that would bring much needed tourist revenue into the County!


Dave Lloyd
It should be preserved at all cost,so the road could be moved?Or bridged in some way.

David Holford
That the road is going over this site is unbelievable. What is the point of protecting it and the covering it over? Is this just in case the relief road goes into complete disuse and is one day removed? This is something that should be available for enrichment of this and future generations.

Jas Hohnstine / USA
Move the road! Make this find a special pull off for the public and the world to view. Like a historical and educational rest stop if you will.

Christine Price
This should be kept for the future generations to see, if this has european significance there must be leglislation in place to protect it? or there should be!

stephanie best
For years i have been concerned about the council's attitude towards Hereford's historical landmarks and buildings, if they are to build over this it would be an archeological scandal, i thought they wanted to bring visitors to Hereford. This would be a great attraction. No doubt that won't matter cause building a bridge or diverting the road a few hundred yards either way, to preserve this heritage site, would eat into important funds for more 'progress' in our city center! What a surpirse!

Adrian Chesters
Although the City needs this relief road, the importance of this discovery surely must be further investigated.I for one, as a resident of Herefordshire am facsinated by th fact that something that could be as important as this, has been discovered in this County. The site should be further investigated and the road diverted. The amount of money that could be made from tourism if this site is fully uncovered would easily outway the costs of diverting the road.

Alan Pucill
The road should be cancelled - it's a tragic waste of public money and serves no purpose.

Mark Evans, Oswestry, Shropshire
It is inconceivable that there should even be a debate about this. And incoceivable that anyone could consider the possibility of completing the original plan of building the road over what now appears to be a crucial and unique archaeological site. This feature has been with us, albeit unseen for some of that time, for 4000 years. We are already talking about petrol being available for around another 50 years.........and there are those who seriously consider building a road over this site?We have mention of a "structure" to "protect" it..........what form will this take? Will it allow the feature to be seen in it's entirity? Will it allow it to be seen in circumstances of quiet reflection?It is crucial that a site such as this remains intact, without partial obliteration, even preserved within some sort of "structure" beneath the road.If we truly consider that the dubious gains of 5 minutes reduction in journey times that are dependent upon a fuel that is a rapidly diminishing resource take precedence over a 4000 year old site that represents human ingenuity, imagination and spiritual will at it's highest level, then I am astonished, and believe that we deserve all we get, and more.

Myra Bennett
I think the road should be carried by a small flyover to clear the section of the snake it covers.

dave beeley
Although sound archaeological practise is being done by covering it up it is a shame asthe road could be diverted, the site could be investigated more and preserved and made into a classic tourist attraction for the area if it is such an important finding

Carolyn Hunt
This is an extraordinary find which must be investigated further and preserved. On no account should the road be allowed to go over it. Hereford is not a wealthy county, so national efforts should be made to fund its conservation.

re-route the road!!!!!!and extend the dig!!!!history could be rewritten. Modern man tramples this planet...

andrew lippitt from worcester
Isn't it just typical, we find a unique ancient artifact then debate whether to build a road on it... whats to debate? we gotta save it, or do we destroy it and just hope that another one will turn up where we don't need to build a road?

Steve Thompson
I think that the road should be diverted so that this very important site can be fully investigated. If the decision has been has to cover it and build the road it with out any debate then it is obvious to me that the council have clearly no intention of listening to anyone and "need to get the job done quickly". I suspect this is because the council have a hidden agenda for a few more homes in the area. No building company is going to fund millions of pounds for a road for the right to built only 600 homes.

Carolyn Redgwell
definately NOT... its an outrage to cover this up again.

Bill Jobson
The international significance of this find precludes encasing and building over.

It is of international importance and should be saved for future generations. Surely there should be a public debate about the future of the site.

Maggie Taylor-Sanders
Please don't bury this important find. It must be avalable for viewing,even if protected by some sort of glass cover.It is far more important than the road. Move the road and develop the site as a tourist attraction.

Ben Young
Such an important archaeological site should be preserved and viewed, not covered by a road.

No, it should be fully excavated and left for us to see and be amazed by.

Tim Ginger
To go around this unique monument and hence keep it open to the public would be a minimal amount of work in comparison to the work involved in building the access road as a whole. To bury it under a road for no good reason is a typical sign of the madness and temporary nature of modern thinking. Uncover it, cancel the building of the bypass and let everyone come and see it!!

Mrs Burton (ledbury)
Should the orad continue?- in a word -No!this site is important- would we be considering building a road through the middle of stone henge or demolishing what is left of Hardrians wall?The road was always going to be contentious issue and it is perhaps justice being done that this important historical find has been discovered on the very site of the badly planned road route.

Mr J. Bell (ledbury)
the road should not continue on its current planned route. the discovery of such sites is a real opportunity to learn from the distant past and is of national interest. if the road continues it will be a travesty of our ancestory.

Anita Last
I think that the route of the road should be changed so thatthe site can be preserved for people to visit.

julie osborne
wow, what a find! It should be preserved, and if it can be encased under the by-pass, then all the better, but I do hope that it won't be buried under tarmac - so many ancient artifacts are lost this way. Still, in another 2,000 years, they may dig it up again... ;p

Rob Bates
I can't believe, "international significance" equates to "encase under the new road" ?? how does that work ? Of course it should be made to avoid it - doesn't Stonehenge ?

Dr Andy Jones
No NO NO please NO! The Rotherwas Relief road should go no-where near this site of international, archaelogical significance. It would be akin to building a road THROUGH Stonehenge. NO NO NO NO NO NO I do not want my County to be known for it's disdain of the past and it's historic landscape. We are so lucky to have this novel historic site in Herefordshire. It needs so much more academic research and should be freely available from ANY interference to allow long term archaeological study. This is not one for just recording then back filling people , this is one to put Herefordshire's Histoic landscape on the map.

Richard Kippax
for goodness sake NO!building must stop at all costs; this heritage is irreplaceable; our descendents will never forgive us for such disgraceful vandalism!

Miss E.M. Horton
If there is no way to avoid the new road, then all archaeology must be fully recorded and preserved and as much as possible on view.

Maura Whitehead
Such a significant and important find should not be sacrificed to the motor car; it must be preserved and displayed as part of our ancient heritage, at whatever cost.

Sally Webb
It is just crazy to find something so important then cover it up. I suppose if at anytime in the future people want to see it the council will keep a crew on hand to dig the road up again! This makes as much sense as covering it up.

Philip Hearsey
If this find is unique and has international significance it is downright irresponsible to cover it over with the road before it has been properly investigated. If the road cannot be re-routed or delayed a little, then it should be bridged clear over the site so that it can be properly explored. Perhaps this is potentially an immensely important asset for Herefordshire? Sealing it underneath the road may preserve it but to what end? If it ever merits further exploration then the road would have to be dug up as well! Those responsible should just stop and think.

Elisabeth Edwards
The new road should be diverted if possible - this is an incredibly important archaeological find, which may tell use much about our ancestors.

jean evans
Must be preserved and on display. for heritage of Herefordshire .

Gary RIchards
Definitely not - this is part of our original heritage and should be preserved where it lies

Of course not! Surely the road could be built round it?

P J Pikes
Absoluteley not!Although I am a professional archaeologist of 35 years experience and might be expected to be biased, in fact I am used to seeing things buried and even destroyed: all archaeologists are.This is different. It is clearly of international importance and needs to be made totally accessible as soon as possible.The pathetic approach of leaving it to future generations of archaeologists means what? When will this road be removed so that this unique feature can be seen? Not in our lifetimes that's for sure. In Hereford a 1930s building frontage is currently being preserved and renovated so that it is visible to the public. This is as old as Stonehenge and UNIQUE!What about tourist? What about academic visitors? It's only a road for God's sake. - move it.

If any excuse were needed to abandon the ill conceived act of vandalism that is the Rotherwas "relief" road, surely this is it.

rowan wells
I hope this anacient monument is preserved in some way and further research in the area is carried out. These help us to feel a deeper connection to our ancestors which we've lost in our fast-koving high tech. world.

Everything possible should be done to preserve the Ribbon,not cover it back up. Decisions need to be made to divert the road if necessary

D R Waterson
It should be preserved so that everyone can see it. Surely there is an alternative route for the road. Sites like this are a major tourist attraction.

Janet Cooper
I do not think this site should be covered over by the relief road. If needs be the relief road should be diverted or at least a bridge built over the Rotherwas Ribbon. This site is too important to just preserve and cover over. It is a very important find and should be treasured and preserved for the benefit of all to come and see.

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > About Herefordshire > Rotherwas Ribbon - NEW PHOTOS

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy