'Pompeii of the North' in County Durham put up for sale by church

Binchester Roman Town, at Bishop Auckland Binchester is "one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in Britain"

Related Stories

A Roman dig site in County Durham dubbed "the Pompeii of the North" has been put up for sale.

Binchester Roman Town, at Bishop Auckland, has been put on the market by the group managing the Church of England's property portfolio.

Auckland Castle Trust has submitted a £2m offer in a bid to prevent it "falling into the hands of developers".

A number of discoveries have been made at the site, including a bath house and an altar dedicated to a Roman goddess.

'Deep understanding'

One of 10 plots of land put up for sale by the Church Commissioners around Bishop Auckland, it has been separated into two lots.

The trust is bidding to buy both and said its offer is "being considered".

It is currently leased to Durham County Council and the trust fears developers could restrict public access to the site or limit archaeological digs.

Chairman Jonathan Ruffer said: "Binchester must be secured by someone who has a heart for Bishop Auckland and a deep understanding of the site's importance in a national and international context."

Trust chief executive David Ronn warned "the opportunity to bring the whole under one responsible owner and occupier and provide improved access and understanding of the site would be lost" if the sites are sold to different developers.

Dr David Petts, lecturer in archaeology at Durham University, has called Binchester "one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in Britain".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tees

Weather

Middlesbrough

8 °C 7 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    11:12: NUFC going Dutch? The Shields Gazette Newspaper

    Daryl Janmaat says Newcastle United have gone Dutch - by emulating Holland.

     
  2.  
    11:00: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

     
  3.  
    10:51: Teenager saves niece and nephew Newcastle Chronicle

    Teenager Ethan Tait has been hailed a hero after saving his niece and nephew from being run over by a bus.

    Ethan Tait with his nephew and niece
     
  4.  
    10:40: BBC North East Sports awards Jeff Brown BBC Look North

    I'll be joined by BBC Tees presenter Ali Brownlee tonight to present the 2014 BBC North East Sports awards which will be hosted at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

    The awards recognise the success, achievements and contributions of sportsmen, women and teams from across the North East, their coaches and the volunteers who form the core of sport in our region.

    The categories are: Sports Personality of the Year, Disabled Sports Person of the Year, Team of the Year, Sporting Inspiration (Coach/Organisation/NGB), Junior Sports Achievement (Individual or Team), Performance of the Year and the Jackie Milburn Memorial Award.

    Josef Craig receiving his award

    We'll have a preview of the event on BBC Look North tonight, will all of the details of the winners on tomorrow's show.

     
  5.  
    10:28: Gouffran and Colback show support

    Newcastle United's Jack Colback and Yoan Gouffran gave support to a charity initiative that is helping disabled children to play football for the first time.

    The pair visited Sir Charles Parsons School in Walker, Newcastle, and introduced the Football For All Schools Programme which offers coaching sessions to youngsters with varying mobility.

    Yoan Gouffran and Jack Colback

    Find out more about the initiative here.

     
  6.  
    10:14: Back in time Colin Briggs BBC Look North

    The new series of Inspector George Gently is currently being filmed in the North East.

    Locations all over the region have been transported back in time to resemble the 1960s for the five-month shoot.

    Cars parked on a street

    And once again County Durham provides the backdrop. We have an exclusive look behind the scenes on Look North later.

     
  7.  
    09:59: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 10:00 include:

     
  8.  
    09:50: Ambulance service responds to MP claim

    The North East Ambulance Service has responded to the claim by Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham we told you about earlier that a man was left in a road for two hours with a broken leg.

    A spokesman said: "We did not achieve our normal response time on this occasion. We're currently experiencing exceptionally high levels of demand - up 10% on last year.

    "Our priority is always those patients most in need who have experienced serious trauma."

     
  9.  
    09:42: Woman stabbed in Washington Sunderland Echo

    A woman is fighting for her life after being stabbed in Washington this morning.

    Scene in Washington

    A 34-year-old man has been arrested and officers say both parties are known to each other.

     
  10.  
    09:35: Rise in homophobic attacks Helen Richardson BBC Newcastle News Editor

    There's been a rise in the number of violent homophobic attacks in the Durham Police area, the force has said. Officers dealt with eight cases this year - up from six last year.

    Northumbria Police has seen a drop in the number of attacks - there have been 16 so far this year, down from 18 last year.

     
  11.  
    09:24: Give us your feedback

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  12.  
    09:11: Is it really 'grim up north'? Duncan Leatherdale BBC News Online

    In the autumn of 1933, the author and playwright JB Priestley went on a tour of England. His subsequent book, English Journey, is widely blamed for creating the "grim up north" stereotype, but just how much was he to blame for damaging the region's reputation?

    When JB Priestley reached Tyneside, he was already in a foul mood.

    JB Priestley

    Clogged with a cold, dosed up on a daze-inducing medicine and tired of travelling, the 39-year-old openly admitted he just wanted to go home. Read more in my feature.

     
  13.  
    08:59: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

     
  14.  
    08:48: Urgent appeal to save schoolgirl Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Something that is getting a lot of reaction on social media is our story from last night about an urgent UK-wide appeal to save a North East schoolgirl.

    Unless a donor can be found, 14-year-old Chloe Beaney might only have days to live. She has been placed top of the heart transplant waiting list at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

    Chloe Beaney and her parents

    BBC Look North's Sharon Barbour spoke to her parents, Colin and Katrina Wilkinson, and Dr Richard Kirk, the cardiologist involved with her care.

     
  15.  
    08:37: In the news today Northern Echo editor Peter Barron
  16.  
    08:27: Appeal to pay for tickets

    A cinema in Newcastle has appealed for people who recently bought tickets online to pay for them.

    Technical problems with the e-ticketing system used by Tyneside Cinema meant some tickets were issued without payment being taken. It came to light when customers got in touch saying their card statements had shown no record of a charge.

    Tyneside Cinema

    For security reasons, the box office did not keep card details, so it is now relying on people's goodwill.

     
  17.  
    08:20: Man 'left with broken leg for two hours'

    An MP has launched a fierce attack on the North East Ambulance Service after a man was left in the road for two hours after breaking his leg.

    Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North, told the Commons the head of the service is "ignoring" demands for an explanation.

    Health minister Dr Dan Poulter responded: "I'm very sorry to hear about the difficulties experienced. I'm happy to look into those and do what I can. But I would also like to make clear on the record it's because this government has given £15bn more into the NHS during this parliament that we are making sure we're keeping services keep running efficiently through the winter."

     
  18.  
    08:07: Three-vehicle accident Lloyd Watson BBC News

    One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A66 westbound in Middlesbrough between Asda Traffic Lights and Cargo Fleet Interchange because of an accident involving three cars.

    One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A1 southbound in Seaton Burn between Seaton Burn Roundabout and Gosforth Park because of a broken down vehicle. More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

     
  19.  
    08:04: Dull and overcast Kay Crewdson Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    The day will be dull and overcast across the area with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, and with extensive fog developing across the Pennines.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 8C (46F). Check the forecast near you.

     
  20.  
    08:00: Good morning Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.