Roman remains at risk

The entrance to the woods that mountain bikers have made into their dirt track.

The entrance to the woods that mountain bikers have made into their dirt track.

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Swinton’s prehistoric monument, Roman Ridge, has survived for more than 2,000 years, but it is now on the verge of oblivion – by mountain bikers who have turned it into a bike ramp!

The two-metre high earthwork situated in Swinton Wood is a “Scheduled Ancient Monument”.

But it has now been placed on the “Risk Register” by English Heritage after bikers started digging into it to build ramps.

Richard and Sue Fulbrook, who own the wood, close to Warren Vale, are keen to protect the unique structure and have signed a management agreement with English Heritage to repair it.

The structure forms part of an ancient wall that once ran 12 miles from Wincobank to Wath-Upon-Dearne. It is thought to pre-date Roman times and marked the southern border of the territory of the ancient Brigantes, the biggest tribe in Celtic Britain who lived in what is now northern England.

Mr Fulbrook said: “Part of the reason for buying the wood was to maintain public access and also to help protect the monument. This is a very important yet fragile monument and we are fortunate that it has survived for so long.

Walkers can report damage to the Roman Ridge in Swinton Wood by emailing swintonwood@gmail.com