There are calls for more protection for Segedunum Roman Fort as thieves continue to strip the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s roofing.
It has been reported to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that parts of the Wallsend icon’s roof have been pilfered for copper and lead since July last year, resulting in leaks.
It is also understood that while some initial repairs were underway in September 2023 to address the problem, scaffolding allowed thieves to further access and steal even more roofing materials.
In response to these claims, Geoff Woodward, manager of Segedunum Roman Fort, said: “We are very frustrated by the ongoing theft of materials from Segedunum’s roof and the damage it is causing to the building. We have worked with North Tyneside Council to make emergency repairs whilst awaiting funds from our Insurers to permanently resolve this issue.
“The recent high winds and rain have also exacerbated this problem. We will be replacing the roof with a material that will not be of interest to thieves to prevent this happening in future.”
News of this has shocked representatives of Wallsend and has sparked calls for more to be done to safeguard the Roman fort and world-famous museum.
Wallsend councillor Louise Marshall said: ” I was really shocked to hear about this when it was first raised with me on Monday. I have contacted the chief constable and have been directed to the area inspector.
“I want to support the police and see what additional resources can be found, and how the council can work with the police, in terms of protecting this building. It is incredibly disappointing that this building is being targeted.
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“In terms of ongoing damage to the Segedunum, I need to take this up further with the police to see what can be done”.
Segedunum is one of the region’s most famous and popular museums and points of interest, attracting almost a million visitors since it first opened on June 17, 2000. The site is legally protected and became a scheduled ancient monument in 1982.
North Tyneside’s best example of the legacy of the Roman Empire was made eventually a World Heritage site in 1987.