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Archaeology (Thameside)

Volume 939: debated on Friday 25 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to preserve for the national heritage the valuable archaeological finds from the banks of the Thames and to protect the sites; and whether he will make a statement.

I am concerned that important archaeological sites on the banks of the Thames and elsewhere in Greater London should be preserved wherever possible. Several riverside sites have been given the protection of scheduling under the Ancient Monuments Act which requires notice before work can be undertaken and therefore gives me power to intervene. If destruction is absolutely unavoidable, we try to ensure that proper excavation and recording takes place. The disposal of finds is primarily a matter for the landowner, to whom they belong, but valuable finds are subject to the law of treasure trove.