Archaeological investigations taking place in Abbey Fields in preparation for the development of Kenilworth’s new £multi-million swimming centre have revealed a section of an ancient wall.
The new discovery, believed to be part of a water mill which stood on the site in medieval times is being carefully analysed by experts from Historic England, Archaeology Warwickshire and local historians.
In the meantime, Warwick District Council’s design team and their contractors AR Demolition and Kier Construction will carefully clear a larger portion of the site to see if any more walls or other remains can be found.
Councillor Liam Bartlett, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture commented:
“Given the historic significance of Abbey Fields we will need to establish the full extent of the walls and ensure that they can be preserved in situ. Although this discovery will not prevent the construction of the new building, it could affect its design as we will need to decide whether the walls should be carefully buried or put on show.”
“This development has put a temporary hold on the signing of contracts, while we assess the financial implications of any changes or further delays to the programme. It is however hoped that this can be resolved very soon and that work on site can begin in early September, after the school holidays.”
In recent weeks other preparatory work has continued with the installation of a new path around the rear of the old swimming pool building. This will ensure that pedestrians can continue to cross the Finham Brook and gain access to the park safely when the construction site hoardings are in place, by using the bridge near to the duck-feeding platform.
It is expected that construction work for the swimming centre at Abbey Fields, with additional year-round pool space, sun-terrace and café, will start in September. Please visit the Warwick District Council website for further updates.