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Dig for lost dolmen recommended before hospital work begins

Dig for lost dolmen recommended before hospital work begins

Friday 26 November 2021

Dig for lost dolmen recommended before hospital work begins

An archaeological dig to see if a ‘lost’ dolmen is buried in a field destined to form part of the new hospital has been officially recommended before the construction process starts.

One element of the 215-document 'Our Hospital' planning application, which now appears on the Planning website, is a ‘Cultural Heritage’ Environmental Impact Statement - one of many reports covering everything from bat surveys to the project’s socio-economic impact.

It suggests that further work is needed to discover if a Neolithic burial monument is under field ‘H1550’ which is to the north-west of the site, where a single-storey mental health centre (pictured top) and 300-space multi-storey car park is due to be built.

The statement says it is unlikely that the dolmen – whose exact location has long remained a mystery – is in a state worthy of preservation, even if it is buried on Westmount.

However, it suggests that more work is required after an initial ‘baseline’ study found some evidence of prehistoric remains, adding that an order to preserve the monument in situ cannot be ruled out.

However, such work, if it went ahead, would not affect construction elsewhere on the 'campus'.

hospital birds eye.png

Pictured: Field H1550 is to the north-west of the proposed campus and will house the mental health centre (2) and multi-storey carpark (5).

The application says: “Mitigation in the form of a second phase of archaeological evaluation across the Our Hospital Project is recommended prior to the commencement of below-ground works, that should target areas that were not truncated by building foundations in the recent past. 

“Further evaluation across H1550, H1551 and H1552 cannot be ruled out at this stage. Depending on the results of the Phase 2 evaluation, further archaeological mitigation in for the form of an excavation or watching brief may be needed.

“Given the discovery of prehistoric remains in the form of a ring ditch and a Middle Bronze Age pottery vessel in the south-west corner of field H1550 during the pre-determination (Phase 1) evaluation, further archaeological mitigation work, such as an archaeological excavation, is recommended. 

“This should investigate the south-west corner of field H1550, where these remains were identified."

Video: Field 1550, which the application says merits further investigation.

It continues: “Should further investigation suggest the presence of exceptional remains of national importance on the Our Hospital Project site, such as the Le Rouge Bouillon / Le Mont Patibulaire monument [the dolmen] in a good state of preservation, then an order to preserve the monument in situ cannot be ruled out at this stage.

“This could necessitate that the foundation plan of the Our Hospital Project be redesigned."

However, the document adds: “That said, such as outcome is not thought likely given the nature of the current baseline data, with preservation of archaeological remains by record being the far more likely option given their predicted importance.

“The mitigation suggested above will preserve archaeological receptors of all periods either by record in situ and execution of such a mitigation strategy will render the effects of the Our Hospital Project on the archaeological resource not significant for the entire site.

“The final decision regarding any archaeological mitigation lies with Jersey Heritage and the Government of Jersey.”

Overdale hospital impression from the east.jpg

Pictured: Plans for the Our Hospital project have now been formally submitted.

Construction of the £804m ‘health campus’ - which includes a stepped five-storey main block, a separate mental health centre, a two-storey 'Knowledge Centre', three-storey Energy Centre and a 300-space multi-storey car park – will take four years and will create around 1,400 jobs.

The application says there will be 550 car parking spaces, including 175 reserved for patients, and extensive landscaping.

Around 155 trees will be removed - however, the plan says that the total number of trees planted will be approximately 860, which means there will be a net gain of around 705 trees.

More than a quarter of the site (27%) will be accessible to the public. 

Overdale hospital impression From the west.jpg

Pictured: The main stepped five-storey building as it will look from the west. It is expected to open in 2026.

Four agricultural fields will be lost and sections of the People’s Park and Westmount Hill, including the bowling green, will make way for a realigned road. 

The full application is for: “The development of new hospital buildings including deck and grade parking, a mental health centre, energy centre, knowledge centre, landscaping and open space through the redevelopment of Overdale Hospital and adjacent land, Mulcaster House (Jersey Water), fields H1550, H1550A, 1551 and 1552, including the demolition of La Chapelle de St. Luc, Thorpe Cottage, Briez Izel, 1 Castle View, 5 Castle View, 1 Hillcrest, part of driveway, raised planter and strip of land at entrance to Hill Crest and Castle View, Mont Martin Cottage and two outbuildings, L’Amyerie, 1 – 3 Westmount Terrace, Berkeley Rise, Westmount House, Folly Field, part of the garden of Camden, and Jersey Bowling Club. 

“The reconfiguration and landscaping of Westmount Road, including to People’s Park, Lower Park, Westmount Gardens and Victoria Park, including changes to the playground and Petanque Courts along with associated alterations to the highway network.”

The application will be assessed by an independent planning inspector before the Environment Minister makes a decision, which is expected to be next June.


Field marked for hospital block could be 'lost' Neolithic monument site

'Megalithic' field earmarked for hospital block to be surveyed

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Could find a few bones there ,that wouldn't stop our deplorable States Members from building this Hospital!
Posted by Martin on
POSSIBLY this should have been F U L L Y explored W E L L before we got to this stage as the phrase "unlikely" ( above) is not reassuring!

IF a decent dolmen or another Catillon type hoard is found - maybe they could accommodate an atrium to allow it,s continued existence - if the is a hoard this should be sold on ebay to assist in the £800 M cost which we all know will soar exponentially!!

Am I detecting a facetious air to my email?
Posted by Scott Mills on
Erm Lidar anyone? what if they find it....who's back garden or grounds will they move it too? Finally "Campus". I've only ever heard and experienced Universities having campuses. End of.
Posted by Michael Blampied on
I am struggling to recall any period in my 65 years (and more pointedly prior to this new hospital site decision) where there was any great interest in locating this lost dolmen. Why hasn't there been any major effort to find it previously? Whilst we're at it should we check the site for the Holy Grail? And what about Lord Lucan and Shergar? Leave no stone unturned I say.
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