Archaeologists object to expansion plans for Roald Dahl cemetery near ancient Roman findings

Plans to extend a cemetery where world famous Bucks author Roald Dahl is buried could be ‘harmful’ to a Roman site.

By Rory Butler
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 3:58 pm

Bucks Council is planning to extend the existing cemetery at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden by up to 1,500 plots via a field used for grazing next door.

Bucks novelist and children’s author Roald Dahl is buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul.

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Roald Dahl pictured in 1971. (Photo by Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images)

He died on 23 November 1990, at 74 from a rare cancer of the blood called myelodysplastic syndrome.

He lived at Gipsy House on Whitefield Lane in Great Missenden for 36 years until his death.

Dahl wrote classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, and George’s Marvellous Medicine and also has a museum in his name in Aylesbury – the county town.

Plots for 480 full burials and 960 cremated remains would be provided.

Roald Dahl is buried on these grounds

A new access would be constructed, as would four new parking spaces (two disabled).

The land is owned by Bucks Council and is north of the Grade II Listed church.

“The existing hedging and post-and-rail fencing would be retained, and a wildflower meadow would be planted for the unused areas,” a planning statement reads.

But an archaeology officer said the field is close to a medieval site and where Roman pottery had also been found, and that unless a condition for “appropriate investigation, recording, publication and archiving” was included in the plans, harm could come to the archaeological site.

“We conclude that the proposal may affect a heritage asset of archaeological interest because the proposed site is in the vicinity of a medieval ring work and medieval and Roman pottery have been recorded,” said the archaeology officer.

“If planning permission is granted for this development, then it may harm a heritage asset’s significance so a condition should be applied to require the developer to secure appropriate investigation, recording, publication and archiving of the results.”

Councillors will discuss the application during a planning meeting on 31 May.

The recommendation is conditional permission.

To view and comment on the plans, use planning portal reference: PL/21/4723/FA.

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