Jewel House Moat (Excavation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th July 1963.

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Photo of Sir Douglas Glover Sir Douglas Glover , Ormskirk 12:00 am, 16th July 1963

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what progress is being made with the excavation of a further section of the Jewel House moat; and whether he will consider the excavation of the part lying under the roadway and its conversion to a pedestrian subway.

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

The moat west of the roadway has been excavated and the face-stones are now being consolidated and rebedded. A waterproof concrete base will then be laid and the east end sealed by a concrete retaining wall.

We cannot at present undertake to continue the excavation beyond this point.

Photo of Sir Douglas Glover Sir Douglas Glover , Ormskirk

Does my hon. Friend realise that, by not proceeding with this excavation, he is leaving unprovided for a very dangerous road where traffic proceeds very fast and depriving noble Lords of another place and hon. and right hon. Members of this ancient House of free access to the Palace of Westminster? If we had a tunnel under the road, would it not help to display some of our archaeological heritage at the same time as providing safe passage to the House of Commons?

Photo of Mr Richard Sharples Mr Richard Sharples , Sutton and Cheam

To construct a tunnel under the roadway would be very expensive. From the archaeological point of view, we have a great deal of other work on hand and we could not undertake this at present.