A ROMAN fort gifted to the public has been described as a donation of “international significance”.

Carrawburgh Roman Fort, situated between Chesters and Housesteads, has been gifted to English Heritage by Jennifer Du Cane, who had owned the site since 1950.

This will mean that the site will now be readily accessible to the public like many of the other sites along the wall.

The site had been farmed by the Du Cane family, but they have made the decision now so the public can enjoy the 1.4 hectare area.

Jennifer Du Cane said: “It has been a great privilege, but also a serious responsibility to own Carrawburgh Roman Fort.

“The time has come to pass on this amazing site as a gift to the nation.”

The news has excited historians and archaeologists across the world, with Historic England overwhelmed by the donation.

Mike Collins, the inspector of ancient monuments at Hadrian’s Wall for the organisation, said: “The site is one part of the Roman frontier and it is an act of international significance. It is so internationally important to the brand for the north of England, and one of the sites people don’t want to miss when it comes to archaeology.

“For Jennifer Du Cane to give it to the nation, to be be shared with local people and visitors, is such a generous gift and we are really excited.”

Mark Douglas, the senior properties curator at English Heritage said he looked forward to exploring the history of the site. He said “Carrawburgh Roman Fort has its own unique stories to tell as well as being a piece in the puzzle of the whole frontier. It is an evocative and intriguing place.

“The fort represents an illustration of a Roman site pre-excavation. There is the possibility of excavation in future, although this would need to be carefully considered as part of a planned research project.”