AFTER a historical monument was repeatedly vandalised during lockdown, a campaign has been launched in Wallingford to educate young people on the town's history.

The remains of St Nicholas College in Wallingford castle gardens have been damaged by rocks being thrown at them on more than one occasion, and the motte eroded by visitors to the gardens over the years.

In a Wallingford Town Council meeting in April, councillors raised several incidences of anti-social behaviour and vandalism to the historic ruins.

This included people throwing rocks and ‘irresponsible’ parents letting their children play in the ruins and the Kinecroft mounds.

To resolve this problem, many councillors suggested a need for more education in schools about the ruins and the Kinecroft to make young people aware that it has significance for the town as a historic monument to prevent further vandalism.

The Bull Croft Working Group on behalf of Wallingford Town Council, Wallingford Museum and local charity Wallingford 1155 have since launched ‘Wallingford for All’.

The group educates students from Wallingford's schools about the rich history of the town, and why the environment is so important.

Judy Dewey, curator of the Wallingford Museum spent some time this month with pupils exploring the Bull Croft Park, teaching them all about the ninth century Anglo Saxon fortifications, the location of Wallingford Priory and the monument that celebrated gas lights coming to the town.

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Ms Dewey said: "We at the museum are delighted to be able to support this learning initiative which we hope will allow the younger residents of Wallingford to really understand the history of our Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Medieval past. 

“Wallingford Castle was one of the largest in England and was an extremely important royal stronghold. 

“We are hopeful over the next few years of creating a better understanding of the importance of our unique historic ruins and buildings while preserving them for all to enjoy, so that vandalism becomes a thing of the past.”

Town councillor and chairman of the Bull Croft Working Group, Steve Holder, taught school pupils about the impact of litter on the environment and the importance of respecting the historic monuments, parks and green spaces.

Mr Holder said: "We have recently experienced an increase in litter after the lockdowns and some vandalism to our monuments, like the remains of the castle in Castle Gardens where stones have been removed and thrown off the ruin. 

“We are not saying it is the younger generation, but we know we need to educate and make the future generation of Wallingford aware about the rich history."

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