As work goes on to provide 15,000 homes at Ebbsfleet Garden City, campaigners have set up a petition urging developers to consider permanently unearthing the remains of a Victorian bear pit as a piece of Northfleet history, and make it a key feature of any future housing development.
Mike Dempsey, regional managing director at Keepmoat Homes said the developer is “commemorating the location of the bear pit,” by “marking its location as a point of historical interest,” after it carried out a heritage assessment at the site.
Architect Neege Allen Navarria from Gravesend Futures, one of the campaign groups backing the petition, said: “The bear pit still exists almost intact under a few meters of soil. It can be unearthed, restored and be made accessible as a real heritage asset and a living memory to future generations of the Victorian Rosherville Gardens, I’d say work would take around £250,000.
Just putting a plaque in isn’t enough, there are some very special places around Gravesham and we need to celebrate that more, this is a great opportunity to do that.”