A well-known historian is backing calls for an archaeological dig on the site of the former council offices in Weymouth.

TV star Dan Snow attended Weymouth Pavilion on Friday as part of his tour – An Evening with the History Guy.

During the event, there was a Q&A with Mr Snow where local historian Mark Vine asked him if he would support an archaeological excavation of the North Quay site, which Mr Snow endorsed.

Mr Vine runs a group called Dig the Street which is campaigning to find out more about the town’s origins. He is keen to see a full survey of the land beneath North Quay once the building is demolished and before new building work commences.

Yesterday, Mr Snow confirmed to the Echo that he does support a dig and added: “It would be a tragedy if this opportunity was lost to investigate the history of one of England’s most important ports.”

Mark Vine says the North Quay site was once an English Civil War battlefield where more than 200 men were killed.

He is also worried about what will become of the remains of the old High Street and a set of steps on the Chapelhay slope, which he believes to date back to the 12th century.

Mr Vine said: “It’s great that we’ve got Dan Snow’s

support. He’s of the same mind – he loves history and understands the importance of the site going forward. It’s like they say ‘you can’t see where you’re going unless you know where you’ve come from’ – and this is the last chance to find out about Weymouth’s beginnings.”

The borough council is working with Magna Housing to redevelop the land at North Quay.

The old office buildings will likely be demolished to make way for affordable homes, homes for older people and parking.

Read more about what's being planned for the site here.

David Aldwinckle, property director for Magna Housing, said: “The planning process for the site will involve archaeological considerations, Magna would not expect to oppose the expert recommendations of the county archaeologist. We look forward to taking the development of the site forward. The results of the recent public consultation are now available on Magna’s website.”

Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “We understand the archaeological interest in this historic location. Any investigations will be considered alongside the need for the necessary facilitation works for this key development site.”