A COUNTY HALL wall which has been propped up by scaffolding for more than two years is to be repaired at last.

A corner section of the historic wall to the rear of County Hall, close to the Roman townhouse, partially crumbled on to the North and West Walks and since then has been held up by scaffolding.

Dorset Council has previously said that resolving the problem had taken longer than it would have liked.

It says the situation has been complicated because any changes to the wall, even minor repairs, needs both Listed Building and Scheduled Monument approvals.

The walls and the paths adjacent to them, known locally as The Walks, featured in Thomas Hardy’s 1886 novel ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’.

Dorset Council erected scaffolding and water tanks, which provide ballast, around the site in April 2022 because the wall had deteriorated to an extent where it might have collapsed on to the pavement, popular with walkers with its view over the town and water meadows.

Said a Council spokesperson: “The works required are not straightforward as the wall needs to be dismantled and fully rebuilt and requires both Listed Building and Scheduled Monument approvals. The wall dates from the early 18th century and is constructed of alternate bands of Ridgeway or Portland rubble and flints with red brick coping, it was built on the earlier Roman wall ramparts.”

Vegetation had to be cleared from part of the site to allow a 3D survey to be carried out and to record the current state of the wall.

Dorchester architects Crickmay Stark have been appointed to manage the works which have just been advertised for planning purposes, although it is highly unlikely anyone will object to the repairs.

There is currently no timescale for the work, which will involve dismantling and rebuilding the structure, with time allowed for an archaeological investigation – the job made more complex by trees growing close to the wall and the need to protect any Roman, or earlier, remains beneath.