Historic Melton archway demolished in car collision

A 50-year-old man has been charged with drink-driving after an historic archway, which has stood in Melton for more than 500 years at various locations, was demolished in a road traffic collision yesterday (Sunday).

Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:36 pm
The aftermath of a road collision which caused an historic archway at Melton's Memorial Gardens to be demolished EMN-210621-134040001
The aftermath of a road collision which caused an historic archway at Melton's Memorial Gardens to be demolished EMN-210621-134040001

The Jerusalem Archway, which formed part of the perimeter fencing for the Memorial Gardens on Wilton Road, was reduced to rubble in the incident.

It was dismantled and moved from the former War Memorial Hospital site nearly 60 years ago before being rebuilt in its current location.

But the structure actually dates from 1480 and it is the only surviving feature from the manor house for the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, which was formerly part of the castle at the rear of Nottingham Street and King Street.

The demolished historic archway at Melton's Memorial Gardens following a road collision at the weekend EMN-210621-134100001

Leicestershire Police said today that Martyn Terry, of Clumber Street, Melton, was charged with drink-driving following the collision.

A force spokeswoman said: “Terry will be appearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Friday July 9.

“The charge relates to a collision which occurred around 6.40pm and resulted in damage being caused to a stone wall and a lamppost.”

Jody Frisby contacted us via Facebook to say she was one of the first people at the scene shortly after the collision and phoned the ambulance service.

The historic archway at Melton's Memorial Gardens pictured before it was demolished in a road collision at the weekend EMN-210621-134110001

She said: “The two people involved in the car accident are fine.

“There was also a lovely lady called Samantha who was a trained First Aider who was thankfully there to help and a few blokes who cleared the lamp post off the road so traffic could get round.

“I’m just so thankful that everyone walked away from the the accident considering what was witnessed.”

The archway is owned and maintained by Melton Mowbray Town Estate and assessments are now being made on the extent of the damage.

The demolished historic archway at Melton's Memorial Gardens following a road collision at the weekend EMN-210621-134050001

John Southerington, chair of feoffees, told the Melton Times: “It was quite a shock to see the archway has been completely demolished.

“It was moved and rebuilt from the old War Memorial Hospital in 1962 and has been a feature down there on the boundary wall ever since.”