Persistent suspicions that English Heritage will be merged with the National Memorial Fund and the National Lottery Fund under the government’s impending plans appear to have been confirmed in leaked documents.

The Daily Telegraph quoted an unnamed Whitehall source as saying: ‘These reforms represent the most significant rolling back of bureaucracy and the state for decades. Our starting point has been that every quango must not only justify its existence but its reliance on public money.’

Presumably, “rolling back of the state” can only mean one thing in the case of heritage and archaeology: spending less on protecting sites.