It constitutes quite a legal precedent. Mr and Mrs Jackdaw of Stonehenge and their relatives may have been in continuous residence for 3,500 years.

Did you know that anti bird nesting netting was an addition to Stonehenge made whilst they were replacing the mortar under a Scheduled Monuments Consent (SMC)? Yet the consent makes no mention of installing netting. Is it not therefore a criminal offence? https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/hpg/consent/smc/

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Interviewed by the Journal Mr Jackdaw stated “It’s not as if we haven’t paid rent in terms of giving pleasure to visitors and providing the only living link to the old days. Nor have we done much damage. It’s not like we’re planning to gouge a ruddy great trench through the World Heritage landscape”.

It seems that we are being characterised by certain pro-short tunnel archaeologists as hysterical amateurs in contrast to them who are authoritative. Who is right? As always, the truth lies in the middle: we’re a bit hysterical because we don’t like our heritage being stolen and some archaeologists think it’s not a problem. To help you decide, here are a few of the things they have said about us and others:

“The public perception is being misappropriated by media manipulated doubts, with a large number of people who mention sacrilege, destruction, devastation, loss, and even the issue with losing a free view of Stonehenge.”

If you ask me directly… do you agree with this particular tunnel. Quick answer….. no. Not really. Do I think the fury that is stoked by Heritage Action and Stonehenge Alliance is protecting heritage per ce (sic). Again… no.

Opponents of the tunnel are “loud voices obsessed with stopping a tunnel regardless of any proper consideration of the current situation and potential outcomes”, the Stonehenge Alliance acts like “the archaeological wing of Donald Trump’s social media campaign” and their leaflet imagery is “worthy of Putin-supporting trolls”

The kind of inaccuracy and false reporting peddled by @HeritageAction helps no-one.”

“Anyone puts up a Heritage Action post, will find that the door will hit arse on the way out.”

Just thought it was worth mentioning!

Stonehenge U.K @ST0NEHENGE·

“Rare alignment of 5 planets peaks Friday as crescent moon joins the parade”

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Image

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What’s the point of posting that AFTER they let no one in to witness it?


Free access to Stonehenge is confined to four occasions (two solstices and two equinoxes). This seems to have been the modern reality (including the fact people are cleared out before the actual moment) for so long that no one questions it. But should it be like that?

Who is to say the Ancients weren’t interested in lots more things that happened in the sky than just those? How come English Heritage doesn’t allow free access to view any of those? Many of us might like to taste a possibly more authentic ancient experience (and no, we wouldn’t need floodlights and drugs checks!)

For instance, currently (and best viewed early tomorrow morning, Friday 24th) there’s a very rare alignment of all five visible planets. Who is to say the ancients wouldn’t have been fascinated by that and gathered to view it from the stones? Shouldn’t the modern public be able to do that? Who decides these things?

“Oh well they can still see it from the road” says a notional spokesperson. Not soon they can’t, when the tunnel is built. A five-planet alignment over the stones will never be seen again by the public. Once again, who decides these things?

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Following our complaint that everyone was sent away from the stone circle before the actual solstice, English Heritage released this:


Stonehenge 
4 h  ·
“Right now (10.13 am) is the exact moment of the #solstice, when the earth is tilted nearest to the sun. It also marks the official start of summer.”

Hmmm. But if it’s a sufficiently auspicious moment to publish a picture of it, how come people weren’t allowed to experience it for themselves? The solstice is a reality, not an administrative inconvenience.

Maybe next year?

See also Stonehenge – the hijacking of perception?

The majority of abusive contracts are deemed unconscionable due to unequal bargaining power between the parties due to one party’s lack of knowledge, experience, or resources. A typical example, which we have mentioned before, would be where a “Loft Clearer” clears your grandpa’s loft for free and tells you, when you find out, “I have sent him a message when I have found something nice and will tell him where I found it and all he says is “Well done “.

Interestingly, in a forum thread titled Keeping Landowner Updated, a detectorist has just written “I have sent him a message when I have found something nice and will tell him where I found it and all he says is “Well Done “

We have no reason to suppose that detectorist isn’t upstanding but the question arises: out of 27,000 detectorists how many take advantage of the fact they themselves are judge, jury and sole eye-witness of what is “nice” and how many landowners are deprived of their property thanks to unconscionable abusive contracts, sealed with a handshake and a smile?

At a time when the Government may be minded to free itself from “sovereignty-infringing bodies” such as the European Court of Human Rights, there is speculation about whether it might consider leaving other bodies if it feared they might criticise its decisions. A long list has been suggested. Most are unlikely but one, in particular, is very likely and has great relevance to Stonehenge:

The monument field has to be cleared by 8am so that the site can be tidied up and put back to normal in time for it to re-open to regular visitors by about 3pm on the 21st.”

So everyone must clear off 2 hours 13 minutes before the actual Solstice at 10.13 am ?! So whose monument and whose Solstice is it?

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Update 18/6/2022

English Heritage has answered the question now, sort of:

“WHY ISN’T IT LATER?
The sunrise immediately before summer solstice – when the days gradually start to get shorter – is the moment traditionally marked at Stonehenge, and our live coverage replicates this.”

Hardly the point. People worldwide will be tuning in at the moment of their solstice – which is 10.13 am UK time – when the video coverage will be blank and everyone will have been told to leave.

In 2017 a very prominent detectorist spilled the beans in a way that archaeologists and Parliament don’t accept:

“And then it came on to treasure act reform, the museums are strapped for cash, they are finding it hard to fund the acquisition costs for significant treasure items, so what is the solution? To reduce the amount paid to finders and landowners. Its a total shot in the foot… “They cannot be serious!!!” .. such a policy would probably see the declaration of Treasure items stopping overnight…”

He should know, better than them, and the implications are clear: millions of pounds are being spent on ransom payments and if they are discontinued detectorists will revert to criminality. May we suggest the money is spent on museum subsidies or heating bills for pensioners and treasure reporting is ensured by quadrupling the penalties for non-compliance?

Here is one of the holes recently left when 10 Burnt Tip Orchids were stolen in Kent. The police have been informed and are investigating, as it’s a crime.

Here is one of the many thousands of holes left the same day all over Britain after artefacts were removed and mostly not reported. In no case were the police informed as it’s not a crime.

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