You are currently browsing the daily archive for 07/06/2009.

Whatever the outcome of the planning process, regarding the proposed  deep water port at Bremore, Co. Dublin, it appears that irreparable destruction is already occurring at the ancient complex. A contributor to the Modern Antiquarian website reported harvesting damage, to both kerbing and mounds, as far back as 2006. According to the Bremore web page this has continued and accelerated.
It’s hard to ascertain just what stage we are at; the first heedless blow of a machine, or the slow rumble of something much larger coming up the road.
These heartfelt words were written by a recent visitor to the site:
“Today, the 31/05/2009 I visited Bremore. It was a beautiful morning, the sun danced on the sea, birds sang and a small black thing raced across the small path which leads down to the burial mounds with something in its mouth. It was a weasel I think, on its way into the safety of a hedge. A lark rose and sang its way up into the heavens and from a distance this old burial place looked as it had always did; until I got up close to the mounds.
On the latest Ordnance Survey Maps there are five mounds clearly shown, today I could see only four. Three of them have been recently mauled and disturbed by machinery, to the point where they are now imperiled. One large mound may survive as it is too big to drive a tractor on, the other three have been ploughed over and planted upon. Some of the surrounding kerb stones have been pulled loose and at least two of the mounds are only a thin shadow of what they recently were.

These mounds have been dated at six thousand years old, one more year of this, perhaps one more harvesting of the crop this year and what remains of them will sink back into the soil …
… These mounds are National Monuments, among the most important monuments we have in our land, they are legally protected, they should be fenced off, regularly checked by a heritage officer or parks warden and damage to them stopped or corrected … but like so much in Ireland now political, heritage and environmental duty has gone missing. A priceless piece of us lies wounded and soon the developers will be given the green light to move and finish off the job. They will call this progress.
The signs that were there last year, National Monument Signs, warning signs, tourist signs etc have all been removed. The Minister of the Environment has been notified about this, so too has the National Monuments Office but nothing has been done. It is obvious that no one came out to check the site, or its condition …”




One of the neolithic mounds at Bremore; picture taken from the website below.
One of the neolithic mounds at Bremore; picture taken from the website below.

This report and other information can be found at:



Today our Artefact Erosion Counter  reaches 10,500,000.

This is 500,000 more than when we last highlighted it just one year and nine months ago. It suggests that ten thousand metal detectorists remove 29 artefacts each from British fields each year, mostly without telling anyone, and that this process has been tolerated for more than 30 years.

Of course, the exact figures are unknown. But one thing’s for sure. If ten thousand people are constantly flocking to the fields, undeterred, to peck at the ground (some of them for three or four decades) they are finding an awful lot more than the derisory five items a year each that they are reporting to the authorities (as reflected in official figures published a couple of years ago). 

A year of searching, probably 250 hours, rain and shine, for three bits of flint and two corroded Roman coins – who would do that? Well the average detectorist apparently, according to what they claim and what is reported to the authorities. In fact they suggest half of them find even less than that each year!

There is a huge gap between what is being shown and what is even remotely credible (only a minority of detectorists has reported anything to the Portable Antiquities scheme ever!). The difference is stolen history, plain and simple.

flocking to the fields

We can do no better than repeat what we said last time:

This is not heritage protection. In fact it is uncivilised behaviour towards heritage and it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.  It’s time to call time on the erosion.



June 2009

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