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“The continued destruction of prehistoric monuments is a fact which I am sure we all deeply regret, and which reflects little credit on us as a nation. This year a portion of “Abury”, the grandest monument of its kind in this country (perhaps in the world), was actually sold for building purposes in cottage allotments.”

Sir John Lubbock speaking to the Anthropological Institute on 15th of January 1872.

Sir John was of course our greatest prehistorian and introduced the Ancient Monuments Act which set up a system of scheduling and state guardianship which has prevailed to the present day and has been replicated worldwide.

Recently the current statutory guardians of Avebury, English Heritage, expressed their opposition to the development of the site of the adjacent Bonds Garage for housing yet then  failed to exercise their available powers towards it, thus allowing building to go ahead – which it will shortly – thus blighting the northern approach to Sir John’s “grandest monument of its kind in this country (perhaps in the world)” forever.

Thus, Sir John’s original concept has been ignored by the very system and officialdom that he founded and a level of protection fashioned in the late nineteenth century has been flouted in the early twenty first. As our previous article implied perhaps more respect is needed for Avebury. No amount of self-important words will protect it, evidently.

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