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Today the National Trust will ask its Members to support massive damage to Stonehenge in defiance of UNESCO’s wishes. Ninety years ago, together with Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald, it made a quite different public appeal which included the words

“It is now nine years since Sir Cecil Chubb made the nation the magnificent present of the Stonehenge circle itself; and the great stones are safely in the charge of the Commissioners of Works. The land of the Plain around them, however, is still private property. So long as it remains in private hands, there is an obvious danger that the setting of Stonehenge may be ruined….”

Causes-and good causes- are appealed for every day, and it is evident that not everything worth “saving” can be “saved.” But we have not two Stonehenges, and our generation will be vilified by all posterity if we allow the surroundings of this monument, the frontispiece to English history, to be ruined beyond repair.”

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The appeal was successful, the land was purchased and placed under the guardianship of the National Trust. But today those guardians are calling for you to support massive permanent new damage to the Stonehenge landscape on the highly arrogant grounds that it will be an improvement and therefore justified. Who are they to say that? Please say no, we do not wish to make such a judgement for the convenience of Highways England nor do we wish our generation to be “vilified by all posterity.”

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