The current story of a bluestone being stolen and used as a garden feature put us in mind of the bad old days when half or more of the houses of Avebury were constructed from sarsen stolen from the Avebury monument, as well as the bad new days, when English Heritage et al are conspiring to effectively steal ALL the Stonehenge stones from the traveling public! So stone-stealing isn’t new, and an eBay search for Preseli Bluestone gets you over a hundred hits – and has done for many years.

This prompts a variety of thoughts: Do bits of bluestone have healing qualities or is it a racket? Do any of them come from the original Preseli quarry or are they simply from the broad vicinity? Or are many of them simply offcuts, of which there are many, picked up from molehills near Stonehenge?

Whatever the truth, it may be centuries before the total of bluestone pieces sold on eBay adds up to a fiftieth of a whole bluestone or a billionth of a bluestone quarry so as conservation scandals go this is not too bad. More concerning (to us) is that this weekend alone our friends the metal detectorists will fail to report something like ten thousand recordable artefacts!