You are currently browsing the daily archive for 18/08/2021.

As happens every summer, we have received various reports of ‘incidents’ at some of our wonderful ancient heritage sites. 

In Oxfordshire, at the Rollright Stones, some idiots recently lit a fire in the centre of the Kings Men circle. This has caused damage to the grass in the centre, potentially damaging archaeology. 

This is not the first time that the circle has been subjected to an attack by inconsiderate idiots. In the past, the stones have been daubed with paint, and in one incident, a burning tyre was hung over some of the stones. The ranger’s hut at the stones was also the subject of a deliberate arson attack a few years ago, meaning that those who volunteer to watch the stones overnight no longer had a place to shelter.

Meanwhile, in Wiltshire, we have heard of attacks on cars parked at Silbury Hill and in the West Kennet lay-by, resulting in valuables being removed (stolen) from those cars. Sadly, this is a common problem throughout the year, but such activity always seems to increase in the summer.

And in Cornwall, one of the holed stones on Tregeseal Common has been toppled. At the moment it has not been determined whether this was a deliberate act or an accident caused by the cattle that roam the moor.

Sadly, there is no easy answer to these seasonal problems. Whilst it’s easy to call for harsher penalties for the culprits, actually identifying and apprehending them is another issue entirely. Heritage crime is acknowledged by the police and is being given a higher priority than in the past, but the resources are just not there to deal with it effectively. 

Education can help, but often these crimes are caused not by locals, but by visitors. The lack of consideration for local heritage has been exacerbated this year by the sense of entitlement that many holidaymakers have been displaying, often stating things like “I deserve a holiday after being locked in because of the pandemic, you’ll just have to put up with it”.

Have there been any such incidents in your area? Do you have any ideas on how such issues can be tackled? Please let us know in the comments.

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