UPDATE 20th October 2004
Heritage Action Media Release - 19th October 2004
Ancient footsteps retraced
by henge protestors A 5,000 year old ceremony is to be
recreated this week as campaigners carry an ancient ceremonial axe
through Yorkshire's "Sacred Vale" to Thornborough.
Thank you for your time and concern and I would be grateful if you could spread news around and encourage others to sign this important petition. More information is available on the web site below.
Julian Gibsone Director/Cameraman ‘Out in the Fields 2004’
I suggest that anyone, who can find the time, could write in a letter of concern to the planning department of North Yorkshire County Council, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England.
Remember it only takes lots of small efforts to produce a one big result. This is a very important issue not just for ourselves but our great, great grandchildren. Once you have lost a major piece of our world heritage it is gone forever. I recommend you read the articles below to catch up on the latest important developments. In my opinion Thornborough is the most important ancient site between Stonehenge/ Avebury and the Orkneys.
Julian Gibsone Director/ Cameraman ‘Circle Chasers 2004’
More information can be found on:
Heritage campaigners fighting to stop the destruction of the massive Thornborough henge complex this week delivered more than 600 written objections to the planning department of North Yorkshire County Council in Northallerton, northern England.
The letters - which were delivered in a wheelbarrow - are as a result of a local, national and international campaign being co-ordinated by George Chaplin, the Thornborough Campaign co-ordinator for Heritage Action.
by Norman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent of The Times Online, 24 August 2004
UNPRECEDENTED protests have been made in Yorkshire about plans to quarry the prehistoric ritual landscape around the Thornborough Henges.
Although the closing date for comments on the proposals is still more than a month away, North Yorkshire County Council has received more objections than for any other planning application, according to the magazine Current Archaeology.
Thornborough — sometimes called "the Stonehenge of the North" although the monuments consist of three huge earthen banked circles without stones — has long been a scheduled ancient monument in recognition of its importance.
But protesters say that the problem is that, as at Stonehenge, the visible monument is just the core of a densely packed ritual area of other ancient sites. "The quarry has already eaten 40 per cent of the ritual landscape of the henges, we cannot afford to lose more," Current Archaeology says.
English Heritage stated this year that Thornborough was "the most important ancient site between Stonehenge and the Orkneys", but quarrying so far has come within yards of the henges. Although Tarmac Northern Ltd, the company involved, has responded by announcing that it will hold off plans to quarry Thornborough Moor, one of its potential gravel sources that is closest to the henges, it has applied to expand at the Ladybridge Farm site to the north.
"If permission is granted to quarry there, it will cause the loss of a further 111 acres of archaeology that is of critical importance", Current Archaeology says. More than 10,000 people have already signed a petition against the development, organised by Heritage Action, which claims that the Ladybridge site "is potentially the most important remaining area of archaeology in the ritual landscape of the henges".
George Chaplin of Heritage Action said that Ladybridge included the remains of a settlement between the henges and a dried-up glacial lake to the north which may have been used by those attending rituals. "Current quarrying in this general zone has already turned up large amounts of archaeology: smaller investigative excavations indicate even more lies within the Ladybridge area. It is a tragedy that despite knowing this, Tarmac is intent on going ahead," Chaplin told the magazine.
The landscape includes settlement, alignments of pits creating avenues to structures no longer visible, and burials covering three millennia of ceremonial activity. "Much of this archaeology is extremely rare and nationally important in its own right," Current Archaeology says.
24th August 2004