Stonehenge Protest and Protection (25 Aug 2008)

On Monday 25 August 2008 a group of pagans, druids and other people assembled at Stonehenge at short notice to protest against an act that was about to be committed. Photographs from the afternoon are shown below. The banners are linked to Arthur's ongoing protest to free Stonehenge from its current fence and appalling visitor centre and landscape.

Archaeological digs were underway at the site, which were being overseen by Mike Pitts, Julian Richards and Mike Parker Pearson. The following day one of the Aubrey holes was due to be excavated, with bones to be taken away, probably on a permanent basis. A few members of another druid group had been asked to bless the work. With all life considered as sacred, those present in the protest felt that a druid group should not be blessing such an activity.

To the sound of drums and horns the group processed away from the meeting point and formed a circle closer to the Heel Stone. Arthur summarised the problem and advised what would happen if any of his people went into the blessing. Frank made a passionate case for having nothing to do with the blessing and he suggested three different options of how things could proceed that afternoon. Taloch gave the view of the Dolmen Grove - that the removal of bones from the site should not be sanctioned. Terry Dobney revealed how much abuse Stonehenge has already endured compared to other sites such as Avebury. The other druid group was then asked its opinion. It appeared that even they had been misled over what was going on. All things considered, it was agreed that no blessing would be sanctioned. With that excellent news Arthur got everyone into the circle. All hands were linked and the Druid Vow was recited with gusto. Arthur then returned to man his protest spot. Taloch led the opening of the quarters in the Dolmen style. The Awen was then toned, along with other mantras. And Frank got the group to tone a series of Druid Mantras whilst visualising the site being protected. He then recited his own words over this sound. Other contributions were made at this point, including me reading a few verses of my Stonehenge poem and Terry reciting a version of the Druid Prayer. To the sound of drums and horns the group then moved on to a spot next to the archaeology tent. Around five minutes was spent drumming in this new circle, before Taloch drummed the quarters to a close again.

Discussions were carried out with the archaeologists. Arthur reminded Julian Richards of a hand-written statement in his Stonehenge picture book that advises Arthur to keep on protesting! There even seemed to be disagreement within the archaeology camp as to whether any bones removed from the site should be returned or not. As a group we know that science can be very useful - such as providing accurate dates of ancients sites and remains. What we don’t accept is that human bones have to be taken away, possibly never to return. Portable testing equipment is now readily available and anything taken from the ground can be put back in the ground. Terry reminded us of the sad story of the skeleton of the young girl found at The Sanctuary in the early part of the 20th Century. The skeleton went missing for decades and turned up unloved in a drawer in London in more recent times.

This latest problem at Stonehenge needs to be publicised through the internet, letter writing and use of the mainstream media. Everyone who is concerned about the use of ancestor remains is asked to do their bit. Please contact English Heritage, the Culture Secretary, local, regional and national newspapers as well as internet groups. And sign the petition on the Number 10 website.

Montage of the complete event

Information for visitors

Information for visitors

Information for visitors

Information for visitors

Information for visitors

Meeting up

Forming up the circle after the initial procession

In circle away from the archaeology tent

Arthur summarises the issue

Frank makes a passionate plea

Taloch puts the view of the Dolmen Grove

Terry Dobney reveals how lightly Avebury has faired when it comes to intrusive archaeology

Taloch opens the four quarters

Frank gets the group to continually produce the Druid Mantra

In the new circle

In the new circle

In the new circle

In the new circle

Keri and Taloch make noise in the new circle


Arthur reminds Julian Richards what is said about him in his Stonehenge picture book

Arthur with Terry Dobney

Merlin of England with Unicorn and Morgraine

John C makes a late appearance after a week of camping

Akasa and friend

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Page last updated: 17 Jan 2009