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Priddy Circles



Priddy Stone Circles vandal, 73, ordered to pay £10,000

A 73-year-old man who vandalised a 5,000-year-old stone monument has been ordered to pay £10,000.

Roger Penny, of Chewton Mendip, appeared before Taunton Crown Court after he damaged one of the Priddy Stone Circles, which is on his land.

Penny had pleaded guilty to charges, at an earlier hearing at South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates' Court.

He was fined £2,500 plus costs of £7,500, but has pledged to pay up to £40,000 extra to help make repairs.

Damage 'significant'

Recorder Jeremy Wright said that it was "sad to see a man of your age and good character before the court".

However, he said: "Your actions may have meant that significant archaeological information has been lost.

"Although some evidence may be available, it's significance and value has been significantly diminished by the damage you have done."

Penny has agreed to pay up to £38,000, according to English Heritage (EH), to help put things on the site right again.

An EH spokesperson described the damage as a "major incident", adding the structure was one of only about 80 henges in England.

They said the loss of the fabric to the henge meant a "really, really rare piece of Neolithic engineering had been lost forever".

'Completely bulldozed'

The damage included the destruction of a circular ditch which was completely bulldozed, and damage to the monument itself, the spokesperson said.

EH is still unsure whether the monument can be restored to its original condition.

In April, the court was told the damage was carried out between April and October 2011.

Magistrates were told work had taken place on land next to the B3195, known as Stable Cottage and Huntsman Cottage, which contained the southernmost circle of the monument.

Penny, of The Grange, Back Lane, Chewton Mendip, was charged in connection with causing or permitting work without scheduled monument consent or development consent contrary to Section 2(1) of the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
moss Posted by moss
26th October 2012ce
Edited 26th October 2012ce

Comments (7)

Did he say why he did it ?
I hope they put a public footpath in, perhaps going past all three henges.
postman Posted by postman
26th October 2012ce
Don't know the answer to that, perhaps to 'tidy' the field up. Public footpath would probably be a good idea but such things don't meet with the approval of landowners, especially when there has never been one there.... moss Posted by moss
26th October 2012ce
It's starting to look like the old fella cares more than EH about what he's done, they should take the money he's offering and sort it out along with full access like postie said. bladup Posted by bladup
26th October 2012ce
The footpath could be part of an on going punishment. postman Posted by postman
26th October 2012ce
Anybody know how long he had these monuments in his care?
The whole thing strikes me as really odd.
But glad there's been a conclusion to this finally.
Hopefully they can now get on with investigating and restoring the damaged area.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
26th October 2012ce
Last time i had a wander around the place people were flying around on a quad, up and over the low banks, i so wanted them to say something to me as it was an argument i was looking forward too, it was a stalemate though as we ignored each other, it needs sorting out, we need full access and they [fucking farmers again] need to leave it alone. bladup Posted by bladup
26th October 2012ce
On a quad? Feckin ell. It's sad to have to say but maybe some vulnerable sites need properly fencing off.
It won't stop all damage, and I'd rather it didn't have to be done at all, but it might stop twats on things like quads and bikes etc churning the place up.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
27th October 2012ce
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