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Country 'waking up' to Thornborough henges threat

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to safeguard the Thornborough Henges say the country is "waking up" to the threat facing the nationally important site near Ripon.

Just over one month ago the campaign group Heritage Action vowed to make Thornborough a national issue, and already senior figures within the archaeological world are coming forward to denounce proposals by Tarmac to extend its quarrying operations closer to the triple henge complex.
And Thornborough is gaining widespread media attention. The henges have been featured in The Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio Five, and a number of national magazines.
Top archaeology title Current Archaeology called the situation a "crisis" and commented that quarrying the Ladybridge site adjacent to the henges would "cause the loss of another 111 acres of archaeology of critical importance".
George Chaplin, Thornborough campaign co-ordinator for Heritage Action, said this week: "The signs are that Britain is waking up to this savage threat to our heritage."
He says the archaeology world is not well known for either speaking out or co-ordinating activities, but now it seems that a strong consensus against the quarrying at Thornborough is building. Both the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS) have voiced their opposition to the quarrying.
"The proposals are contrary to national and local policy. The application is incomplete, non-compliant with regulatory requirements, and granting consent would set unacceptable precedents", says the CBA's director, George Lambrick, in a letter to North Yorkshire County Council.
Peter Addyman of the YAS says: "This area is part of an extensive area of archaeological importance and potential, the destruction of which, even with archaeological recording and survey, is not in the local, regional or national interest.
"The proposed extraction is part of the setting of the most important prehistoric monuments of their date in Yorkshire. It is clear that the landscape as a whole around Thornborough is of archaeological significance and only now becoming even partially understood."
Top archaeologist Aubrey Burl has likened Tarmac's plans to dropping Stonehenge into the River Avon, while TV's Dr Mark Horton, Head of Archaeology at Bristol University, commented that his was no longer a lone voice. "Increasingly, fellow archaeologists are coming forward to condemn this application," he said.
To take the campaign to an even wider audience, Heritage Action have produced a re-vamped Thornborough website, which includes brand new aerial photos demonstrating the impact of the Ladybridge application. The website now also offers an online 'objection letter kit' which aims to make the task of objecting easier for the general public. Full details are available at
Heritage Action have also organised a large number of talks and events aimed at providing as many people as possible with an in depth understanding of the issues.
Among events it is attending this month are the York Peace Festival (September 11), Nidderdale Show (September 20) and Masham Sheep Fair (September 25 and 26).

3rd September 2004
Posted by BrigantesNation
4th September 2004ce
Edited 11th March 2005ce

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