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Glastonbury Tor (Sacred Hill)

Purple paint vandals target Tor

The tower on top of Glastonbury Tor in Somerset has been covered in purple paint and had graffiti daubed on its flagstones.
The National Trust, which owns and maintains the Tor, said it was "dismayed" after spending more than £500,000 recently on its restoration.

The Trust said the southern face of St Michael's Tower had been targeted during Sunday night.

The group Fathers 4 Justice said one of its sympathisers was responsible.

Andrew Mayled, National Trust Somerset property manager, said: "This is a terrible case of vandalism to the Tor.

"Glastonbury Tor is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance and this wanton vandalism is the equivalent of desecrating Stonehenge.

"As a charity, we will now need to expend our valuable time and resources attempting to restore the Tor to its former appearance.

"First impressions suggest that the still-wet paint used to vandalise the Tor is a water-based paint and we hope we will be able to begin removing it on Monday without damaging the monument.

"However, access to the top of the Tor is very difficult for vehicles and we will need to look at how we get pressure-washing equipment to the top of the Tor."

Last year, the Trust completed a £540,000 five-year restoration plan of the tower and Tor. Avon and Somerset Police said the incident had not been formally reported to them, and that they could not therefore comment.

Cerne Abbas Giant (Hill Figure)

Giant daubed by 'vigilante'

RESIDENTS living close to the Cerne Abbas Giant are angry with campaigners after the famous landmark was vandalised.

A man from the Fathers 4 Justice group, which campaigns against family law favouring mothers, is thought to be behind the 40ft penis on the National Trust site being painted purple. The landmark was targeted overnight between Friday and Saturday by someone describing himself as the Westcountry's 'Purple Phantom'.

Cerne Abbas Parish Council chairman Peter Smith said: "This is particularly irritating because it has happened inside the enclosure that protects the giant.
The land there is sacrosanct because it is a special site. We don't want people damaging it for obvious reasons."

Purple is the international colour for equality.

Written beside the giant were the words Read Family Court Hell' - a reference to a recently published book by Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Mark Harris.

The action follows a rash of purple doors being painted on to the offices of Cafcass, the court welfare service, in the Westcountry in recent weeks.

And it is not the first time the Cerne Abbas Giant has been targeted in the name of publicity. In July cartoon character Homer Simpson was painted next to the giant to promote the new Simpsons film. Mr Smith said residents had not objected to that because it had not damaged the 180ft carving - believed to aid fertility - and had brought more people to the area to visit.

A Fathers 4 Justice spokesman said: "We have no idea who this man is, but clearly he is a sympathiser to our cause, has read a book that has made him very angry. He sounds like a vigilante."

The Long Man of Wilmington (Hill Figure)

Apology to Pagans over Long Man stunt

Sussex Express 18/7/07:

THE SUSSEX Archaeological Society has apologised to protesters after they allowed a controversial stunt by ITV to give the Long Man of Wilmington a sex change.
ITV and the archaeological society caused fury among Pagans and other protesters when they allowed fashion gurus Trinny and Susannah to add breasts and pigtails to the figure many believe is sacred.

As part of the programme, Trinny and Susannah Undress, ITV asked woman dressed in white to lie on the figure to create the transformation.

Chief Executive Office of the organisation, John Manley, said: 'The Sussex Archaeological Society would like to apologise to representatives of the Pagan community, or any other individual or groups, who might have been offended by recent television filming on the Long Man of Wilmington.

'It was not the society's intention to cause offence.

'The society is proud of its curation of the Long Man.

'In future the society will consult representatives of the Pagan community and other interested parties before sanctioning any significant activities.'

Newell Fisher was one of the protesters against the stunt and has now helped form a campaign group, Guardians of the Long Man.

As archaeological liaison officer of that group Mr Fisher said: 'We look forward to working with the Sussex Archaeological Society to help ensure the future welfare of the site.

'Our confidence in their custodianship has been restored.'

He said the protesters would continue their fight to stop the footage of the stunt being aired.

He said: 'We are absolutely determined this footage should not be shown as we feel it will encourage anti-social behaviour on the site.

'We heard people say they were going up there directly after the filming as the activities seem to make people think it is ok an we are extremely concerned about this.'

White Horse Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The Ancient White Horse Stone Under Attack again!

The following is copied from the Druid Network forums verbatim:

This was taken from the Odinic Rite mailing list, such a shame after all the work the Rite has put into preserving this important site.

The Ancient White Horse Stone Under Attack!
Once again the ancient White Horse Stone in the county of Kent, England and the area around it has come under attack from the mobile phone company Orange! Only two years ago Orange proposed to put a mobile phone mast and cabin next to the White Horse Stone, that application was rejected by Tonbridge and Malling council thanks to the support of many hundred of caring people, now Orange has applied for planning permission to erect an 8m high Double mobile phone mast less than 100m away from the White Horse Stone. (This time they have applied to Maidstone council as the proposed site is just on the other side of the boundary)

The White Horse Stone is an ancient monument of significant historical, archaeological and cultural importance. A sacred site to Odinist's the world over and seen by many as the birth place of the English nation.

Unbelievably Orange's proposed site is just 5m from the edge of Boxley Warren Nature reserve, an AONB and SSSI area. It is also just 5m from the North Downs Way, a long distance national trail.

We need your support to fight this application and to protect this ancient monument, our countryside and the environment from this insidious attempt to destroy our heritage and what remains of our green and pleasant land.

Please give your support to our campaign to save the White Horse Stone and the environment around it from this deliberate attempt to destroy our Heritage, we say deliberate because Orange know very well the history of this area and how people feel about it, yet they have once again targeted this sacred site. Orange's arrogance is clearly demonstrated as two months ago they had over 150m of underground duct work and cable installed up to the proposed site before they had even applied for planning permission. Are they hoping this will be just a rubber stamp job! We hope the Local Planning authority will treat this arrogance with the contempt that is deserves and reject this application.

Below we have given some suggested points which you could raise in your objection letters to the council. Please do not copy them word for word, individual letters have a much greater impact than mass produced objections. Please ensure your mention that this application will have a harmful effect on the environment, especially as this area has been designated as both AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

The White Horse Stone is a listed ancient monument of both historical and cultural importance.
The White Horse Stone is held in great reverence as a site of significant spiritual importance by Odinist's and other Pagan traditions. The siting of a mobile phone mast in such close proximity would have a very negative affect on this holy site.
Archaeological evidence has clearly proved that this whole area is a site of high status and of significant historical importance to the county of Kent and England.
The siting of mobile phone equipment just 5m from the Boxley Warren Nature reserve, an AONB and SSSI area would have a detrimental effect on this area by visually scarring the approach to the Nature reserve, an AONB and SSSI site.
Siting of mobile phone equipment within close proximity of an AONB, SSSI, North Downs Way and Nature reserve would present an impression that these designations have no importance or integrity and can be ignored.
If this application is approved it will open the door to other mobile phone network operators to also develop this area.
The siting of mobile phone equipment on this site will have a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of the many thousands of visitors that come to this area for leisure, walking, cycling, horse riding etc.
The siting of 3G mobile equipment will have a detrimental effect on the wildlife in this area. There is concern that 3G's more powerful signal strength could cause long term health problems. (you do not have to provide proof that there are health issues, it is merely the concern or fear caused by the mobile equipment, real or not, that interests the Local Planning Authorities)
Lastly please ensure your objections are clear, polite and to the point. Please ask your family to send a letter as well. Letters from children always carry an impact so if you have children please encourage them to send letters also.
The more letters and e-mails we send the greater the chance we have of stopping this at the first stage. Our heritage, our environment and our holy site is in danger, please send your objections to the following address. Please be sure to give your address so that may reply.

Remember your letters / e-mails must be in by the 6th June 2006.

Maidstone Borough Council
Katie Lazam. Planning Dept
13 Tonbridge Road
Kent, ME16 8HG

You may e-mail your objections, but we would prefer you to send letters if possible.

e-mail: Katie Lazam at Maidstone Council

Please give the following reference number in all your communications to the council.

Planning Application Reference: MA/06/0792/N
I am an Atheist Naturalist Humanist Neo-Pagan Ritualist Revivalist Philosophical Druid (Yes that title is tongue-in-cheek), living and practising in Sussex.

The Long Man of Wilmington is a site of great importance for me and was the first with which I feel I connected spiritually. In 1998 I started walking extensively in the area of the Long Man as well as taking an interest in its history.

Both my grandfathers died in early 1999 (See my fieldnotes on Windmill Hill). As a way of honouring them, between April 1999 and August 2000 I walked the route from Eastbourne, in East Sussex, to The Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, via the South Down's Way, Winchester Cathedral, the Clarendon Way, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, the Vale of Pewsey, Avebury and the Ridgeway.
The walk also took in visits to both of their graves, in Sussex and Wiltshire, en route.

In 2001 I extended this walk from Salisbury Cathedral, West to Wells Cathedral and then on to Glastonbury Tor.

Nearly all of my earlier pictures were taken during these walks and I tend to focus, overall, on Sussex and the South Downs.

In recent years I have also taken an interest in Ireland, as marrying into an Irish family does tend to mean one visits the place from time to time!

Although I have become an atheist, I still class myself as a Pagan. This can give rise to interesting discussions!

My TMA Content: