Dear John and All
It is extremely irresponsible for another curator to promulgate these kinds of "causes" without first checking with the local curator about the accuracy of the case.
The Thornborough Henges are not under threat. They are a Scheduled ancient Monument. The "sacred plateau", which is a construct of a few local individual's imagination, is also not under threat. The idea of lakes around the middle and southern henges is a "red herring" put forward by one or two people who are opposed to wetland conservation and shooting rights. There are currently no planning applications for, and not even any discussions about, quarrying around the middle and southern henges. The last quarrying permission was granted in 1994 and the closest it comes to the northern henge is 330m. The quarry in which landfill has occurred was worked in the 1960's, and the landfill operation was granted some 20 years ago, and is a response to try and get back to a more normal landscape (rather than a great open void).
The "Friends of Thornborough" web site is full of inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and false assumptions. Many of the visualised "post alignments" are figments of peoples' imaginations: the alignments either don't exist or the pits show no evidence of posts. The "sacred plateau" is composed of a series of monuments that were never used contemporaneously, but over 1000-1500 years. The real issue is one of "stand-off" distance, what is the setting of the henges and what distance around them should be kept free from development. We have some informal ideas, but no evidence to support any specific stand-off distance in a court of law or public inquiry. At present there are three or four research projects on-going which are looking at various aspects of the archaeology and palaeo-environmentology of the area trying to come up with a better understanding of the prehistory of the area and a better idea of setting or sacred space for the monuments. But in the meantime, there are no proposals for further quarrying or landfill, and there is no threat to the monuments. Please do not believe all you read on Internet web sites. This goes back a couple of years to the FISH e-conference and my comments in response to Richard Morris. We need to use our critical faculties more when it comes to information technology.
If any of you wish to discuss the case in more detail or clarify any points, then please contact me directly first on (01609) 532330 or [log in to unmask] . Please do not sign the petition: it only shows you've swallowed the misrepresentations of the web site hook line & sinker.
1 September 2003
>>> [log in to unmask] 01/09/2003 10:35:02 >>>
I have received the attached e-mail, and I must say it seems beyond
belief that there could really be extensive quarrying and landfill
proposals in such an important archaeological landscape.
Is this really correct, and if so what on earth has gone wrong?
Planning and Development Service
The Highland Council
Inverness IV3 5NX
Direct line 01463 702502
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From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 13 May 2003 20:53
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: fw: Please help: sign online petition to save Thornborough
Please sign the petition below and please forward it on to EVERYONE,
ANYONE, ANYWHERE who might just possibly care.
if you are unaware of the current proposals please visit the Friends of
Thornborough website at
Thank you for reading this.
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Any opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the view of the Council.
North Yorkshire County Council.