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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 18:24 GMT
Blaze destroys stone circle's hut
The destroyed hut at the Rollright Stones site (pic courtesy of Dohn Prout)
The hut sold dowsing rods, guides and t-shirts
The visitor hut at a prehistoric stone circle has been burnt to the ground in what police say was an arson attack.

The hut, at the Rollright Stones on the border of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, was completely destroyed in the blaze on Sunday.

It had been used to store visitor guides and merchandise.

Police said the fire was unrelated to an incident in March 2004 when 70 of the Neolithic stones were splashed with yellow paint.

What's the matter with people - we don't harm anybody, the public enjoys coming here
Dohn Prout, site manager

Flames were spotted by a passing motorist in the early hours.

Pc Tony Auden said the fire had "caused a significant amount of damage".

He said arsonists had forced their way through a door and set the hut alight.

Dohn Prout, site manager, said he could not believe the Rollright Stones had suffered further "bad luck".

He told the BBC News website: "I'm slowly getting over it, we've had a lot of bad luck because we had the paint attack too.

The stones
The Rollright Stones were daubed in yellow paint by vandals in 2004

"What's the matter with people - we don't harm anybody, the public enjoys coming here."

He said the future of the hut would be decided at a meeting of the Rollright Trust on Saturday.

In the meantime, he said its absence was being felt.

"At this time of year we have people there on Saturdays and Sundays and dowsing rods, guides and t-shirts would be sold from the hut.

"You've seen the weather - would you want to be outside in it for hours?"

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