Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK


UK

Eclipse seekers threaten ancient monuments

Eclipse seekers could damage ancient monuments

Pagans and archaeologists have warned hundreds of ancient Cornish monuments could be damaged when people flock to the region for the eclipse of the sun.

Special report
Special report
11 August
Wallpaper
Media
The area which will experience a total eclipse includes the highest number of Neolithic monuments in Britain, including a 6,000-year-old hill fort. This is posing a major worry for archaeologists.

Revellers urged to respect sites


The BBC's Tim Hirsch: "Visitors unaware of the archaeological treasures."
Both they and the pagans fear the monuments could become a focus for the sort of scenes witnessed at Stonehenge in June, when revellers and the police clashed during the last summer solstice of the millennium.

"We hope very much that there isn't an excuse for the for the sorts of events that happened at Stonehenge because there won't be, as far as I'm aware, a heavy police presence," said Andy Norfolk, a pagan.

"There will be people like myself encouraging people to treat the sites with respect. And we hope that taking this very positive approach will actually avoid any trouble."

Illegal rave sparks concern

One of Cornwall's most popular monuments is the Men-An-Tol stone, near Penzance, which local folklore claims has healing properties for anyone who crawls through it.


[ image: Summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge led to clashes with police]
Summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge led to clashes with police
English Heritage has learned there are plans to hold an illegal festival on the site, billed as Men-An-Tol tribal gathering.

English Heritage spokeswoman Ann Preston-Jones expressed concern that this could attract large numbers of people who were "not going to be that careful about the stones".

Others fear revellers will simply be unaware of the archaeological treasures hidden in the ground.

Stephen Heartgraves of the Cornwall Archaeology Unit said it was easy to imagine how thousands of people walking on a site could erode it, destroying vital evidence of ancient Cornish tribes' activities.

The hope is that the vast majority of visitors will observe the eclipse code being posted up at many of the ancient sites.

But one of the rules - no fires - has already been broken at Men-An-Tol, risking its destruction.






Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

06 Aug 99 | UK
Green light for eclipse jam busters

04 Aug 99 | UK
Violence casts shadow over eclipse

01 Aug 99 | UK
Eclipse forecast goes online





Internet Links


This is Cornwall

UK Eclipse Site


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online