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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Solstice druids gather at stones
The stones
About 100 people gathered at the Neolithic circle
Scores of druids have celebrated the summer solstice at an ancient stone circle despite a recent vandal attack.

About 100 people were at the Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border to see the sun rise on Monday.

Seventy of the stones in the Neolithic circle are still covered in hundreds of splashes of bright yellow gloss paint after vandals struck in April.

Site manager Dohn Prout said visitors were concerned to see the damage but it did not hinder ceremonies at the site.

Numbers were down on last year, a decline Mr Prout blamed on the weather and people needing an early night to prepare for England's Euro 2004 football match on Monday night.

CCTV still of a suspect
Police released CCTV footage of a man covered in splashes of paint
"I think a lot of people are expecting to be up late tonight celebrating," he said.

"It was just a nice and quiet and peaceful event. We had no police here."

Police, who released CCTV footage of a person they want to speak to in relation to the vandalism, have not yet made any arrests.

The pagan community has offered a 1,000 reward and groups have been holding chanting ceremonies in an attempt to catch the vandals.

More than 250,000 worth of damage was caused at the site, near Chipping Norton, putting at risk important examples of lichen said to date from 1100AD that grow on the stones.




SEE ALSO:
Druids chant to help vandal hunt
10 Jun 04  |  Oxfordshire
Angry druids hunt down vandals
05 Apr 04  |  Oxfordshire
Vandals daub ancient stone circle
02 Apr 04  |  Oxfordshire


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