Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 13:56 UK

Pagan must end Stonehenge protest

King Arthur Pendragon
King Arthur Pendragon changed his name by deed poll in 1976

A Pagan campaigning for better access to Stonehenge has been ordered to end a 10-month sit-in protest near the site.

Wiltshire Council has gained a legal order evicting King Arthur Pendragon, formerly known as John Rothwell, from a camp set up in June last year.

Mr Pendragon, 55, who has until Sunday to leave or face forcible eviction, said: "I'm planning to stay put, it's my lawful right to protest."

The local authority was granted the order at Salisbury County Court.

Mr Pendragon, Battle Chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders, denied he was living in the caravans next to the A344 and said he was simply using the site as his protest base.

He wants English Heritage to allow better access to the World Heritage Site, a stretch of the A344 closed and ancient remains, removed for study last summer, replaced.

They [the council] would not give me time to argue my case
King Arthur Pendragon

"The council's reason is I have no right to live on the highway and I'm saying I've not been living here, I'm picketing.

"They [the council] would not give me time to argue my case."

Mr Pendragon changed his name by deed poll in 1976.

Stephen Helsby, Wiltshire Council's highways enforcement and traveller services manager, said: "This ancient byway - known locally as Netheravon Coach Road - is open to all traffic.

"Wiltshire Council, in its capacity as local highway authority, has a duty to maintain everybody's right to use its full width without interruption or other obstruction.

"The council strives to protect all of its public rights of way from trespass and that includes byway 12 which is situated at the heart of this important World Heritage Site."

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