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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Archdruid wants Stonehenge back
Stonehenge
Bluestone from Pembrokeshire was used at Stonehenge
The archdruid of Wales has called for England's most famous landmark to be returned to Wales.

This week experts said remains found near Stonehenge were almost certainly among those who helped build it.

Tests on teeth found in a 4,300-year-old grave suggest the prehistoric workmen were Welsh.

That and the fact that the stones come from west Wales, has prompted Robyn Lewis - the ceremonial leader of the Gorsedd of Bards - to put pen to paper.

In a letter in the Daily Telegraph, Dr Lewis pointed out the significance of the discovery.

And, he asked : "Since the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland a few years since, and it is clearly only a matter of time until the Elgin Marbles are returned to Greece, may I express a request that Stonehenge be returned to Wales?"

Dr Lewis said he was staking an official claim "on behalf of my fellow druids, bards and the rest of my Welsh compatriots".

Links between Stonehenge and Wales have been recognised for generations.

Dr Robyn Lewis, Archdruid
Staking a claim : Dr Robyn Lewis
Bluestone from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire was used in building Stonehenge.

The discovery of the grave at Boscombe Down surprised archaeologists because it contained the remains of seven people - three children, a teenager and three men.

They were dubbed "the Boscombe bowmen" because flint arrowheads were found alongside them.

The grave was found during road improvement works.

Dr Lewis is waiting to hear the reaction of English Heritage to his demand about the UK's most ancient monument.

The archdruid is no stranger to controversy. Soon after taking up his post he was speaking about making "radical changes" to modernise one of Wales' premier cultural events, the National Eisteddfod.

His plans involved a new-style Gorsedd circle - a moveable set of fake ceremonial stones.

Fake stones will be ferried from venue to venue, but the traditional stone circles will still be erected for special ceremonies.

Supporters of the idea said mobile stones would be cheaper, and would allow ceremonies to take place at the centre of the eisteddfod field.

Another move which Dr Lewis approved of was the sale of alcohol on the festival maes for the first time in the history of the event, a decision taken by the Eisteddfod Council in February.

Another break with tradition this year will see the relaxing of the Welsh language-only rule at the event, which this year takes place in Newport.


SEE ALSO:
Welsh 'helped build' Stonehenge
21 Jun 04  |  South West Wales
Thousands gather at Stonehenge
20 Jun 04  |  Wiltshire
New life for old Elgin Marbles?
23 Mar 04  |  Magazine
Alcohol go-ahead for eisteddfod
28 Feb 04  |  Wales
Revisiting Britain's biggest free festival
19 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
New virtual tours of Stonehenge
11 Jun 04  |  Wiltshire
Stonehenge boosts tourist numbers
15 Apr 04  |  Wiltshire
Stonehenge tunnel inquiry opens
17 Feb 04  |  Wiltshire


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