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Thoughtless stupidity at the Rollrights again

27 Jan 2006 / in Oxfordshire, stone hugging

Two years ago the Rollright stones were vandalised by a stupid person (or more likely two equally stupid people) in a shocking paint attack. The idiots splashed each of the 77 ancient stones with sticky yellow gloss paint. Though I believe the police made arrests, there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. So fragile are the stones that they remain daubed as both the problem of removing the paint and finding the money to do so is unresolved.

I love the Rollright stones and have made pictures of them many, many times, so I was disgusted to hear that this week the site was attacked yet again. The visitor hut, which provides shelter for the volunteer staff and from which entry fees were taken was torched in a senseless arson attack. This time, thankfully, the stones weren’t damaged.

The building of the hut is part of a long-term programme of improvements for visitors managed by the Rollright Trust, a charity set up to care for the Neolithic site. They’ve done a fantastic job. Last year, they opened new paths giving wheelchair and buggy users better access and they developed an audio tour for visitors to learn more about the site. On Wednesday a note appeared at the entrance to the stone circle which sadly states that the hut was not insured – presumably because it was virtually uninsurable.

What an appalling shame. But don’t let it put you off visiting the stones, they are well worth the trip and right now the Rollright stones need all the support they can get.

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