Green Party in England & Wales
Greens Denounce Tarmac's Ancient Heritage Destruction: 'Stonehenge of the
The Yorkshire and Humber Green Party has formally objected to proposals to
quarry one of Britain's most important ancient monument complexes.
In a letter to North Yorkshire County Council the Green Party have objected
to Tarmac Northern Ltd's quarry application. This will remove 112 acres of
best quality farmland from Yorkshire and would destroy a significant part of
the "sacred landscape" surrounding the Thornborough Henges near Ripon.
The Thornborough Henges are possibly the largest prehistoric religious
gathering site ever created in Britain, the complex is several square miles
in extent and has been the victim of quarrying for a number of years.
John Whitelegg, Green Party Sustainable Development spokesperson, said: "The
Thornborough Henges complex is the most important prehistoric site between
Stonehenge and the Orkneys. North Yorkshire County Council has the
opportunity to preserve the area's heritage for future generations by
blocking Tarmac's application.
"The Green Party is committed to the integration of archaeological concerns
into all aspects of land use and development strategies. Increasingly, the
British public are being denied access to important sites, which have
immense historical and educational value and often religious or spiritual
significance. Stonehenge has outrageous access restrictions and Neolithic
long barrows, Roman towns and villas, Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, medieval field
systems - a patchwork of our past thousands of years in the making - are all
"North Yorkshire County Council is scheduled to make a decision about the
future of the Thornborough Henges site on 21st February and we hope that
they will resist the pressures of big business in favour of local cultural
English Heritage has also objected to the application, stating the historic
importance of the Henges and the surrounding area. The area, dubbed 'the
Stonehenge of the North', is part of the largest ancient ceremonial area in
Britain and the extension of quarrying for gravel in the area threatens both
this valuable archaeological site and prime quality farmland.
Quarrying at Thornborough is opposed by English Heritage, Council for
British Archaeology and a number of archaeology and heritage organisations.
Campaign group TimeWatch have lead a significant awareness campaign for
Thornborough. Aided by other groups and as a result the application has
received over 1,000 letters of objection and a petition signed by 9,680
people has been delivered to North Yorkshire County Council, this demands
that no quarrying be allowed within a mile of the Thornborough Henges.
English Heritage's response to the application stresses that the
archaeological work, including the latest assessment, has identified a
"swathe of nationally-important early prehistoric archaeology and
activity," - a very different conclusion from that of the consultants
employed by Tarmac "The leading supplier of building materials in the UK",
who believe Thornborough fails to reach "thresholds of national importance."
In a recent press announcement, Dr Jan Harding, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle
University has confirmed that the first monument at Thornborough, a mighty
1.2km ritual causeway, is aligned to the constellation Orion. Unfortunately
this has already fallen victim to the quarrying at Thornborough.