Rock attacks are criminal

Lordenshaw graffiti
Lordenshaw graffiti

A couple of weeks ago you wrote of damage done to ancient rock art in the Rothbury area.

This week I have been told of similar damage done to stones in the Chatton hills. I wonder if people have any idea of the past represented in our hills.

Just after the war a young man while teaching English in Malta noticed some old workings on the hills there.

On returning to Northumberland he found stones marked with cup and ring marks here which were similar and this set him a study which he has followed ever since.

That young teacher was Stanley Beckensall. This find took him into the study of these monuments and now he is the leading authority on the monuments built by the beaker folk over 3,000 years ago.

They have lasted 5,000 years and it is criminal that they should be attacked in this way by such criminal idiots (I presume teenage hooligans).

Northumberland has been shown to be one of the best remaining monuments of stone-age man and there have been digs all over the hills for the last 40 odd years.

There is a ring at Duddo which probably precedes Stonehenge. There are forts already studied up the Ingram Valley. It is impossible to police such remote areas.

However, the right to roam has been accepted by agriculture and people can walk as they wish in the county during the summer.

If people cannot respect the chance to enjoy these wonderful reminents of our ancestors we will have to close the privately owned hills and charge for entry to pay for wardens to protect these stones.

It might be a good idea if people realise that crossing private land is not a trespass but those who damage anything up there are liable to prosecution when caught.

Anne Wrangham

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