River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Runnin' on

August 2001

Tree Henge Unearthed

One day last week we decided to take a picnic to Holme, the sand dunes always give shelter from the sea breezes and a feeling that you have the place to yourself.

I sat and watched a small boat on the horizon, wondered where it was heading for and then remembered another day we had spent on Holme beach.

We had been reading about the tree Henge and thought it would be interesting to see it, having no idea that we had chosen a special day for our outing.

When we got to the beach we noticed a lot of cars in the usually deserted car park, as we went onto the sands we could see why that was. There a team of people were starting to dig the circle of ancient timbers from the wet sand.

Quite a crowd had gathered to watch and even the police were there. Standing with all the other onlookers it soon became evident that there was a strong feeling that something terribly wrong was being done right in front of us.

Chatting with the couple beside us I found that they had always lived in the area so they had more right than we did to feel upset, it all seemed so pointless to destroy such an ancient place.

We all stood for hours watching and listening as various local people tried to stop the desecration. This was some years ago so I can't remember all the details but one gentleman had tried to get something like an injunction to use. The police watched carefully in case there was any trouble and there were cameras too. Television cameras must have been among the others because there was a programme about the event.

An artist was watching and sketching the proceedings and there were several people representing ancient rites actually sitting on the main central timber. They were removed and the serious digging started. The crowd were utterly silent for most of the time and there was a feeling that we were witnessing something that shouldn't be happening.

Eventually heavy machinery was brought down the beach and the first of the timbers was removed, hurriedly as the tide was coming in. The watching crowd groaned, we had hoped that the Henge would have been too difficult to shift.

Now every so often we hear that there is nowhere for the Henge to be kept as it must have a moist resting place, I seem to remember that Holme Henge had the ideal spot for hundreds of years until it was dragged unceremoniously away.

I think a small bronze axe was found under the central timber, not much to gain for such desecration to our heritage. I hope I have given you a reasonable account of what was for a lot of the onlookers an upsetting event.

Janet Tilburn

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