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Climbing on Standing Stones
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tjj
tjj
3604 posts

Edited Jan 12, 2012, 09:48
Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 12, 2012, 10:39
TheStandingStone wrote:
I see this sometimes in Ireland too (on the rare occasion I actually meet people when out and about). Portal tombs generally fall victim to this as they are easy to climb on. Browne's Hill dolmen in Carlow always has tourists climbing all over it and generally about 3 coke cans and few crisp packets in the chamber. Worth than that is when people "worship" at the sites and leave candle wax and things all over the stones...however, that's generally rare in Ireland I find.

Ironically, although I urge people to never climb or interfere with the stones I found a picture of a teenage me stood on the skeletal remains of a passage tomb...I hang my head in shame haha...


I think some us have climbed or sat on long barrows and tombs without actually thinking we were doing any harm. I have a photo of me sitting by the entrance of Stony Littleton which was taken quite recently. More disconcerting perhaps was when I was with some people who were visiting the Avebury area and two of them climbed on top of the Devil's Den dolmen (albeit a reconstruction) - I freely admit I didn't say anything to them but was taken aback when they did it. For me it is an issue of respect as its unlikely that standing on a sarsen stone would damage it.
goffik
goffik
3922 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 12, 2012, 12:01
Rupert Soskin wrote:
I think the most efficient solution would be involuntary euthanasia.
I concede that I am probably in a minority though.

Belated happy new year to all


Haha! Maybe we could get a petition started? Personally, I can think of no greater crime. Or... Hang on a minute... Now I think of it... ;)

G x
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 12, 2012, 21:12
tjj wrote:
I think some us have climbed or sat on long barrows and tombs without actually thinking we were doing any harm. I have a photo of me sitting by the entrance of Stony Littleton which was taken quite recently. More disconcerting perhaps was when I was with some people who were visiting the Avebury area and two of them climbed on top of the Devil's Den dolmen (albeit a reconstruction) - I freely admit I didn't say anything to them but was taken aback when they did it. For me it is an issue of respect as its unlikely that standing on a sarsen stone would damage it.


If I'm honest, I can't get too worked up over people standing/sitting/doing handstands on a earthen barrow. I know somewhere like West Kennet is a bit of a worse-case, as (a) it is so frequently visited and (b) it's chambered rather than earthen and the chambers are more at risk of damage than the other parts of the structure, but otherwise I'm not sure that the damage we will do by climbing on most barrows is going to compare to several hundred years of ploughing, livestock trampling, treasure hunting and simple weathering. Turf can be replaced, grass can be reseeded. Sorry, it may seem irresponsible, but that's how I feel about it. The same argument would stop us entering a stone circle for fear of eroding buried features. I don't want to see damage, but similarly these sites will not survive by being preserved in aspic with "do not touch" signs everywhere (think Stonehenge, think Carnac), they'll survive by being living, breathing places to visit and interact with.

I entirely agree about climbing on the stones themselves, but that isn't doing to stop me climbing onto (and into!) upland cairns either. :-/
drewbhoy
drewbhoy
2516 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 12, 2012, 22:32
Ditto, and you have nae much option but to crawl into a souterrain!
Lubin
Lubin
509 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 12, 2012, 22:35
Climbing onto Cairns isn't too bad as most have been damaged by time anyway. What I would like to see stopped is the wanton damage done to the Cairns on Dartmoor by walkers, I think that is how you spell what they are called, who insist on making shelters out of the stones on them.
Over the past 6 years we , Dartmoor Preservation Association and English Heritage, have surveyed and repaired many only to find that within a few months they have been damaged again.
Resonox
604 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 07:45
thesweetcheat wrote:
I don't want to see damage, but similarly these sites will not survive by being preserved in aspic with "do not touch" signs everywhere (think Stonehenge, think Carnac), they'll survive by being living, breathing places to visit and interact with.

I entirely agree about climbing on the stones themselves, but that isn't doing to stop me climbing onto (and into!) upland cairns either. :-/

I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here...are you saying that Carnac is NOT surviving because of the "no climbing/do not touch/fenced off access by special permission only" policy or despite it? In all the times I have visited Carnac...the only people climbing the stones are tourists who ignore ALL signage but have to face the wrath of inhabitants for so doing...there are a few designated for standing on (for picture opportunites I assume).....climbing into dolmens/chambers also has a "designated" permission system. The locals realise that these very stones are their bread & butter and that the influx of these paying tourists has created associated problems(Devil and Deep Blue Sea Syndrome). By climbing into upland cairns are you creating your own access or do you use existing?......I assume people have the need to go into such "chambers" for their own spiritual purposes/shelter from the elements/the hope to find an overlooked artefact/just to admire the workmanship.....Most humans do have an affinity with caves, tunnels and underground chambers, there is an irresistable urge. However standing on top of ancient stones and the like IMO is just a bit of "look at me ma, top of the world" showing off as it isn't serving any useful purpose.....Of course it could be argued that this is done just to admire the surrounding environs and their relationship with stone/cairn being stood on.However we can't gripe about tourists doing it for photo opportunities if we don't lead by example...just because we claim special pleading.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 08:57
Resonox wrote:
thesweetcheat wrote:
I don't want to see damage, but similarly these sites will not survive by being preserved in aspic with "do not touch" signs everywhere (think Stonehenge, think Carnac), they'll survive by being living, breathing places to visit and interact with.

I entirely agree about climbing on the stones themselves, but that isn't doing to stop me climbing onto (and into!) upland cairns either. :-/

I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here...are you saying that Carnac is NOT surviving because of the "no climbing/do not touch/fenced off access by special permission only" policy or despite it? In all the times I have visited Carnac...the only people climbing the stones are tourists who ignore ALL signage but have to face the wrath of inhabitants for so doing...there are a few designated for standing on (for picture opportunites I assume).....climbing into dolmens/chambers also has a "designated" permission system. The locals realise that these very stones are their bread & butter and that the influx of these paying tourists has created associated problems(Devil and Deep Blue Sea Syndrome). By climbing into upland cairns are you creating your own access or do you use existing?......I assume people have the need to go into such "chambers" for their own spiritual purposes/shelter from the elements/the hope to find an overlooked artefact/just to admire the workmanship.....Most humans do have an affinity with caves, tunnels and underground chambers, there is an irresistable urge. However standing on top of ancient stones and the like IMO is just a bit of "look at me ma, top of the world" showing off as it isn't serving any useful purpose.....Of course it could be argued that this is done just to admire the surrounding environs and their relationship with stone/cairn being stood on.However we can't gripe about tourists doing it for photo opportunities if we don't lead by example...just because we claim special pleading.


No, what I mean is that we don't want places to have to be roped off and signposted to death in order to preserve them. I'm saying Carnac and Stonehenge are surviving, but at a price I think is very high - i.e the loss of being able to properly see the stones up close. One of the main reasons I've never been to Stonehenge is because of the comments made by many others about the lack of atmosphere and sense of place since the inner circle was closed off. And in fact your post highlights the fact that at Carnca the idiots who will climb on the stones will do so regardless of the amount of signs and barriers.

Re: upland cairns. I would hope that anyone who has read my previous comments on ther subject of walker damage to these would know that I would NEVER "create my own access". The comment about climbing "into" them was a recognition of the terrible damage that has been caused by walkers reconfiguring them for shelters, etc. These are not "chambers", they're wrecks. Take the cairn on Moel Siabod, you can't really do anything but go "into" it, as the centre has been completely removed by walkers.

Generally the purpose of climbing "onto" the cairns, rather than being "look at me" as you suggest is both to see how well-preserved or otherwise they are, usually to take some pictures, which itself acts as a record of the current state of preservation. See for example the pictures of the cairns on Western Beacon in Dartmoor, some of the ones that Lubin's previous post is referring to - restored then soon wrecked again by thoughtless walkers. You will note that the most vocal of us on this forum about the damage to upland cairns are generally the ones who actually go and visit them regularly (and report back on here), like myself, Gladman, Postman, Drew, etc. None of us are doing any wrecking by doing so, as far as I can tell, nor are we claiming "special pleading".
goffik
goffik
3922 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 11:54
I think Carnac is openly accessible outside of peak season. I still think climbing on them is frowned upon though.

G x
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4684 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 12:59
goffik wrote:
I think Carnac is openly accessible outside of peak season. I still think climbing on them is frowned upon though.

G x


Of course it may be that certain recumbent stones (not thinking Carnac here just generalising) or dolmens were meant to be stood on during 'ceremonies' but of course that's a different matter entirely.
thelonious
322 posts

Edited Jan 13, 2012, 14:25
Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 13:45
last time I was at Tomnaverie RSC there was someone standing on top of one of the flankers for a photo. I never said anything but wish I had.
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