Head To Head
Log In
The Modern Antiquarian Forum »
Climbing on Standing Stones
Log In to post a reply

353 messages
Topic View: Flat | Threaded
6135 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. :-/
Topic Outline:

The Modern Antiquarian Forum Index