Vandals who wrecked historic monument condemned

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Vandals who wrecked historic monument condemned Vandals who wrecked historic monument condemned

A FORMER District Councillor has condemned drunken revellers who damaged a historic monument.

Former Tetbury mayor and Cotswold District Councillor Peter Martin, 50, discovered the damage to Windmill Tump – also known as Rodmarton Long Barrow – while out walking on Thursday May 10.

The damage to the Neolithic grave site which is more than 5,000-years-old, came just days after vandals pushed over graves at St Saviour’s church in Tetbury.

Mr Martin said he was shocked to find empty bottles and cans lying around as well as damage to the dry stone wall surrounding the monument.

"It’s very disrespectful," he said. "It’s a grave that’s been there for 5,000 years and it’s been destroyed in a drunken episode.

"Just because you can’t see that there’s anything buried there doesn’t mean you can go and vandalise the place. It’s unbelievable."

"It’s a grave that’s been there for 5,000 years and it’s been destroyed in a drunken episode"

Peter Martin

Mr Martin added he was pleased officers from Gloucestershire County Council had already repaired a large amount of the damage to the site, which is owned by English Heritage.

"A lot of people don’t realise how rich this area is in archaeological remains," he said. "It’s as dense in remains as the area around Stonehenge.

"I hope whoever’s done it realises they’ve been caught and they shouldn’t do it again."

Police said they had seized of empty bottles and are appealing for any information to call them on 101, quoting incident number 270 of May 11.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org

RODMARTON LONG BARROW FACT FILE - The site was built in the early Neolithic period, some time between 4000 and 3500 BC.

- There is evidence it was used well into the Roman period as coins and pottery dating from the reign of Emperor Claudius Gothicus (168-170 AD).

- It is around 60 meters long and 20 meters wide.

- There are at least three stone-lined burial chambers within the Long Barrow, within which animal bones and human remains have been found.

- Another chamber, along with the bones of a child, was discovered after a tree fell down at the site in the storms of 1987.

- It was excavated in the late 19th century, and again in 1939, when 13 skeletons and leaf-shaped arrowheads were found.

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