Letter: Ancient stones

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your photograph of the Rollright Stones (Review, 13 December) shows how this important monument has been cut off from the surrounding landscape by a ring of conifers planted in modern times.

After Stonehenge and Avebury, the Rollrights are probably the most important stone circle in southern England. The main circle, known as the King's Men, is part of a linked group of monuments which includes an isolated monolith - the King Stone - and a group of five stones called the Whispering Knights.

The offending conifers are effective in screening the main circle in views from the nearest public viewpoints, perhaps to the benefit of entrance gate receipts. However, the trees also obscure the wider relationship between the stones and their surroundings, to the detriment of both the local landscape and the archaeological interest of the site.

Plans are in hand to reconnect Stonehenge with its ancient setting. The Rollright Stones deserve similar attention.

KARL CRADICK

Christchurch, Dorset

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