Derby

Ancient Peak District stone circle damaged by campfires

Damage to Doll Tor stones Image copyright Sam Grimshaw
Image caption A large fire had been set up in the middle of the stones

"Serious" damage to a scheduled ancient monument in Derbyshire is being investigated by police.

The prehistoric Doll Tor stone circle, near Birchover in the Peak District, was targeted some time in the past few days.

Sam Grimshaw, who discovered the damage, said he was "very angry" when he found some smaller stones had been moved and several fires had been set.

Historic England has appealed to anyone with information to contact police.

Mr Grimshaw said he found stones had been moved to build a fire pit and for a seat, while other fires had been set.

Image copyright Historic England
Image caption The circle has been described as one of the most picturesque in England

"Once I'd realised what I was seeing I became very angry, and a great feeling of sadness came over me as I saw more and more stones removed," he said.

"I was amazed at the effort that had been put in to move some of the stones, I couldn't quite believe it."

Doll Tor

  • The monument likely dates from the earlier part of the Bronze Age (c. 2500 until c. 800 BC)
  • The small circle formed part of a larger complex with a ditch, cairn (stone mound) and nearby boulders possibly associated
  • Human bones, along with bronze and flint tools, have been found at the site
  • It was likely a place of burial, ritual and possibly an area reserved for seasonal celebrations

Source: Historic England

A spokesman for Historic England said: "As a scheduled monument, Doll Tor stone circle and adjacent stone cairn is a nationally important archaeological site and protected by law.

"This site forms an important part of our shared past and the preservation of the standing stones, cairn, buried archaeology and other features is vital in helping us to understand the ritual importance of this site and the beliefs of prehistoric peoples."

Image copyright Sam Grimshaw
Image caption One of the stones had been moved to be used as a seat

Historic England said it was working with Derbyshire Police, the private landowner and the Peak District National Park to investigate the crime.

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