Consistory Moot of the Beaker Diocese of Salisbury
In the matter of STONEHENGE, AMESBURY
Between OGG [Druid in Charge]
UGG [Assistant Druid]
EGGY [Guardian of the Stones]
IGGLE [Interested Party]
1. Stonehenge is a place of worship on the Salisbury Plain. It is a bright and airy construction, in Early Beaker style, aligned on the midwinter solstice sunset. The roof, adjoining summer house and 50m swimming pool were removed in the time of Archdruid Aggy.
2. It is hard to see how the druids responsible for Stonehenge got to the point where I am having to make this judgement. It is clear that, at an early stage in the development of this scheme, the planned reordering was, in essence, an additional bell barrow on the south-western perimeters of the ceremonial landscape. This, with suitable chalk figures, was carved into the side of the Malborough Downs for investigation by the Moot.
3. However, at some point after the initial barrow design was approved by the Moot for submission to my office, the changes were radically changed.
4. I cannot be too clear at this point. Any substantial change to the fabric of what will one day be an ancient monument cannot proceed without the approval of the local Moot, and submission to my office of complete plans, drawn out using pegs and ropes on a suitable area of chalkland. Those petitioning for the change must provide me with three pigeons - one to be left to fly to the spirit of the West Wind, one to fly to the spirit of the East Wind, and one to be horribly slaughtered with a flint blade so I can investigate the state of its entrails.
5. In this case, none of this happened. On a routine visit to Stonehenge for a human sacrifice and Wicker Man festival, the Archdruid discovered that, in addition to the new bell barrow (which was still pending approval), the following changes had also been made to the site:
a) Another 56 round barrows
b) Construction of a 300-foot wooden pallisade
c) Reordering of the Bluestones into the shape of a marmot.
6. It is the rearrangement of the Bluestones that has particularly upset Mr Iggle, the complainant in this case. I should say that his objection to this development is not in regard of any of the other additional changes - indeed, he is an infrequent worshipper at Stonehenge. He has remarked that he does not need to go to a stone circle in the middle of open downland to worship God; he would rather do that in a cold stone building. But he tells us that the Bluestones were donated by his grandmother, Piggle, who imported them from Wales and arranged them in the form of a "figure of eight" in memory of her father.
|Had the cowboys in here|
7. Piggle further claims that if she knew had happened to the Bluestones, his grandmother would turn in her grave. Or she would, if her long bones were not randomly sorted in a long barrow, her skeleton having been picked clean by the birds of the air previous to her skull being put in a giant pit just outside Durrington Walls. However, that is not a matter for my investigation.
8. I would like to say that it gives me no pleasure to detail like this the flagrant disregard of diocesan planning regulations that the people of Stonehenge have displayed. However, in fact it does give me pleasure. I immensely enjoy humiliating these kinds of megalithic muppets. It might teach them a lesson.
9. Let me summarise the situation, as Beaker Law covers it:
a) No Druid has the right to move anything of significance without a faculty from the Bards and Ovates of Old Sarum.
b) For the purposes of these regulations, "significance" is defined as "anything that might cause upset to the ancestors".
c) "Anything that might cause upset to the ancestors" can, for practical purposes, be shortened to "anything". And then re-lengthened to "anything - anything at all. There is no religious activity, or change to a religious building, that cannot be claimed, by somebody, to be calculated to upset the ancestors.
10. The history of the so-called "Altar Stone" is probably the most dismal in the whole story. Let me summarise.
In the first instance, nobody at the original Moot meeting was told that anything would happen to the Altar Stone. Indeed, at the time it was just one of a pair of standing stones.
By the time the plans had been submitted, there was a vague mention of "minor realignment of some standing stones". Nobody was quite sure at what point this was introduced - no members present at the original Moot remembered any such thing being mentioned. Indeed, while some people said the Moot had happened at Full Moon in the Year the Snake was Found at Lark Hill, others swore that the Moon was at 1st Quarter.
By the time of the Archdruid's visitation, the stone had been laid flat on the ground, and renamed the "Altar Stone". Its partner had disappeared.
11. Let me make my point quite clear. It is not allowed for major assets like an entire sarsen to "disappear". The Druidic Council is not at liberty, as seems to have happened in this case, to simply sell Henge assets to "some passing Celt". It is not reasonable to assert that a 30 ton lump of sandstone is "de minimis". Not least as nobody has heard of Latin yet.
12. Be that as it may, this sorry story has now reached the point where what was previously a simple set of trilithons next to a cursus has become a veritable ceremonial landscape. To return the Stonehenge Environs to what they were is, to all intents and purposes impossible.
Therefore I I am making the following orders, which must be obeyed within a year and a full moon from the date of writing, and before the Summer Solstice in the Year of the Shrew at the very latest:
a) The Bluestones to be put, neatly and tidily, as a horseshoe and subsidiary circle. Like any sensible henge.
b) The Big Wheel to be taken down.
c) The "Druid's Arms" public house, car park and souvenir shop to be removed.
d) The subway from Amesbury under the A303 to be filled in. And not with ancestral remains.
e) Additionally, I am instructing that, on the first day after the Full Moon before Winter Solstice, Ugg the Druid is to be taken to the centre of the ring, shot with arrows till he looks like a pin cushion, and then thrown into the henge ditch.
Yeah, you weren't expecting that one, were you? Well., this is the Bronze Age, not the Church of England. We take our rules seriously these days.