Druids in defiant mood despite court order

Salisbury Journal: King Arthur Pendragon and supporters outside Salisbury's Crown Court King Arthur Pendragon and supporters outside Salisbury's Crown Court

A JUDGE has ordered Druid protester King Arthur Pendragon to dismantle his camp at Stonehenge and move out by Sunday.

Wiltshire Council, which sought the order, said he and his followers were blocking a public byway, which the council, as the highway authority, had a duty to keep open.

With no sanitation or facilities for rubbish disposal, and the prospect of more Druid supporters joining the picket as the weather warms up, there was every chance of “serious damage” to the World Heritage Site, said solicitor Roger Hodkinson. The right to protest did not give the Druids the right to trespass.

Mr Pendragon and three of his followers, who were served the court papers on Friday, were refused an adjournment to seek legal advice by District Judge David Asplin at the County Court hearing in Salisbury earlier today.

The judge also rejected a request that the case be transferred to the High Court, and refused them leave to appeal.

But outside the court after the case, surrounded by colourfully-clad supporters holding up banners proclaiming the Loyal Arthurian Warband and the Council of British Druid Orders, Mr Pendragon was in defiant mood.

He declared: “I have no intention whatsoever of moving at this stage. I will try to get this decision overturned. I will appeal to the highest court in the land if need be.

“All my human rights have been ignored. All my religious rights have been ignored.

“I will be conferring with other senior Druids and we will be contacting all the local MPs and taking legal advice.”

He said that since he set up his picket last summer 8,000 people, including tourists from all over the world, had signed a petition supporting his cause. He wants the fences around the historic site removed, to open it fully to the public, with a tunnel under the A303 and grass over the A344.

His supporters said that far from posing a nuisance, they helped English Heritage to keep the site tidy by picking up rubbish. And visitors loved to see them.

Reverend Kim Payne of the New Order of the Knights Templar, said: “We are being denied our legal right to worship. We want to get a Druid presence there all the time.”

Comments (6)

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10:39am Tue 28 Apr 09

johnwilliams says...

Sadly Arthur and his supporters fail to see the damage they are doing due to his battered caravan being parked on byway 12 off the A344. The surface of byway 12 by his caravan has worn into a huge hole where his friends turn round when they drive their vehicles up to visit him. Will they be paying to repair this damage? I think not! While I support the push to get a new visitor centre his 'stunts' are just that - publicity seeking stunts ready for his political campaign to try and get into parliament. They will do nothing to shame the government into acting. Quite the reverse if anything.
Sadly Arthur and his supporters fail to see the damage they are doing due to his battered caravan being parked on byway 12 off the A344. The surface of byway 12 by his caravan has worn into a huge hole where his friends turn round when they drive their vehicles up to visit him. Will they be paying to repair this damage? I think not! While I support the push to get a new visitor centre his 'stunts' are just that - publicity seeking stunts ready for his political campaign to try and get into parliament. They will do nothing to shame the government into acting. Quite the reverse if anything. johnwilliams
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Tue 28 Apr 09

dorothee says...

Dear Johm Williams,

The large pothole has been there for at least 2 years, i know because i tried to get from one end of the drove to the other at the summer solstice 2007, we wanted to park on the drove but left it too late.
so please don't blame the druids for the neglect of whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the drove, it is not their fault. he has been there through all weathers, i think that is more than a 'stunt' publicity or otherwise...
and yes, i support him and all he stands for, i am a member of his order - and proud to be so.
so, please get your facts straight before you go accusing people.
blessed be
Dear Johm Williams, The large pothole has been there for at least 2 years, i know because i tried to get from one end of the drove to the other at the summer solstice 2007, we wanted to park on the drove but left it too late. so please don't blame the druids for the neglect of whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the drove, it is not their fault. he has been there through all weathers, i think that is more than a 'stunt' publicity or otherwise... and yes, i support him and all he stands for, i am a member of his order - and proud to be so. so, please get your facts straight before you go accusing people. blessed be dorothee
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Tue 28 Apr 09

dorothee says...

sorry for the typo in the name john
sorry for the typo in the name john dorothee
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Tue 28 Apr 09

rev.kim says...

dear john
the pothols have not deen caused by the druids thay have deen caused by the 4x4s and off roaders incluiding triles bikes and infact a peace of the drove had to be closed because of the damage cause by the 4x4 and off roades yes i am one of the protestrs and suport this protest
dear john the pothols have not deen caused by the druids thay have deen caused by the 4x4s and off roaders incluiding triles bikes and infact a peace of the drove had to be closed because of the damage cause by the 4x4 and off roades yes i am one of the protestrs and suport this protest rev.kim
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Tue 28 Apr 09

sunshine9000 says...

i think its a disgrace at what the english/world heritage has done to stone henge!! money money money but where does it go?... i paid for the headphones and listened to the story but for the fencing in the way it ruined it. then as the story tells of how they lived and the pathways they took to the river ect. you look across, try to imagine it and its impossible for the fencing and roads are in the way.
stand up king arthur pendragon!! im with you all the way and will drive down to sign the petition as soon as possible. just a little further down the road they have built a huge hotel, superstore, garage, office units, industrial units, fast food resteraunts.. cumon people i can also tell you that upon my visit, there was nobody around with any knowledge of stone henge and the importance of the druids and the knights, their people then and here now. no ambiance at all. That judge needs to step down and think about the truth and honour that he gets paid for doing. i am not a druid just an ordinary citizen
peace
:)x

i think its a disgrace at what the english/world heritage has done to stone henge!! money money money but where does it go?... i paid for the headphones and listened to the story but for the fencing in the way it ruined it. then as the story tells of how they lived and the pathways they took to the river ect. you look across, try to imagine it and its impossible for the fencing and roads are in the way. stand up king arthur pendragon!! im with you all the way and will drive down to sign the petition as soon as possible. just a little further down the road they have built a huge hotel, superstore, garage, office units, industrial units, fast food resteraunts.. cumon people i can also tell you that upon my visit, there was nobody around with any knowledge of stone henge and the importance of the druids and the knights, their people then and here now. no ambiance at all. That judge needs to step down and think about the truth and honour that he gets paid for doing. i am not a druid just an ordinary citizen peace :)x sunshine9000
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Thu 30 Apr 09

Marion Bridger says...

I am 60 years old and a Druid. I have been visiting Stonehenge since I was a child and except for a few occassions those potholes have always been there!! Its always been a nightmare trying to drive down that road.
Wiltshire is the worst county for road users! Its the most money orientated county. I was told some years ago that it was deadly to have a breakdown on the road in Wiltshire as you were only allowed to stay on the spot for so long so we always prayed never to break down there. Wiltshire CC do not have any regard for people using their roads so why make a bit thing about Arthur tresspassing. The Tresspassing law is a very weak one and very hard to prove thats why landowners never bother with it!
I am 60 years old and a Druid. I have been visiting Stonehenge since I was a child and except for a few occassions those potholes have always been there!! Its always been a nightmare trying to drive down that road. Wiltshire is the worst county for road users! Its the most money orientated county. I was told some years ago that it was deadly to have a breakdown on the road in Wiltshire as you were only allowed to stay on the spot for so long so we always prayed never to break down there. Wiltshire CC do not have any regard for people using their roads so why make a bit thing about Arthur tresspassing. The Tresspassing law is a very weak one and very hard to prove thats why landowners never bother with it! Marion Bridger
  • Score: 0

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