HC Deb 09 March 1989 vol 148 c671W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the protection available for ancient monuments in the light of the recent decision at Gloucester Crown court relating to Condicote Henge.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

Our 13,000 scheduled ancient monuments are an important part of our heritage. Monuments entered on the statutory schedule of ancient monuments are fully protected. English Heritage will continue to press vigorously for prosecution in cases of wilful damage to such monuments.

The recent prosecution at Gloucester Crown court failed because the court was not satisfied with the evidence produced in court that the particular monument was included in the schedule. Documentary evidence was available in the Department's offices in London, but the Department had not been invited to provide a witness. We understand that the question of an appeal is being considered.

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