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12 December 2013
Modern stone circle causes a stir

A modern stone circle on the outskirts of an English village is causing a stir among locals and visitors alike. The stone arrangement, which includes rocks ranging from two feet to seven feet tall (0,6-2,1m), has been erected six months ago by Tom and Richard Mason on their family's farm in Rothbury, Northumberland.
     "Quite often we'd come back from work and there would be a walker stood there, looking at his Ordenance Survey map, scratching his head. We'd stop and have a bit of a chat and they'd ask if this was an ancient place of worship. I'd say my ancestors built it - my father put it up six months ago," Richard Mason said. "Both my father and I have a real interest in local history and my headmaster was well-known rock art expert, Stan Beckinsall. Every single lesson he would revert back to talking about stone circles, so I blame him for my interest."
     Richard and Tom have received calls and emails from history societies across the country, who have been questioned by tourists over the historical nature of the stones. "To the untrained eye the stones could be mistaken for being a lot older," said Richard. "But when you look closely you can tell they've been quarried in the last few years."
     Dubbed Rothbury's very own Stonehenge, Richard says his stone circle has a number of fundamental differences to the famous World Heritage Site. He said: "We've got no objections to people asking if they can sit on the stones, have a cup of tea, and eat their picnics. Richard said: "My friends who own farms nearby and have a sense of humour like myself, quite fancy a stone circle for themselves."

Edited from Chronicle Live (1 December 2013)

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