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5 December 2017
Jersey calls for return of ancient dolmen rebuilt in England

Dolmen stones discovered in 1785 near the Jersey capital Saint Helier were taken to the Oxfordshire estate of Jersey governor General Henry Seymour Conway three years later as a retirement gift. The estate is now on the market for 7 million pounds, and residents of Jersey are hopeful they can buy the stones and return them to the island, a British Crown Dependency just off the coast of Brittany.
     Built from slabs of pink granite, the dolmen is now in the grounds of Templecombe House in Henley-on-Thames, about 60 kilometres west of London. One man is planning to crowdfund 8 million pounds online in a bid to purchase the estate, repatriate the dolmen, then resell the estate.
     The stones formed one of dozens of dolmens across the island. Many were broken up for building materials in the 17th and 18th centuries. General Conway was persuaded by his cousin - author Horace Walpole - to pay for the transport of his gift. Walpole wrote: 'Pray do not disappoint me but transport the Cathedral of your island to your domain on our continent.'
     The island has attempted to claim back the dolmen and the issue was brought up in Parliament in 1928. In the book Megaliths in History in 1973, author Glyn Daniel wrote: 'It is not a mock megalith or folly; it is a genuine antiquity but has no right to be in southern Britain.'

Edited from Daily Mail (25 November 2017)

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