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Fears for ruins

PUBLISHED: 14:33 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:09 07 July 2010

A Thetford resident has called on English Heritage to take urgent steps to prevent the total destruction of one of Norfolk's finest ancient ruins.

Stuart Wilson, of the Thetford Society, says the 12th century Cluniac Priory in the town was still at risk from vandals, despite three years of campaigning for a security upgrade.

A Thetford resident has called on English Heritage to take urgent steps to prevent the total destruction of one of Norfolk's finest ancient ruins.

Stuart Wilson, of the Thetford Society, says the 12th century Cluniac Priory in the town was still at risk from vandals, despite three years of campaigning for a security upgrade.

In the latest in a spate of criminal damage incidents at the ruins , flints were removed from the walls and a stretch of grass was set alight at the Abbeygate site.

Mr Wilson, who lives locally, has now written to the chairman of English Heritage, Lord Bruce-Lockhart, calling on the organisation to install better security at the religious and historically important site. It comes after he submitted a dossier to the government body in 2005 detailing the littering, damage and vandalism abuse to the Thetford Priory.

Mr Wilson added that a new entrance gate and fencing would help prevent night time attacks.

“Three years on and the site is an unsupervised, open house to drunks and vandals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. The priory needs protecting now,” he said.

But Celia Deeley, from English Heritage, said the organisation was investing £100,000 this year in security at Thetford Priory.

“We have to make sure that whatever we do is sensitive to the site as we don't want to make it like a Fort Knox, but at the same time we need to protect it,” she said.

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