Summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. (Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Sometimes the police come in for criticism, while at other times English Heritage attracts the ire of the druids, ravers, hippies and sun lovers who turn out for the summer solstice at Stonehenge.

At today’s celebrations there was a political target – David Cameron and the coalition government – following the announcement that government funding for a visitor centre at the ancient monument was being cut.

The outcry from solstice revellers was led by the unmistakeable figure of Arthur Pendragon, a druid who believes he is an incarnation of the once and future king.

Pendragon, who rejoices in the title of battle chieftain of the council of British druid orders, said he was not surprised that the £10m funding was dropped.

“I knew the writing was on the wall. I knew the new government wouldn’t stump up the money. It’s no surprise but, still, it’s a disgrace. This wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the world.”

Pendragon has campaigned for 20 years for a new visitor centre at the World Heritage site and to close at least one of the busy roads that surround the stones.

Tourists are often shocked at the state of the centre and amazed that traffic is allowed to roar past so close.

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Steven Morris
Guardian

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