University wins battle of the bones

The Rev King Arthur Uther Pendragon outside the High Court in London as he has lost the latest round of a fight to force scientists to return ancient "royal" remains to their original resting place at Stonehenge.
The Rev King Arthur Uther Pendragon outside the High Court in London as he has lost the latest round of a fight to force scientists to return ancient "royal" remains to their original resting place at Stonehenge.
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A DRUID ‘battle chieftain’ has lost the latest round in his fight to force Sheffield University scientists to return ancient ‘royal’ remains to their original resting place at Stonehenge.

The Rev King Arthur Uther Pendragon, who styles himself the Battle Chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders and Titular Head and Chosen Chief of the Loyal Arthurian Warband Druid order, failed to persuade the High Court to intervene in the row.

Sheffield University has the cremated remains of more than 40 bodies - thought to be at least 5,000 years old - which were removed from a burial site at Stonehenge in 2008.

Ministers have given researchers permission to keep the bones until 2015.

King Arthur - a 57-year-old former soldier from Salisbury, Wiltshire, who changed his name by deed poll - wanted the High Court to review a Government decision to allow the university experts to keep the remains for testing.

But Mr Justice Wyn Williams refused to give King Arthur permission to launch a judicial review action.

The judge heard that King Arthur, who was dressed in white druid robes and represented himself, said the bones were remains of members of the ‘royal line’ or ‘priest caste’ who could have been the ‘founding fathers of this great nation’.

He told the judge he feared the remains would never be returned but moved to a museum. The Ministry of Justice denied his allegation.

After the hearing, King Arthur, who signed himself ‘Arthur Rex’ on court papers, said he would continue the fight.

He added that he had thousands of names on a petition calling for the return of the bones and claimed the general public was on his side.

The judge said the court would reconsider the case if more evidence emerged.