Beds, Herts & Bucks

Soulbury stone: White lines 'horrific' and 'an eyesore'

Chapel Hill before and after the chevrons were painted Image copyright Google / Soulbury News
Image caption The road Chapel Hill was built around the Soulbury Boot, which is believed to have been in its position for 11,000 years

White lines painted around a boulder, thought to have been in place 11,000 years in an attempt to make it safer, have been described as an "eyesore" and "horrific" on social media.

The stone in Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, was under threat of being moved after a car allegedly crashed into it.

The county council has since painted white chevrons around it.

Photos of the new look on the Soulbury News Facebook page have attracted dozens of negative comments.

One person described it as a good compromise, but the vast majority of those responding have criticised the chevrons, labelling them as "shocking" and "dreadful".

Villagers had threatened to chain themselves to the stone, known as the Soulbury Boot, after the crash put its position in the middle of Chapel Hill in jeopardy.

Buckinghamshire County Council said it realised moving the stone would be unpopular and was instead looking at ways to make the road safer.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The chevrons have received some negative comments on Facebook

The white lines were painted by Transport for Buckinghamshire on 9 April at a cost of £469, the council said.

It added it had no plans for any further changes.

A spokesman for Soulbury News said a number of people were "not too keen on the chevrons" but hundreds of people had "liked" the post.

"Obviously we are pleased that the stone is staying," he added.

"We were very surprised how this local campaign suddenly went viral, with interest from abroad as well."

The stone is thought to have been in place for 11,000 years, with Chapel Hill built around it.

Local legend claims the rock appeared on Chapel Hill after villagers fought with the devil and cut off his foot and that it rolls down the hill as the church chimes midnight.

Image caption The Soulbury Boot was a feature of the village for thousands of years before the road was built around it
Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Residents had volunteered to chain themselves to the boulder to prevent it being moved

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