A PAIR of valuable, historic bronze plaques have been stolen from one of Wiltshire’s most famous prehistoric monuments, Woodhenge.

Now English Heritage, Historic England and Wiltshire Police are appealing for information.

The plaques, which have been stolen in the last two weeks, are inscribed and inlaid with coloured enamel.

They date from the late 1920s and were installed by the Ministry of Works soon after excavations of the site led by Maud Cunnington.

The site, only two miles from its more famous contemporary Stonehenge, was scheduled by the government as an Ancient Monument in 1928.

The plaques describe Woodhenge and show a plan of the site, which was discovered by accident in 1925 by a passing RAF pilot.

Dating from 2300 BC, Woodhenge is thought to have been an important communal meeting place for people in the later Stone Age.

Its alignment to the sunrise on midsummer’s day suggests that it had a ritual function. Lying inside a circular ditch which archaeologists call a henge, are 168 concrete posts that mark the positions of six concentric rings of gigantic timber.

Heather Sebire, Curator for English Heritage, which cares for this site, said: “Woodhenge is an incredibly important heritage site and these plaques are a landmark in the history of how the site was discovered, excavated and presented nearly a century ago.

"This is a serious case of heritage crime. We are working with Wiltshire Police and Historic England to identify the culprits and hope we can return the plaques to where they belong.”

English Heritage is working closely with Historic England and Wiltshire Police.

Phil McMahon, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England, said: “The sad theft of these historic plaques has deprived us of an important aspect of the story of Woodhenge. They represent a key part of one of the earliest attempts to interpret and present to the public the complex and internationally-significant prehistoric monuments of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

"We very much hope that the plaques can be recovered and restored to their rightful place at Woodhenge.”

Mark Harrison, National Policing and Crime Advisor for Historic England, said: “We are appealing to anyone who has any information that may lead the police to identify the suspects in this case, please call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”