Drinkers who left empty bottles and cardboard boxes strewn around an historic landmark have sparked anger.
Glass Bottles, boxes, empty cans and other items were discovered discarded at the Tenantry Column in Alnwick, a 19th-century monument to a previous Duke of Northumberland which carries the Percy family’s symbol, on Sunday afternoon.
The discovery infuriated an Alnwick councillor, coming just a week after an organised clean up of the town.
He vowed to take the matter up with police, claiming residents would want to see the culprits “horsewhipped.”
The 25m (83ft) column was erected in 1816 by tenants of the second Duke of Northumberland as a gesture of thanks after he reduced their rents.
It was designed by Newcastle architect David Stephenson and is topped by the Percy Lion, the symbol of the ducal family.
Buried in a cavity in the foundations is the regimental roll of the late Percy Tenantry volunteers, written on vellum and sealed in a glass tube.
On Sunday afternoon, Northumberland County and Alnwick Town councillor Gordon Castle discovered around 40 beer bottles, dozens of cans and the cardboard boxes they came in, scattered around the column – from which the nearest bins are roughly 20m (22yds).
He was planning to take the matter up with Northumbria Police.
Coun Castle said the behaviour was even more galling given that 50 volunteers and representatives of community groups had carried out a clean up of the whole town the previous Sunday.
Alnwick Chamber of Trade, Alnwick In Bloom and Alnwick Town Council had sought to get the community tidy ahead of the summer, and the arrival of Northumbria in Bloom judges.
He called the antics “very dispiriting” and added: “Many people will feel that the miscreants want horsewhipped.
“It must be really discouraging for everyone, especially the people who put in so much of their time last Sunday, to see the town’s public spaces treated with such contempt.”
Users of social networking website Facebook also condemned the behaviour.
Fellow town councillor Sue Allcroft added: “Infuriating when we all spent so much time trying to make Alnwick look good.
“I want everyone to adopt the strap line ‘don’t be mean, keep Alnwick clean!!!’ Why is no one ever caught or prosecuted for litter dropping!”
Catherine Davies van Zoen wrote: “Like the other vandals who have carved their initials on the local cup and ring prehistoric marks. Totally brainless and without a shred of conscience.”
Another user claimed the town’s bus station was strewn with litter within hours of the clean up.