Saturday 31 March 2012

Carvings on Stone 23 of Stonehenge

Visible from the public path when the sun is right are these marks on Stone 23 (circled in yellow)

Directly opposite on the other side of the circle is Stone 9a which has similar marks (though badly eroded as Stone 9 is a fallen one).

Is This A Dagger I See Before Me?

The carvings on Stone 53 were caught by the sun last night.

I'm not sure how many I can count.

Friday 30 March 2012

The Origin of the Word Sarsen

Sarsen is a Wiltshire dialect pronunciation of the word Saracen, used to mean "foreign", as the stones seem strange and out of place on the green downs of Wiltshire

Saturday 24 March 2012

The Bowls Barrow Bluestone in Salisbury Museum

Pictures of the stone before it came to the museum are here. More the possible significance of this stone is on Brian John's blog and here

It is worth clicking on the photo of the sign above to see what the Museum says.

If the bluestone came from Bowls Barrow it shows there was at least one Bluestone on Salisbury Plain before the construction of Stonehenge which would support the glacial transport theory of how they got there. But only support the theory not prove it.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Stonehenge, Troops and Fargo Cottages

An old undated postcard - on the horizon to the left of Stonehenge is that Fargo Cottages and Farm, or is it the first hanger of the Stonehenge airfield?

Click photo to enlarge.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Trilithon Repairs

The sun was just right tonight to pick out the concrete bedding between the uprights and the lintel on the re-erected trilithon 57,58, 158 at Stonehenge. Click on the picture for a closer look.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Britain's First Photo Album

Isle of Wight to Stonehenge

The Victorian photographer Francis Frith spent the best part of his life documenting Britain. His aim was to photograph every city, every town and every village in the land. He and his team took tens of thousands of pictures and left us with an invaluable record of a Britain frozen in time. Now, John Sergeant is attempting to follow in Frith's footsteps, finding out what has changed, what has stayed the same and what has gone forever: he'll be unravelling some of the mysteries of this unique archive and he'll be taking his own photographs.

Thu 15 Mar 2012 18:30 BBC Two

Today John's journey will.... using early photographs to prove that Stonehenge has not stood as we know it for quite as long as we might imagine....

More on those photos here

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Marlborough Science Fair 12-17 March | Marlborough People

Marlborough Science Fair 12-17 March | Marlborough People: "Marlborough Science Fair 12-17 March"

St John's School is celebrating National Science & Engineering week from 12-17 March, culminating in the Marlborough Science Fair on Saturday 17th, when the school opens its doors to the whole local community for a wide range of activities from 11am to 3pm. Last year almost 2,000 people visited St John's to visit the exhibitions and take part in interactive activities aimed at the whole family.....exhibitors include Wiltshire Heritage, who are bringing an inflatable copy of a Sarsen Stone from Stonehenge and will be giving people the opportunity to try to move a stone into place...
A great day for the family, but an inflatable stone! Now that would have made it all so much easier originally....

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Hydroclimate of the building of Stonehenge

Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing:


"Dramatic hydrological fluctuations strongly impact human society, but the driving mechanisms for these changes are unclear. One suggested driver is solar variability, but supporting paleoclimate evidence is lacking. Therefore, long, continuous, high-resolution records from strategic locations are crucial for resolving the scientific debate regarding sensitivity of climate to solar forcing. We present a 6800–year, decadally-resolved biomarker and multidecadally-resolved hydrogen isotope record of hydroclimate"

The middle line is from Crag Cave in Ireland, marked CC on the map.

I can't afford the $25 to buy access to the paper but it looks from this snippet as though from 5000 to 4500 years ago there was a dramatic decrease in summer rainfall (in Ireland at least). The sort of decrease that would change a thriving chalkland community to a struggling one.

Pure conjecture based on this one graph, but an intriguing idea.

Stonehenge 19th Most Popular Attraction in Britain With Over a Million Visitors

ALVA | Association of Leading Visitor Attractions: "Stonehenge 1,099,656 increease +9%"
Beating London Zoo and the Eden Project is at 25 in the chart with 1,001,774 visitors.

Last year Stonehenge was at 25 with 1,009,973, beaten by London Zoo and in 2009 at 22 with 990,705.
(2008 it had under 880,00 visitors.)

Monday 5 March 2012

Britain's First Photo Album - Francis Frith

Britain's First Photo Album - Francis Frith: "Britain’s First Photo Album is a new ten-part BBC series presented by John Sergeant on the extraordinary achievement of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who embarked upon a colossal project to photograph the United Kingdom during the 19th century.
Britain’s First Photo Album follows John Sergeant as he retraces Frith's photographic journey through history, hoping to find the exact spots where forty photographs from The Francis Frith Collection were taken and then take his own pictures, capturing the mood of the place as it is now.
Watch on BBC2, every weekday at 6.30pm for two weeks, starting March 12th....

There is a book as well featuring Mr Sergeant at Stonehenge on the cover.

But there is a problem with at least one of the Francis Frith photographs they feature on their website:

(This is a scan of an actual postcard I own but it is the same picture)

It is a fake - Stone 56 is upright only because it has been drawn in on the negative - the clue is that Stones 21, 22 and their lintel 122 had collapsed before stone 56 was straightened. (If you are not a Stonehenge geek that probably was too much information!)

The original photograph was also used as a postcard, but I guess that when stone 56 was straightened in a welter of publicity they decided to alter the print, not knowing about the other changes they should have made.

The original.

UPDATE - From the Farncis Frith site ;
Thank you for the information, you are quite right. We often find older images in the collection have been altered to 'update them'. This is all part of the history of the archive so we cannot alter the position of the stone. However, your information has been noted in our database.

Stonehenge And The Climatic Optimum

The period of construction of Stonehenge starting at 5000 years ago coincides with a period of the Holocene Climatic Optimum where the temperature was as warm or warmer than today, allowing crops and animals to flourish and prosperity to ensue.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Stonehenge Spring Equinox 20th March 2012 « Stonehenge News and Information

Stonehenge Spring Equinox 20th March 2012 « Stonehenge News and Information: "The exact time for the 2012 Spring (or Vernal) equinox at Stonehenge is 5.14am - Sunrise on the March 20th is at 6.09am.

English Heritage have confirmed Open Access for Stonehenge on the Spring Equinox 2012 will be dawn on the 20th of March.
Expect a short period of access, from approximately 5.45am to 9.00am.