Saturday 29 June 2013

Original Position of the Slaughter Stone

I was asked, so I had to look it up, and thought it worthwhile to note it down.

It is most probable that the Slaughter Stone fell inwards towards the monument and that it was originally in line with stoneholes D and E. But we aren't sure, and we don't know for certain if the Slaughter Stone's hole is under it or is in fact hole E. We also don't know when the companion stones to it were removed, in some early illustrations they are still standing in the 17th Century. There was a track into the monument that passes over D & E and it might be why they were removed and the Slaughter Stone buried.

More of a mystery than I expected! Information mainly from Cleal et al.

Stonehenge Milestone

The closure of the A344 is a welcome milestone in the redevelopment of the Stonehenge Landscape so it is only fitting that the milestone opposite the Heel Stone is protected as the work commences. For more on the milestone see and

7/7/13  It now has a concrete block to protect it as well...

Thursday 27 June 2013

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunset 2013

The view along the SW side of 56 on Solstice evening 2013 - no sun.

The rest of the pictures were taken on 26/06/2013 
The summer sunset alignment is part of my winter sunrise alignment theory so I wanted to witness it myself.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Tess asleep on the stone at Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2013

"When they saw where she lay, which they had not done till then, they showed no objection, and stood watching her, as still as the pillars around. He went to the stone and bent over her, hold one poor little hand; her breathing now was quick and small, like that 
of a lesser creature than a woman. All waited in the growing light, their faces and hands as if they were silvered, the remainder of their figures dark, the stones glistening green-gray, the Plain still a mass of shade. Soon the light was strong, and a ray shone upon her unconscious form, peering under her eyelids and waking her." - Thomas Hardy's Tess of the "D'Urbervilles

Thursday 20 June 2013

Mystery of the Moving Model Lintel

Visiting Devizes Museum's wonderful "The Splendour of Stonehenge" exhibition I noticed this detail in a pen and sepia wash plan of Stonehenge by W H Hyett dated to 1820.

Around the corner there is John Britton's Celtic Cabinet believed to date from circa 1824 with this model by Browne in the top

. Again here is a detail.

Stone 156, the fallen lintel of the Great Trilithon, has its mortice holes upwards, whereas today it lies on its side with the holes on the vertical faces.
On the side of the cabinet there is a plan of Stonehenge which also shows the mortice holes upwards;

But, of course, today the lintel's mortice holes lie on the side of the stone.

Did someone move the stone?

Judging by how the model's lintel lies against the Bluestones it looks as though it has been rolled over.

Browne made other models and it seems in at least one of them - - the stone is lying in its present  position. We also have Stukeley's earlier drawings which also show the same.

So it looks like it  the lintel was rolled over, towards the south west, in the early 1800s and at sometime it was rolled back.

UPDATE: June 2016 - I have noticed in John Woods 1740 book Choir Gaure it is described as a "Rocking Stone" which can be moved be the force of a mans finger, which it certainly isn't now.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunset Alignment

(Click to enlarge)

Thanks to Simon Banton for these two shots of the sunset at Stonehenge on 19/06/2013. They are taken along the flat south western side of Stone 56, over Station Stone 93.

My theory that the Great Trilithon, which 56 is the only remaining standing part of, was aligned across its width towards the Winter Solstice Sunrise also means it should be aligned towards the Summer Solstice Sunset.

I'm reminded that 4500 years ago the Sun would be 62' of arc further to the right, and it seems the sun is still above the trees in this picture taken a couple of days before the solstice and so it is not an exact fit; but is it close enough to be significant?

Monday 17 June 2013

Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2013 - Bus Timetable

Click to enlarge



These Conditions of Entry are written to ensure enjoyment and public safety for everyone.
Contravention of any of these conditions may result In entry being refused or removal from Stonehenge. English Heritage reserves the right to refuse entry.
In order to ensure your personal safety, random searches may be undertaken, but we hope that self-policing and personal responsibility will prevail.
STONEHENGE OPENS 19:00 hrs Thursday 20 June
STONEHENGE CLOSES 08:00 hrs Friday 21 June


Stonehenge is seen by many as a sacred site — please respect it for each other. Drunken, disorderly or anti social behaviour will not be tolerated,

The Stones

In the interest of personal safety and protecting this special site, please do not climb or stand on the stones.


Only small amounts of alcohol for personal use will be permitted


Only small bags/ruckçacks (similar size to hand luggage on airlines) will be permitted into Stonehenge.

Under 16’s

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an Adult

Amplified Music

Amplified Music is inappropriate and will not be permitted at the Monument, in the surrounding landscape or Solstice Car Park. Please do not bring any sound systems or portable amplifiers.


Please do not light fires, flaming torches, BBQ’s, candles, fireworks or Chinese lanterns — this applies at Stonehenge, in the Solstice car park and anywhere on surrounding National Trust land


As some people walk barefoot and livestock also graze ¡n the area, glass items may not be brought into Stonehenge.


Dogs, pets and other creatures are not permitted into Stonehenge, except registered assistance dogs.

No Camping

Sleeping Bags & duvets are not permitted. Camping is not permitted at Stonehenge, in the Solstiœ Car Park or anywhere in the surrounding National Trust Land.


In the interests of public safety there will be ambient lighting throughout the night. Lights will be systematically turned off as dawn approaches.

New Stonehenge Archive Discovery

Richard Bailey, the son of T.E. Bailey, the Chief Architect of the Ministry of Works from the 1950s who supervised the restoration of fallen and leaning stones at Stonehenge in the 1950s, visited Stonehenge yesterday and brought with him a few items from an extensive archive he has from the Ministry of Works. It includes items from the raising of the trilithons in 1958 to the construction of the present visitor facilities. Most of the Ministry of Works archives on Stonehenge were burnt during an unauthorised tidying up so it was thought none of this material survived. This is a very exciting discovery and we wonder what else he has in store.

Ceremonial key, used to unlock the gate to the subway under the A344 upon its official opening on 9th July 1968

More at

Friday 14 June 2013

一期一会 Ichigo Ichie Stonehenge

If I had one bit of advice for when you visit Stonehenge, it would be put your camera down and actually look at it, experience the moment, don't just take photographs. I came across a Zen concept that encapsulates this thought.

Ichigo Ichie ( 一期一会 ) literally means “one opportunity, one encounter”, means “Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur.”

The term is derived from Zen Buddhism and concepts of transience, and it is particularly associated with the Japanese tea ceremony.
In the context of tea ceremony, ichigo ichie reminds participants that each single tea meeting is unique that will never recur in one’s lifetime, therefore, each moment should be treated with the utmost sincerity and that that the moment should be experienced; because the feeling of looking at pictures you can have over and over again, but the feeling of being in this moment cannot ever be recaptured.

It is not just visiting Stonehenge, it can be applied to one’s daily life, “all we have is today, so let’s live it to the fullest.”

h/t &

Rewriting Stonehenge's History by Mike Parker Pearson - UCL

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Soon This Will Be History

With the A344 closing for ever within a fortnight the sight of coaches and tourists just outside the monument will be no more.

The Twisted Trilithon

Looking across the back of Stonehenge  from behind Stone 10 towards the edge of Stone 21 you can line up the edges of the large Trilithon stones 54 and 57.
These corners are symmetrical with the axis of the monument towards the Summer Solstice Sunrise and Winter Solstice Sunset - see 

As can been seen from the photo and the plan below the standing Stone 56, part of the Great Trilithon is twisted to this line. The Great Trilithon was on the midpoint, straddling the acknowledged axis but doing so at an angle.
Looking North West from behind Stone 10

Click any photo to embiggen.

For my theory on why the Great Trilithon was twisted see - and my leaflet

Triangulating the Axis of Stonehenge.

Standing on the bridge over the Avenue as you walk round Stonehenge you can line up the back edges of the large Trilithon Horseshoe Stones 54 and 57 with the inner edges of  front lintel bearing stones 2 and 29.
If the Horseshoe and this portion of the outer circle are symmetrical about the axis of stonehenge this gives us a triangulation point, which we can extend into a line by both splitting the angle and going back to the middle of the Great Trilithon.

This plan shows it quite well and positions my viewpoint above Hole C.  You will note the axis is to the west of the Heelstone, between it and Hole 97. A more accurate survey would be worthwhile.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Trearddur Henge?

At the end of a holiday in Anglesey (lots of fantastic historical sites visited) I drove past the Trearddur Dolman and couldn't resist having a closer look.

I was guided on my travels by - and this site is discussed at and 

Also known as:Coetan Arthur (Trearddur)

Nearest Town:Holyhead (2km NW)
OS Ref (GB):   SH2596580048 / Sheet: 114
Latitude:53° 17' 18.3" N
Longitude:   4° 36' 40.34" W

From Archaeologia Cambrensis v13, s3 (1867).
About a quarter of mile further on [from Trefignath ], near Trearddur farm, close to the road on the road on the right, there are the traces of a similar cromlech (now nearly obliterated), called Coetan Arthur. Near this spot, in 1837, a vessel containing a great many Roman copper coins was found, of the later emperors. I took them to the British Museum, but there was none peculiar; and I regret that they were purloined in transmission by post to the owner.
Coflein describes this site as having two stones, one upright and one recumbent, on a rocky rise. The official opinion is now that it could be a natural outcropping rather than a cromlech with the remains of a covering cairn. But they do say that "it is possible that the erect stone was raised deliberately, and it may be a prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monument." The upright stone is 1.6m high, 2.1m wide and 0.3m thick at its base. The prostrate stone at its foot is 2.3m long, 1.5m wide and 1m thick.

Click any to embiggen

View Larger Map

But what struck me as I walked round the stone was how "henge" like the platform with its bank and stones on the edge felt. I have no evidence that this is anything other than a natural feature or the result of agricultural  activities but I think it is worth a second look. If you are in the area please let me know what you think.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

White lines on the stones in old photos of Stonehenge

Old photographs of Stonehenge often show white lines on various stones. They are always on stones after they have been lifted or straightened, but can last for years. I am sure they are the lichen cover on the stones being killed by the timber supports, whether it is just the pressure or if some combination of rubbing or timber treatment is also involved I don't know. 

As an example here is the famous north east entrance to the monument before it was straightened, after it was and the apparatus used to lift the lintels. I think it shows the source of the lines well.

(There are stories that they are painted on to warn aircraft or for some other reason but the facts suggest otherwise.)  

Further evidence for these lines being from the wooden cradle comes from Gowland's reerection of Stone 56.

The two vertical timbers correspond to the subsequent white marks on the Stone.