Monday 21 July 2014

White Lines at Stonehenge Experiment

There is some discussion at Mike Pitt's blog about the source of the white lines seen in old pictures of stones at Stonehenge. See and for my take on it

I thought an experiment might be in order.

The white stripes showed up on Stone 56 after Gowland had re-erected it.

Gowland doesn't say if he packed between his "stout timbers" and the stone, but the photo suggests there my have been something placed there.

I have a well lichened Sarsen gatepost, originally from West Kennett, and plenty of stout oak timbers so I have strapped one very firmly to the sarsen and will leave it there for a fortnight to see what happens.

After two weeks I removed the timber and the lichen showed a very small amount of discolouration,

And another two weeks later maybe just a bit more, it looks like lichen has died but it is not conclusive.

I will keep observing.


  1. Well, I guess when you're wrong you're just plain wrong.

    I've been singing about painted stripes on the 5 lintels (and uprights) for a long time, and even had myself persuaded that my comment on Mike Pitts' site last week prompted his latest post on the subject.

    While the interior vertical stripes on L-102 do look like paint, I had never seen the one Tim shows of S-56 after re-erection - and it clearly shows the 'after-image' of the baulking cradles.

    The marks ain't paint, but dead lichen.

    Nice catch, Tim - as usual.


    (I apparently missed the June 2013 post on this!)

    1. Neil - that is mighty big of you, but I don't think we know the answer yet.