Thursday 30 October 2014

Stonehenge - Cleal et al - Free Download

Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations

Montague, R., Cleal, R., Walker, K.

English Heritage (1999)

Abstract: Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations

This volume represents a detailed discussion of the structural history of Stonehenge, arrived at by the integration of evidence from primary records of excavations carried out between 1901 and 1964. These major campaigns of excavation and recording include those of Prof William Gowland (1901); Lt-Col William Hawley (1919-26); Profs Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson with J F Stone (1950, 53-5,56,58 and 64) and some smaller, previously unpublished campaigns as well as more recent, small-scale excavations which are already published. The evidence for the use of the monument from the Middle Neolithic to the present day is discussed in terms of its landscape and social settings. The evidence for the rephasing of the monument, including artefactual and ecofactual assemblages, details of the radiocarbon dating programme, geophysical surveys, transcripts of all available field plans, sections, and stone elevations is presented together with a variety of summary lists, concordances, and a guide to the site archive. A new suite of radiocarbon determinations has been obtained which redefines our understanding of the sequence of construction and use of the monument and augments the surviving archaeological evidence.

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Stonehenge in its Landscape: Twentieth-century excavations, Montague, R.|Cleal, R.|Walker, K., English Heritage (1999), ISBN: 9781848022102 PDF 141 Mb

Stonehenge - A History of the National Heritage Collection

47/2014 - A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Three: Stonehenge

This is Volume Three in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collection of ancient monuments and historic buildings from 1882 to 1983 in the context of legislation and other available means of protecting heritage. The report sets out the story relating to the acquisition and protection of Stonehenge, drawing upon the guardianship files and Pitt-Rivers papers held by English Heritage and the National Archives. An account is given of the efforts of the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Lieutenant General Augustus Pitt-Rivers, to secure the protection of Stonehenge following the 1882 Ancient Monuments Act. In the early 20th century the monument was enclosed for the first time. However during the First World War it suffered damage. Stonehenge was gifted to the Nation in 1918. Thereafter the Office of Works managed a series of excavations and restorations of the monument in the 1920s and 1950s. Consideration was also given to the setting of Stonehenge. The surrounding downland was purchased and vested in the National Trust in 1929. Thereafter efforts were made to restore Stonehenge to its former wilderness, although this was at constant conflict with its role as a visitor attraction.

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Other reports available:

A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume One: 1882-1900 Lt. General Augustus Pitt-Rivers and the First Ancient Monuments Act 
This is Volume One in a series of eight research reports, which describe the formation of the nation... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Two: 1900-1913 The Offices of War, Woods and Works 
This is Volume Two in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collec... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Three: Stonehenge 
This is Volume Three in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national coll... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Four: 1913-1931 The Ancient Monuments Branch under Peers and Baines 
This is Volume Four in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national colle... 
A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Five: 1931-1945: ‘Heritage Under Fire’: Hadrian’s Wall, Avebury and the Second World War 
This is Volume Five in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national colle... 

Long Barrow Solar Alignments

A very quick desktop survey of my local Long Barrow alignments:  The yellow line is sunrise, orange sunset. (Definitions of what constitute the moment of sunrise or sunset vary). They are taken from the excellent 

The new Long Barrow at All Cannings is designed to align to the midwinter solstitial sunrise, with the rising sun flooding the passageway with light.

Adam's Grave Dec 21st

Kitchen Barrow June 21st
West Kennet Sept 21st

And of course Stonehenge June 21st 
(note sunset along Great Trilithon)

Click any to enlarge - and follow link to SunCalc to play with the alignments.

Friday 17 October 2014

Stonehenge Magic Lantern Slides

A fine collection of Stonehenge Magic Lantern slides is (at the time of writing this) on sale on eBay:

Click to embiggen - there are more in the collection as well.

The top photo is intriguing as there is a line of chalk mounds outside stones 10 and 11, and they don't seem to match the track repairs that are recorded by Sharpe in hies aerial photos - - which would be of a similar date.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Winter Solstice 2014 - Stonehenge Managed Open Access

Managed Open Access

The celebration of the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge will take place at sunrise
on Monday 22nd December 2014 (approximately 08:09 hrs).

English Heritage is pleased to be offering ‘Managed Open Access’ for those
who wish to celebrate the Winter Solstice peacefully

Visitors will be allowed into the Monument when it is considered sufficiently
light to ensure safe access. Entry will be available from approximately 07:30
hrs until 09:00 hrs when visitors will be asked to vacate the site. All vehicles
must vacate the area by 09.30.

Access might not be possible if the ground conditions are poor or if it is felt
that access might result ¡n severe damage to the Monument.

More details on Parking and toilets etc to come


New theory of a Winter Solstice Sunrise Alignment - Stonehenge and the Winter Solstice leaflet (ISBN 9780957093010)
(Background on the Winter Solstice Sunrise Alignment theory is here)

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Stonehenge - the simplest and most enduring features - Thoreau

(click to enlarge)

''Ossian reminds us of the most refined and rudest eras, of Homer, Pindar, Isaiah, and the American Indian. In his poetry, as in Homer's, only the simplest and most enduring features of humanity are seen, such essential parts of a man as Stonehenge exhibits of a temple; we see the circles of stone, and the upright shaft alone. The phenomena of life acquire almost an unreal and gigantic size seen through his mists. Like all older and grander poetry, it is distinguished by the few elements in the lives of its heroes. They stand on the heath, between the stars and the earth, shrunk to the bones and sinews. The earth is a boundless plain for their deeds. They lead such a simple, dry, and everlasting life, as hardly needs depart with the flesh, but is transmitted entire from age to age. There are but few objects to distract their sight, and their life is as unencumbered as the course of the stars they gaze at.''

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 367, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

Sunday 12 October 2014

President Obama Stonehenge Quotes - Transcript of Video

These are some special stones.

I love the moss.

There's something here, it's wonderful, it's very cool. 

There's just something elemental about it.

There's something that where you got to feel like it should always be there.

But it comes out of something basic.


Yeah, I could come here every day, you know I would come here and just kind of sit, if it wasn't like a monument, I'd sit on one of these rocks and I'd just watch the sun rise. It would really cleanse your mind.


Ensure you use the CC option on Youtube on the official White House video to get the transcipt - auto transcript on other versions gives some strange results...

Thursday 9 October 2014

The New Visitor Centre, a hole in the ground and a £14million win.

The old  map resource at is a fantastic way to waste hours.

The ability to overlay old maps with modern aerial views is great.

As an example here is a shot of the area to the east of the New Visitor Centre at Stonehenge.

Click to enlarge.

Apart from hoping they properly capped the well that was under the well house and is now underneath the gift shop I was intrigued by the mysterious "post" near Fargo Plantation.

Many hours of thought and it struck me that as the field is known as "The Gallops" it is probably just a finishing post or turn marker for training race horses. The field is owned by the Druids Lodge estate.

Druid's Lodge was famous for training racehorses and infamous for the Druid's Lodge Confederacy and the betting coup at the 1913 Derby.

Their secretly trained horse Aboyeur won, after a Stewards Inquiry, at 100-1, and they had been backing it all over the country in small amounts for months so as not to frightened the odds makers.

£14 million at todays money is rumoured to be their winnings.

More at