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Archive for April, 2010

West of Amesbury on Salisbury Plain in south Wiltshire

Walk in the steps of our ancestors at one of the world’s best-preserved prehistoric sites.  If you have the luxury of time whilst visiting the Stonehenge area please take the time to explore these sites:

Don’t miss
■Great views of the famous Stonehenge circle
■Mysterious ceremonial landscape of ancient burial mounds, processional walkways and enclosures
■Haven for wildlife, from brown hare and butterflies, to birds such as the skylark
■Colourful displays of downland wildflowers in June and July

Stonehenge Down
The long grassland shrouded in mist at Stonehenge Down. © NT / Margriet van VianenHome to skylark and brown hare, Stonehenge Down is a wide open landscape with fine views of the famous stone circle. From here you can also explore Bronze Age barrow cemeteries and prehistoric monuments, such as the Stonehenge Avenue and the mysterious Cursus. SU125425


King Barrow Ridge on a beautiful summer's day. © NT / Lucy EvershedHere Bronze Age burial mounds stand among impressive beech trees, with views of Stonehenge and the downs. The hazel coppice provides shelter for wildlife along the ridge, while in summer, chalk downland flora attracts butterflies such as the marbled white. SU134423

King Barrow Ridge


Normanton Down on a bright summer's day, showing a field of daisies in the foreground. © NT / Margriet van VianenNormanton Down offers one of the best approaches to the stone circle. The round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC and is one of the most remarkable groups of burial mounds in the Stonehenge landscape. The downland and arable fields here are home to a variety of farmland birds such as corn bunting and stonechat. SU117415

Normanton Down


The red and gold hues of autumn at Durrington Walls. © NT / Stephen FisherIn 2005 Durrington Walls was revealed to be the site of a rare Neolithic village, with evidence of shrines and feasting. You can still see some of the banks of this circular earthwork, the largest complete ‘henge’ in Europe. Post holes show that there were large timber structures here, like those at nearby Woodhenge. SU150437

Durrington Walls


The Chalkhill Blue, common to chalk grassland, can be seen in the summer months. © NT / Margriet van VianenAnother fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. The wide range of barrow shapes found here show that this site was used over a long period of time for burials of people of high status. Newly sown chalk downland flora covers the landscape – look out for brown hares too. SU101417

Winterbourne Stoke Barrows

I would be happy to email you a free walking tour route, just email me

David – Stonehenge Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours

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Gordon Brown is my shepherd, I shall not work.
He leadeth me beside still factories.
He restoreth my faith in the Conservative Party.
He guideth me in the path of unemployment.
Yea, though I wait for my dole, I own the bank that refuses me.
Brown has anointed my income taxes, my expenses runneth over my income,
surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of his term.
From hence forth we will live all the days of our lives in a rented home with an overseas landlord.
I am glad I am British, I am glad I am free.
But I wish I were a dog and Brown were a tree.

Thought you would all like that
Nicholas – Voting Tories this time!
Histouries UK – British Tour Guide

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The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012, followed by the 2012 Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September.
This will be the third time London has hosted the games having also done so in 1908 and 1948. Discover more about the history of London Olympics (see below).

The 2012 Olympics will take place in a host of new venues as well as using existing and historic facilities. Many of the new facilities will be reused and the plans are part of the regeneration of Stratford and Lower Lea Valley in east London. More Olympic venue information.

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games is charged with running the games following the success of the bid and is chaired by Lord Coe. Construction of the venues and infrastructure is in the hands of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). See our Olympics Structure and Finance page for more details.

The London 2012 Olympic logo has created considerable controversy and the spiralling cost of the games is likely to be a ongoing problem.

History of the Olympics in London

A time-line of events leading up the London 2012 Olympic Games


1908

Summer Olympics held in London

The Games of the IV Olympiad) were the third to be hosted outside of Athens and were scheduled to take place in Rome, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 7 April 1906 required the Italian Government to redirect funds away from the Olympics. The events took place between 27 April 1908 and 31 October 1908, with 22 nations participating in 110 events. The British team easily topped the unofficial medal count, finishing with three times as many medals as the second-place United States.

1944

1944 Summer Olympics Cancelled

The Summer Olympics of 1944 were to be held in London having been awarded in 1939. However, they were cancelled due to World War II. In lieu of the Olympics, a small celebratory sporting competition was held in Lausanne, at IOC HQ.

1948

The 1948 Summer Olympics

The 1948 Games were the first to be held after World War II, with the 1944 Summer Olympics having been cancelled due to the war. 59 nations (Germany and Japan had not been invited) competed in 136 events between 29 July 1948 and 14 August 1948. due to security reasons. British athletes finished 12th in the unofficial medal count with only 23 medals.

2000

The UK Bids

In December 2000 a report from the British Olympic Association was shown to Government ministers. They had been working on the bid since 1997.

2005

The London 2012 Olympic bid was announced as the winner of the bidding process on 6 July 2005.

2008

2008 Summer Olympics

To be held in Beijing, China between August 8, 2008 and August 24, 2008. Concerns have been raised that many events will be compromised by problems with pollution and air quality.

2012

2012 Summer Olympics

The Games will take place between 27 July 2012 and 12 August 2012.

2012 Summer Paralympic Games

The fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between 29 August 2012 and 9 September 2012 at the Summer Olympics venues in London.

Olympics 2012 Structure and Finance Links

How the Olympic Games in London are being managed financed


BOA

The British Olympic Association works with the Olympic Governing Bodies and selects the team from the best sportsmen and women in the UK for the the 28 summer and 7 winter Olympic sports. The BOA is depends on commercial sponsorship and fund raising income and is independent of the UK Government.

www.olympics.org.uk


DCMS

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are the lead Government department for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, working closely with the Olympic organisations and other Government departments to deliver the 2012 Games, ensure that they leave a lasting legacy and create maximum benefits for London and the UK as a whole.

www.culture.gov.uk


LOCOG

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games is charged with running the games following the success of the bid and is chaired by Lord Coe.

www.london-2012.co.uk/LOCOG/


ODA

The Olympic Delivery Authority is responsible for the construction of the venues and infrastructure to support the 2012 Games.

www.london2012.com/en/ourvision/ODA/

We will keep you up to date with all the developments of the London Olympics 2012
We have already recieved multiple bookings for private bespoke tours throughout 2012 so if you are visiting during that period then plan ahead and book well in advance – you have been warned!!  We can help with advance tour reservations, secure transport arrangements and all your travel needs.

Nicholas – British Tour Guide
HISTOURIES UK – The Best Tours in History

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Thought I would upload these images that I took (very early)  this morning from the inner circle of Stonehenge.  Sunrise was at 6.40 am and we had perfect weather.  I was with a family from Ohio who were overwhelmed with the experience.  We then went onto visit Avebury Stone Circle, Silbury Hill and West Kennet long Barrow.  A great day was had by all


Mike – Stonehenge Tour Guide
HISTOURIES UK – The Best Tours in History

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Stonehenge, the most famous of our English megalithic monuments, has excited the attention of the historian and the legend-lover since early times. According to some of the medieval historians it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius to the memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462. Others add that Ambrosius himself was buried there. Giraldus Cambrensis, who wrote in the twelfth century, mingles these accounts with myth. He says, “There was in Ireland, in ancient times, a pile of stones worthy of admiration called the Giants’ Dance, because giants from the remotest part of Africa brought them to Ireland, and in the plains of Kildare, not far from the castle of Naas, miraculously set them up. These stones (according to the British history) Aurelius Ambrosius, King of the Britons, procured Merlin by supernatural means to bring from Ireland to Britain.”

This ancient enigma keeps everyone inquiring what truth lies in those huge stones and luckily you have come upon a site that will help you realize everything about Stonehenge.

You have wound upon an educational articles not as old as Stonehenge, but sure one of the oldest and very likely the first covering all faces of this mystical monolithic construction.

From the present ruined state of Stonehenge it is not possible to state with certainty what was the original arrangement, but it is probable that it was approximately as follows (see the following picture):


There was an outer circle of about thirty worked upright stones of square section (picture 2). On each pair of these rested a horizontal block, but only five now remain in position. These ‘lintels’ probably formed a continuous architrave (Pl. I). The diameter of this outer circle is about 97½ feet, inner measurement. The stones used are sarsens or blocks of sandstone, such as are to be found lying about in many parts of the district round Stonehenge.

Picture 2. Plan of Stonehenge in 1901. (After Archæologia.) The dotted stones are of porphyritic diabase.

Well within this circle stood the five huge trilithons (a-e), arranged in the form of a horseshoe with its open side to the north-east. Each trilithon, as the name implies, consists of three stones, two of which are uprights, the third being laid horizontally across the top. The height of the trilithons varies from 16 to 21½ feet, the lowest being the two that stand at the open end of the horseshoe, and the highest that which is at the apex. Here again all the stones are sarsens and all are carefully worked. On the top end of each upright of the trilithons is an accurately cut tenon which dovetails into two mortices cut one at each end of the lower surface of the horizontal block. Each upright of the outer circle had a double tenon, and the lintels, besides being morticed to take these tenons, were also dovetailed each into its two neighbours.

Within the horseshoe and close up to it stand the famous blue-stones, now twelve in number, but originally perhaps more. These stones are not so high as the trilithons, the tallest reaching only 7½ feet. They are nearly all of porphyritic diabase. It has often been asserted that these blue-stones must have been brought to Stonehenge from a distance, as they do not occur anywhere in the district. Some have suggested that they came from Wales or Cornwall, or even by sea from Ireland. Now, the recent excavations have shown that the blue-stones were brought to Stonehenge in a rough state, and that all the trimming was done on the spot where they were erected. It seems unlikely that if they had been brought from a distance the rough trimming should not have been done on the spot where they were found, in order to decrease their weight for transport. It is therefore possible that the stones were erratic blocks found near Stonehenge.

Within the horseshoe, and near its apex, lies the famous “Altar Stone” (A), a block measuring about 16 feet by 4. Between the horseshoe and the outer circle another circle of diabase stones is sometimes said to have existed, but very little of it now remains.

The whole building is surrounded by a rampart of earth several feet high, forming a circle about 300 feet in diameter. An avenue still 1200 feet in length, bordered by two walls of earth, leads up to the rampart from the north-east. On the axis of this avenue and nearly at its extremity stands the upright stone known as the Friar’s Heel.

In 1901, in the course of repairing the central trilithon, careful excavations were carried out over a small area at Stonehenge. More than a hundred stone implements were found, of which the majority were flint axes, probably used for dressing the softer of the sandstone blocks, and also for excavating the chalk into which the uprights were set. About thirty hammer-stones suitable for holding in the hand were found. These were doubtless used for dressing the surface of the blocks. Most remarkable of all were the ‘mauls,’ large boulders weighing from 36 to 64 pounds, used for smashing blocks and also for removing large chips from the surfaces. Several antlers of deer were found, one of which had been worn down by use as a pickaxe.

Note:

More Overmuch nine hundred stone rings subsist in the British Isles. Of these, Stonehenge is the most best known.

The megalithic monuments of Britain and Europe pre-history those of the oriental Mediterranean, Egyptian, Mycenaean and Greek civilization.

The Druids had nothing to do with the building of the stone rings. Druids are known to have taken their ritual activities generally in sacred forest woodlet.

Nicholas – Stonehenge and Salisbury Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in History

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Goodbye to my England, So long my old friend
Your days are numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that’s fine
But don’t say your English, that’s way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don’t say your English ever again

At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it’s scrapped. In Parliament too
Even Schools are affected.  Staff do as they’re told
They must not teach children about England of old.

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don’t learn about them anymore
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons ?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.

We are not Europeans, how can we be ?
Europe is miles away, over the sea
We’re the English from England, let’s all be proud
Stand up and be counted – Shout it out loud!

Let’s tell our Government and Brussels too
We’re proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack
Let the world know – WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK!!

IF YOU ARE ENLISH, PASS IT ON

Copyright 2010 – Histouries UK – British Tour Guide

St George

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