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Archive for January, 2015

Burford Down stone alignment

The Heritage Journal

We continue our series looking at Dr Sandy Gerrard’s research into stone row monuments of the South West. This time the Burford Down stone alignment on Dartmoor is examined.

BurfordDownMap

The Burford Down single stone alignment includes a 508m long line of stones leading north from a kerbed cairn at SX 63697 60170 and incorporates at least 100 stones, many of which are now recumbent.  The alignment is situated on a pronounced north to south promontory extending from the higher ground of Dartmoor to the north and offers two separate views towards the sea. Indeed the sea is visible only from either end and is not visible from much of the central length.  Clearly it is impossible to demonstrate that the particular visual changes experienced as you move along the alignment were deliberately contrived but the accumulation of evidence strongly supports the idea that many of the alignments were positioned to…

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Treasures of London – Winston Churchill…

Exploring London

Winston-ChurchillFormer British PM, Sir Winston Churchill, died 50 years ago tomorrow, so we thought it was a good time to take a look at one of London’s most iconic statues.

Standing tall among some of the towering figures of British politics (and others), the over life-sized bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill on Parliament Square in Whitehall was designed by Welsh sculptor Ivor Roberts-Jones and is located on a site on the square’s north-east corner chosen by the great man himself.

Standing 12 feet (3.6 metres) high on an eight foot (2.4 metre) high pedestal opposite the Houses of Parliament (which he faces), Churchill, who was 90 when he died, is portrayed during the years of World War II wearing a navy greatcoat but wears no hat and leans on a cane.

The full length, Grade II-listed statue, which Roberts-Jones was commissioned to create in 1970, was unveiled by Lady Churchill with the aid…

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LECTURE: The Stonehenge Landscape – 31st January

Stonehenge News and Information

There will be a lecture by Sharon Soutar of English Heritage at Devizes Town Hall, Wiltshire, England from 2:30 pm on Saturday, 31 January 2015.  

20141227_083502With the construction of the new Visitor Centre at Airman’s Corner it was vital that Stonehenge and its surrounding landscape were re-presented with the fullest and most up-to-date information available. Fantastic as it may seem very few of the monuments, not even Stonehenge itself, had been surveyed to modern standards. To rectify this English Heritage set up a project to significantly enhance the record and understanding of all upstanding archaeological monuments within the World Heritage Site. The fieldwork was conducted between 2009 and 2012 and the book is nearing publication, while a number of research reports on the different areas are available through the website (see below).

The fieldwork covered just over 15% of the World Heritage Site in detail. It included Stonehenge, the Greater Cursus…

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The Heritage Trust

 
Sword pommel
©
Manx National Heritage/John Caley
 
Discover Britain reports that –
 
Parts of a Viking sword, glass beads, bronze pins and iron nails from a Viking ship burial are amongst items that will be on loan for a new exhibition opening on 20 March 2015 at Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Nationally and internationally historically significant items will be on display during the two-year exhibition, which aims to show the Vikings as a maritime culture rather than an ethnic group. Visitors to the museum will be able to discover what is behind the popular myth of the bloodthirsty raiders, what it meant to be a Viking and how their mastery of maritime technology was the secret to their success.
 
More here.
   

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Behind the Scenes at the Avebury Museum

Behind the Scenes at the Museum.

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The Young Archaeologist

What is a Henge?

A Henge is a late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age roughly circular enclosure. They date to around the 3rd millenium BC.

Cairnpapple Hill ©Dr John Wells   Cairnpapple Hill
©Dr John Wells

Henges are surrounded by a ditch and sometimes a bank also. The sites were not defensive and they can be placed into three different classes

Class I – Site with a single entrance

Class II – Site with opposite entrances

Class III – Site with four entrances

Ring of Brodgar © Paddy Patterson Ring of Brodgar
© Paddy Patterson

Internally pits, burials, postholes from previous structures and stone circles have been identified within henges. They are thought to have been part of ritual landscapes and some also had the addition of a curcus near to them. Pottery associated with them is identified as Grooved Ware, Impressed Ware and Beakers.

Avebury ©Blake Patterson   Avebury
©Blake Patterson

The best known examples of henges in the UK are the Ring of Brodgar, Avebury, Knowlton…

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King Arthur’s Hall: The dowsers’ perspective

The Heritage Trust

Text and images © Roy Goutté

King Arthur’s Hall, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

After many previous visits to King Arthur’s Hall on King Arthur’s Down to the North-West of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and a few Heritage Trust articles later, I thought a further visit, but this time with a Cornish group of dowsers, would be of interest to readers.

A very well-known group are the West Cornwall Dowsers led by Bart O’Farrell, a well respected and experienced Cornish dowser, so I knew if they accepted my invitation to make a site visit a thorough and enlightening investigation would take place. This was something I was really looking forward to with relish. Alternative views are something one should always take into account, or most certainly be prepared to consider at least on sites of particular interest and intrigue as one can get very set and focused in their ways and see…

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