Sunday, January 21, 2018

Why did Cecil Chubb give Stonehenge away?

The basic tale of how Stonehenge came to be bought at auction by local barrister Cecil Chubb in 1915 is fairly well known. He reportedly went to the sale looking for some chairs (or perhaps curtains, or maybe a present for his wife Mary - the stories vary) and bought Stonehenge on a whim for £6,600.

In his own words:
“...while I was in the room I thought a Salisbury man ought to buy it and that is how it was done.”
The full saga is somewhat more complex.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

The Unfinished Road

Traces of an 18th Century abandoned road project are visible in the Stonehenge landscape, running roughly west-northwest from the southern end of King Barrow Ridge across Stonehenge Bottom towards the Cursus Barrow Group.

Just visible running from bottom right to top left, cutting across the Avenue and petering out at the Cursus Barrow Group

Monday, May 01, 2017

Other Sarsens in the Stonehenge Landscape

Sarsen boulders lie scattered in substantial “drifts” across the landscape of the Marlborough Downs near Avebury.

By contrast, close to Stonehenge there are almost none. This is one of the reasons why most archaeologists believe that the large sarsens for the monument were not locally sourced.

There are, however, a few examples of substantial sarsens dotted about Salisbury Plain within a couple of miles of Stonehenge. And there are tantalising hints that others used to exist.

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Stonehenge Avenue Alignment and the significance of Sidbury Hill

8 miles northeast of Stonehenge is an Iron Age hillfort called Sidbury Hill that stands on the Summer Solstice Sunrise line.

Stonehenge to Sidbury Hill along the Avenue Alignment on Sir Norman Lockyer's Azimuth of 49° 34' 18"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Sarsens of the West Woods

West Woods is an area of Forestry Commission woodland about 3km x 2km in size, located about 2.5km southwest of Marlborough. The Wansdyke runs through it and there is an enormous long barrow in the south east quadrant.

It's criss-crossed by a number of tracks and trails with two main valleys that divide the plateau into four pieces. This plateau is the usual chalk bedrock, with a clay-with-flints covering and - crucially - parts of it had a sarsen covering.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

A curious similarity of shapes

Immediately southwest of Stonehenge, exactly on the Winter Solstice Sunset alignment, lies a small wood called Normanton Gorse.

It's just to the west of the main part of a barrow cemetery called the Normanton Down group - a magnificent assembly of at least 26 Bronze Age burial mounds, plus a small long barrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The "LV Question Mark" on Stone 156

Of all the carvings at Stonehenge - and there are a great many of them - perhaps one of the most mysterious is on lintel 156.