1. Avebury is the largest known stone circle anywhere, with a surrounding ditch and bank a mile in circumference
2. The centre of Avebury is placed 4/7ths of the distance between equator and pole, at latitude 360/7*
3. A very detailed and accurate seven station closed traverse survey was undertaken by Professor Alexander Thom in 1978.
4. Thom reported that the perimeter of the outer stone ring was 1302.5 Megalithic yards (MY) of 2.722 feet, which is 3545.4 feet or 520 Megalithic rods ( 1 MR = 2.5 MY).
5. The geometry of the ring is based on a circle 200MY in radius (544 feet/ 1.66m) with centre at point D, exactly 60 MY from C (see diagram above).
6. A 3-4-5 pythagorean triangle ABC of side lengths 30-40-50 MR (75, 100 and 125 MY) defined much of the geometry. From the corners of this triangle (the stones/markers have long gone) three of the various arcs that make up the outer ring were struck. Their radii and arc lengths are as follows:
From A, B and C, each radius 260 MY, define arc FG, from A, arc HG, from B, and arc ML, from C.
In addition, there were two longer arcs struck from outside of the ring, of length 750 MY, from points W and Z (not shown on diagram). The remaining part of the perimeter is based on the forming circle perimeter, whose diameter is 200 MY..
7. The two inner circles are each 125 MY in radius and are therefore as big as any other true circle known in Britain, and the same size as the massive Ring of Brogar in the Orkneys.
8. Avebury, unlike nearly all other stone rings, has CORNERS, which demarcate the arc lengths. Thom
showed that all the arc lengths are integral in Megalithic rods, and total 1302.5 MY (521 MR)
9. Avebury is a MESS. The ring was heavily vandalised in history, has a village built within and
without it, and a major road system has quartered it (see piccy below). Most of the stones were fallen
or missing in 1930. Only nine still stood. Despite this, Alexander Keiller and other archaeologists were able to locate the majority of the remaining stone holes in the chalk and restore much of the original monument, The geometry of the original ring has since been discovered by AlexanderThom.
10. When built, the outer stone ring contained either 98 or 99 stones, some weighing over 50 tons.
AVEBURY TOUR (compressed) 2017 PDF file of full report.
Below is a review of Temple in the Hills, given a five star rating by the reviewer. It’s better than any Easter egg. Half the print run has gone after five months and the book section lets you know how you may acquire a copy. An early chapter from this book is blogged earlier on this site.
I am currently working on a second site in southern Britain, and it appears that the ground rules given in Temple in the Hills concerning the relationship between Stonehenge and the (earlier) ritual landscape of the Preseli Hills (bluestones, remember?) are applicable elsewhere within the major megalithic sites of Britain and Brittany.
To slightly adapt the quote from Mike P-P, “There has never been a better time to be an archaeoastronomer.”
Three yonking great stones that mark to the Equinoctial (west – 270*)) sunset, part of a section of the Dinas Cross to Pontfaen road in the Preselis, near Russia (’tis true!), where the road markedly changes direction and follows the alignment for about 470ft (170m). Two of remaining three upright stones are those stand in front of the sun’s disc in the distance. All other stones are now recumbent, and lie buried in the bank, just as one finds at the minor standstill moonset ‘detector’ (301.4*) at Parc y Meirw (Field of the Dead) on the Llanychaer road, about a mile away. Prehistoric precision astronomy at its best in Preseli!
For nearly ten years I have had to wait in order to capture the sun’s disc located at the end of this alignment during its setting moments on the day of the spring equinox. For more details, avail yourself of a copy of Bluestone Magic, a Guide to the Prehistoric Monuments of West Wales – as these sheep clearly did – page 56 and elsewhere, which contains colour photos and explanatory text about these two robust alignment sites.
Thunderbirds are go! I have recently been invited to give a presentation on my work in the Preseli Hills at the first of the above events.
This first event is being held at the Memorial Hall in Newport, Pembs, which is located on the right as one leaves the village travelling on the A487 towards Fishguard. Please note that parking can be the devil’s own business there, so the Carpark down the hill may be a wise decision, travelling towards Fishguard, and before you get to the Memorial Hall, it’s on the left at the main crossroads in the town, and just a short walk gets you to the hall.
I am informed that fizzy stuff and canapes are going to be available, and I’m told by Paul Sanday, a geologist and the organiser of the event, also one of the speakers, that he wants to “get things moving on the debate about Stonehenge’s connections with the bluestone sites within the Preselis”. I wonder how much stirring of these dark and well muddied waters might he be looking for!? Usual photos, storyline and new research from me, plus question time and jolly books for sale with some humour. Could be a lot of fun.
The second event is hosted by the long standing, successfully managed and well informed West Wales Dowsers, associated with the BSD. The venue is Bronydd Village Hall, about two or three miles from Carmarthen on the main Newcastle Emlyn road to Cardigan. The post code is SA33 6BE for all you non-dowsers. And for those who eschew the sat-nav, one turns at the sign for the steam railway, following the road past the station, then, after about a quarter mile the village hall is on the left. The clue is that it looks just like a village hall, and is sited opposite Timberman and before the charming bridge over the river. Huge free carpark.
Doors open at 1:45 for a 2pm start. I’ll be presenting lots of stuff about my research, and my latest book, Temple in the Hills, plus a Q&A session, and you’ll also get the chance to mingle and chat with loads of nice folks into all manner of interesting aspects of the earth mystery genre. The secretary is Jennifer Forrest. Certainly better than watching an old black and white ‘B’ movie on the telly! All done by 4:30pm, in time to get home for Countryfile.
Here is a tarted up version of the first geodetic survey around Pentre Ifan and Carningli, in spring 2009. This first saw the light of cyberspace on the skyandlandscape (SL) website. The survey was undertaken with a Wild T16 theodolite, pegs, GPS device and tapes, and it revealed a complex isometric (equal lengths) megalithic structure across the eastern flank of Carningli mountain. The corner ‘points’ of two back-to back equilateral triangles were each marked with significant and large well known prehistoric monuments.
Read on! The PDF is free to go for students, megalithomaniacs, and even archaeologists (for non-commercial use only and the source must be credited). The whole story of this survey is told in a fully illustrated colour book Bluestone Magic – a Guide to the Megalithic Monuments of West Wales, available from this website (see books section for details as to how this book can be rapidly be found landing on your doormat).
Photograph One (the header photograph shown above).
Surveying, north of the Preseli Hills, near Moylegrove, with Llech y Drybedd (the dolmen on the left), and the extinct volcanic cone of Carningli summit (on the right).
The first review of my recent book, Temple of the Hills has been received from author and researcher Dr Thomas K Dietrich, whose most recent book, Temple of Heaven and Earth – Guide to Earth Energy & Inspiration at Sacred Sites was published by Save our Sacred Sites Society, San Bruno, California. It is a thorough and coherent account of the ancient roots of human encounters with what John Michell (in The View Over Atlantis) called ‘Spiritual Engineering’ and which has since come to be re-categorised as ‘earth energies’. A professional stone-image carver, once a student of the late Professor Rodney Smith during the 1960s, Dietrich has spent a lifetime reading ancient history, mythology and science, living in Ireland for thirteen years and travelling widely, investigating ancient sites throughout Europe, Corsica, Sardinia, Tenerife, Malta, Rhodes, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, the Red Sea, Israel, Jordan, in addition to the American Southwest, Mexico, Yucatan, Belize, Guatemala and South America, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
An active researcher, Dr Dietrich has written The Earth Holder (1983), The Origin of Culture and Civilisation (2005), The Culture of Astronomy (2011) and Temple of Heaven and Earth (2016).
Dr Dietrich is therefore among the rather too few people who are amply experienced and qualified enough to be able to write a critical review of my own work, for which I warmly thank him.
For more details of his research, visit his website cosmomyth.com
Photograph Two. Castell Mawr Henge. Larger than Stonehenge Over 500 feet ‘diameter’, this site sits perched on the flat summit of a rounded hill near Eglwyswrw, north of the Main Preseli ridge and off to the left of the dolmen in the previous photograph (Image via the wonderful Google Earth).
I thoroughly enjoyed Temple in the Hills, and many others will enjoy it also. Your excellent surveys are really the key to convincing archaeologists of the broad scope of ancient science and knowledge. I have attached a short review and do firmly believe that we should encourage students to follow your footsteps in metrological surveys so that more people may convince themselves of these essential sciences.
Best Regards and Thank you again for your inspirational book!
Thomas Karl Dietrich is the author of Temple of Heaven & Earth, Culture of Astronomy, and Origin of Culture. websites: cosmomyth.com and donohoememorials.com
Here is his review:
TEMPLE IN THE HILLS, The Discovery of the Original Stonehenge by Robin Heath
The introduction to Temple in the Hills by Robin Heath traces olden traditions and modern movements concerning the bluestone circle at Stonehenge, Zodiac hunters, New Age celebrities such as John Michell and Alexander Thom. The main corpus is dedicated to a review of astronomical phenomena and especially Heath’s discovery of the ‘Lunation Triangle’ within the context of ’the 30-segment, marked rope & peg’ configuration producing the 5-12-13 triangle which numerically defines the Moon’s relationship with Sun and Earth. Heath also gives a basic primer upon how to construct an accurate Equilateral Triangle on the landscape; again by simple rope & peg implements, showing that detailed, large-scale surveys may be achieved with very simple tools –proving that complex constructs were well within the abilities of our Stone-Age ancestors.
Robin Heath brings a solid case of evidence in favor of Neolithic metrology into the courtroom of archaeology. The evidence turns upon his measurements and discovery of ‘the Preseli Wheel’, centered upon the 500 foot diameter henge at Castell Mawr. Heath delineates five spokes of this wheel: Llech Drybedd, Carningli Summit, Foel Feddan, Carn Menyn, and Foel Drygarn which each average 18,630 feet (3.52 miles) upon the Preseli circle. The evidence of this wonderful precision is an indictment of modern archaeology’s continuing neglect to embrace and acknowledge metrological data and refined astronomical alignments. Heath returns to one of his 2010 investigations of his survey of the Preseli Vesica showing the distances between five locations upon a diamond pattern of two base-to-base equilateral triangles. The length of the common base and the sides of these two equilateral triangles show a nearly equal length and a mean distance of 11,759.0 feet demonstrating; in the author’s own words, “An accuracy that showed it to be a surveyed structure.”
Heath’s detailed demonstration of these irrefutable similar dimensions at the Preseli Wheel and Preseli Vesica represents no small contribution to science –because every well-documented opus elevates and substantiates the case for large-scale Neolithic metrology, precision alignments, as well as the broad based canons and traditions involving cycles, numbers, and geometry. It is absolutely important to celebrate this achievement for what it has and will accomplish. But, rather than bemoan the slow acceptance of new scientific data, I am quite sure that colleges and universities would take up such an interesting project for their students to gain valuable expertise in metrology; namely, to confirm Robin Heath’s survey measurements. This would once and for all guarantee the acceptance of accurate large-scale metrology in the Neolithic period and ignite a fire under the dragging feet and torsos of the archaeologists.
In his conclusion, Robin Heath presents the initial stages of his paramount discovery that the Aubrey Circle and the Sarsen Circle of Stonehenge bear the same relationship to one another as do the Preseli Wheel and its central circle around Pentre Ifan and Eglwyswrw. This correspondence shows that Stonehenge was based upon the template of the Preseli Wheel in Wales dated between 3200-3800 BC. Heath notices that genetic biologists conclude that the brain capacity of humankind has been more or less the same for almost 200,000 years. TKD
To purchase a copy of this book, and to see a Bibliography of works by Robin Heath, go to the BOOK category on this website.
Books by Robin Heath
Bluestone Press was founded in 1993. All our titles are locally printed by Gomer Press, perhaps the best known publisher/printer in Wales. Our titles are traditionally designed books, printed onto high quality paper and sewn covers, and bound into soft back format. They last, and some. In addition to books by Robin Heath, Bluestone Press has also published specialist astronomy and astrology textbooks, audio books, soli-lunar calendars and leaflets on musical instrument restoration and megalithic site tour guides, in addition to postcards and gift cards.
Bluestone Press Titles
A Key to Stonehenge (1993), rev. 2nd edition 2005, Out of print.
Sun, Moon & Stonehenge (1998) Out of print.
The Measure of Albion (2004) (with John Michell) Out of print.
Alexander Thom : Cracking the Stone Age Code* (2008)
Bluestone Magic : A Guide to the Prehistoric monuments of West Wales* (2010) Full colour.
Proto-Stonehenge in Wales*(2014)
Temple in the Hills: Discovering the Origins of Stonehenge (2016) Full colour.
Stone Circles : A Beginner’s Guide (1999)
Sun, Moon and Earth (1999 etc), various editions and available in 10 languages
Stonehenge (2000 etc), various editions and available in 4 languages
Adventures Unlimited Press (AUP)
The Lost Science of Measuring the World (with John Michell)(2006) A facsimile US edition of The Measure of Albion.
The Secret Land (with Paul Broadhurst)
All Bluestone Press titles (marked above in bold and asterix) are available by post, as a soft cover edition.
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An excerpt from Temple of the Hills – The Discovery of the Original Stonehenge
by Robin Heath, Bluestone Press, 2016
Long lodged in folklore and myth there runs an ancient Welsh tradition telling of an original bluestone circle in the Preseli region of west Wales. The matter was referred to in The White Goddess, a seminal work by the Irish academic historian and poet Robert Graves (Faber, 1948),
‘It has been suggested that the smaller (bluestones) stones, which are known to have been transported all the way from the Prescelly Mountains in Pembrokeshire, were originally disposed in another order there and rearranged by the people who erected the larger ones. This is likely, and it is remarkable that these imported stones were not dressed until they were re-erected at Stonehenge itself.’
However, this tradition goes back much further than recent times, in essence the tradition is about a bluestone circle being uprooted from Preseli and taken in antiquity to Stonehenge, then reassembled as part of the monument that has stood on Salisbury Plain for at least five millenia, mute, magnificent and yet, above all, mysterious. And despite centuries of attention from all manner of specialisms, the purpose of Stonehenge still remains unclear. This monument’s many secrets and its extant bluestone circle still tantalize and taunt those who attempt to understand the history and purpose of this unique monument.
Unexpectedly, one might think, professional archaeologists are presently taking this tradition seriously, as if it were a prehistoric fact, and are combing the Preseli Hills in an attempt to discover the original location of this alleged bluestone circle. Why would they do that?
The archaeologists are the latest activity that feeds the bluestone tradition, adding to it more stepping stones across the wide river that separates Stonehenge fact from Stonehenge fiction. As for many other traditions, their recent activity is neither new nor is it unexpected. This mythic territory and this sacred landscape have both been visited before. But there are several good reasons why the Preseli hills have become the hot spot for this bluestone circle treasure hunt, the most important being that this landscape’s connection with Stonehenge has been greatly reinforced during the past century.
In June 1903, a geology professor called William Judd scrutinised the implications of the tradition in an article for The Wiltshire Magazine His scientific account of that year listed the difficulties that could be expected in attempting to transport bluestones from ‘a distant locality’ to Stonehenge. He also noted that the bluestones had been shaped and polished at Stonehenge after having been transported, forming the so-called ‘bluestone layer’ of chippings around the monument. Judd made the following astute comment,
‘The old tradition concerning Stonehenge is that it consisted of a circle of ‘bluestones’ which had acquired a certain sanctity in a distant locality, and had been transported from the original home of the tribe. If so, the stones, brought from so far away, would have been reduced to something like half their bulk…
Is it conceivable that these skillful builders would have transported such blocks of stone in their rough state over mountains, hills and rivers (and possibly over seas) in order to shape them at the point of erection? ’
Professor Judd did not link the source of the bluestone circle as being in the Preseli region. In 1903, that source was not known for sure, and nobody then could be certain where the ‘distant locality’ of that original bluestone circle might have been. This remains essentially true today, although within two decades of Judd’s work, much stronger evidence was produced to support why the bluestone circle at Stonehenge might have once been located in the Preseli Hills, even where it might most likely be found.
In 1923, a bright light was shone on what had previously been a rather nebulous tradition. Another renowned geologist Dr Hubert Thomas wrote the first scientific paper that supported a connection between the Preselis and Stonehenge. Thomas undertook a petrological analysis of the bluestones found at Stonehenge, enabling a crucial breakthrough to be made. The evidence suggested that these bluestones had almost all originated from a small collection of outcrops along the main ridge of the Preseli Hills, most notably the outcrops around Carn Menyn, a mile or so from Foel Drygarn, at the eastern end of the main Preseli ridge.
If there had ever been a bluestone circle installed in the Preselis, as the tradition suggested, Thomas provided good evidence to back up that possibility, and indirectly identified its location. His work forged a geological link between the Preselis and Stonehenge and although Thomas’s work had not directly mentioned the location of any bluestone circle, his paper undoubtedly was suggesting that were there ever such a monument, it would likely have been located near to Carn Menyn. In other words, Thomas had confirmed scientifically that an original lost bluestone circle could certainly be a possibility, and indirectly had suggested where it might best be found.
Thomas’s work represented a major breakthrough in understanding the origins and purpose of Stonehenge. It carved through many of the Dark Age and medieval elaborations of the original tradition, but it left untouched another story, linked to the 6th century Merlin, who told that the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge from the Wicklow hills in Ireland, by giants, and had been shipped over the sea on rafts, by giants who assembled them into Stonehenge. This variant of the original tradition was made very popular by the twelfth century chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth. His popular fourteenth century romance was later embellished, this famous artwork showing a giant placing a lintel onto a waiting megalith in order to complete the sarsen circle at Stonehenge.
Unfortunately, the geology is all to pieces here, for these are sarsen stones being depicted in this cartoon illustration from the period, not bluestones from Ireland or from anywhere else. The bluestones at Stonehenge are all much smaller than the incredulous mortals shown here watching the giant’s superhuman (and mechanically impossible) feat. However Geoffrey of Monmouth’s story does at least involve a sea journey during the transport of the stones.
Allegedly born in Carmarthen, an old Roman sea-fort less than 15 miles from the Preseli Hills, Merlin was brought up in that part of Wales two centuries after it had become an Irish colony, within a large part of southern and western Wales that spoke Irish. Whoever created this story, perhaps it was the late fifth-sixth century wizard, Merlin, who may have thought west Wales was Ireland!
This all becomes rather irrelevant however, simply because this tall story is not referring to the bluestones, but instead to the much larger sarsen stones, else Merlin’s giants would have come over as wimps and his story unlikely to impress anyone, for the average bluestone is a tenth of the size and weight of the mighty sarsen stones found at Stonehenge. Then as now, most people visit Stonehenge to see the sarsen circle and the trilithon horseshoe, the central part of the monument. It has been the logo for Stonehenge for a very long time.
There is also the not insignificant factor that no one can be certain whether Merlin actually existed or was simply a legendary folk hero. The Merlin story thus fails to convince as a credible explanation of the source of the bluestones at Stonehenge. However the narrative does link Stonehenge to a source of megalithic stones to the north-west of the monument and suggests they were transported by ‘giants’ rather than glaciers, and that the journey involved a sea passage. Geoffrey’s yarn is part of Stonehenge’s history, but it’s foggy message is confusing and gets us very little nearer the source of the tradition of a bluestone circle being moved to Stonehenge.
The Preseli Zodiac
During the 1970s an apparently new Preseli tradition concerning an ancient circle in the Preselis was placed into popular consciousness. This was a claim made by a group calling itself by the acronym IGR (Institute for Geomantic Research) for the existence of an ancient Preseli landscape zodiac. Just as was the case for the bluestone circle tradition, the idea of a prehistoric British landscape zodiac was anything but new, the concept permeating through the works of Taliesin and other great Bards. Welsh history does not go back much further than Taliesin.
Much more recently, in 1809, Welsh author Edward Davies published Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, which contained a powerful statement concerning the significance and purpose of landscape temples,
‘As the Britons distinguished the Zodiac, and the Temples or Sanctuaries of their Gods, by the same name of Caer Sidi, and as their great Bard Taliesin blends the heavenly and the terrestrial Sidi in one description, we may presume that they regarded the latter, as a type or representation of the former.’
The two component words that make up Caer Sidi, have a duplex meaning in Welsh, they refer to both the celestial zodiac and to temples consecrated to the ancient British gods. These two words are worthy of a better understanding. In Spurrell’s Welsh-English Dictionary of 1850, Caer is listed as meaning a wall, fortress, castle, fort, citadel, city. The milky way is cited as being Caer Gwydion, often known as Arianrhod.
The root sid- is clearly connected with spinning, weaving, rotation or wheels, and the list of words using this prefix is long. Sidell – fly-wheel; winder; whirl; whorl; rim of a wheel. Sidelliad – revolution; rotation. Sidellu – to whirl; to revolve; to rotate. Siddelydd – winder. Sidydd – zodiac. Sidyll – whirl; twirl; whorl; rim.
From this Welsh term to describe the celestial zodiac comes an important realisation. Any ancient British monumental circular structure is implicitly going to be a representation or reflection of the sky above, a celestial clock-face, a year-circle and a temple, a manifestation of As Above, so Below, as expressed in one of the tenets of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, which may date from the seventh century, of similar age to the period of Taliesin.
‘That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one*.’
While it may be impossible to prove the veracity of that hoary tradition concerning the existence of a circle of bluestones once erected in the Preselis having been taken to Stonehenge, we can be a lot more confident that this circle, rim or wheel, had it ever existed, would have been understood by its builders to have represented a temple, and would have mirrored the zodiac or celestial sphere in some way.
To settle the matter would require that two things can be identified. Firstly, the site of the original (bluestone) circle must be located, a tall order, to put it mildly. Why? Because it would require that archaeologists find a stone circle somewhere in the Preselis where there are probably no longer any stones in situ, else it would have been identified a long time ago. By now it would be presumed to be solely defined by hidden but disturbed earth and in-fill debris where once there had been stones with socket holes. It would be like finding an empty packet of needles in a well-rotted haystack!
If and when located, their second task would be to understand the way that the zodiacal rim or circumference of this structure, the year-circle, was divided up. This cannot be undertaken by conventional archaeologists for they are not trained in, and do not have the required skills in recognising astronomical, geometrical or metrological patterns at prehistoric sites. And then there is the small matter that, for over a century, they have been trained to minimise the significance of prehistoric archaeoastronomy as a matter of course. To mention the father of modern archaeoastronomy, Alexander Thom, is to professionally fall on one’s megalithic rod (btw, that’s two and a half megalithic yards or 6.8 feet). So this second task, to understand the sky-circles, will have to be undertaken by someone who understands both megalithic science, zodiacs and year-circles. Guess who?
The 1970s quest for a Preseli zodiac can now be understood to be more obviously aligned with the present archaeological hunt for the original bluestone circle in Preseli. It is a shiny modern extension to the traditional ‘bluestone myth’, courtesy of Hubert Thomas’s petrological report from 1923, that originally impelled Lewis Edwards and later researchers of earth mysteries to visit the ‘Prescelly landscape’, in search of a landscape zodiac. And this same report almost certainly provided the initial impetus for the current archaeological froth of activity in Preseli.
From this short prologue a gambling man could reasonably predict that the Preseli bluestone myth may have a few more twists and turns left in the telling by the end of the twenty-first century.
Despite the Preseli zodiac remaining understood having become essentially a dismissed modern myth, it has been possible to demonstrate in only a few paragraphs that this modern myth has roots nourished by much older beliefs, and contains mythical elements that may go way back into the prehistoric period. In effect the myth of the Preseli Zodiac and the tradition of the bluestone circle collide and may be one and the same thing.
So here is the nub of the matter. Ancient traditions are rarely lacking in some core truth, however gaudy, evanescent and flimsy the wrapping paper may appear to suggest otherwise. Open up the package and this particular box is found to contain a tenacious legend about a sky-circle or zodiac or stone circle once built in the Preseli hills. Once the box has been opened up, the quest should then be to locate this hoary monument and try to work out who built it and why, and in so doing reveal its original purpose. It was identifying this task that originally impelled me to write Temple in the Hills, a project led me to the discover the original Stonehenge.
If you want to purchase a copy of Temple of the Hills by Robin Heath, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name and shipping address, and whether or not you will want the book signed.
This will be acknowledged and the options of payment methods made available. Currently, these are £10 inclusive of P&P, in the UK, £12 in EU and £15 in US.
Other countries will require an appropriate shipping charge). The book contains over 80 original colour illustrations, including many of the Preseli landscape and its monuments.