This is my fourth annual presentation at Small World Theatre, Cardigan. If this looks like your kind of thing, then you’d be most welcome. Based on past presentations, it would probably be better to book well in advance.
To all the attendees who have made this one of my favourite venues over the years, (well, it is held in an Iron Age fort after all!), I hope to see you there again this year for some more interaction and to share some of my recent work with you. Robin.
This lecture presentation introduces a new theme into the prehistory and proto-history of South and West Wales. It combines my own recent work with that of earlier work, now much neglected, undertaken by the renowned Aberystwyth archaeologist Prof E G Bowen.
For almost a century an often heated debate has rumbled on, following Dr H H Thomas’ discovery suggesting that many of the bluestones found at Stonehenge had originated in the Preseli Hills of West Wales. Various geologists and even some archaeologists (e.g. Burl) have suggested that these stones were not fetched to Stonehenge at ‘vast expense of toil’, but instead were transported by glacial action. They would tell you that the jury is still out on the matter of how the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge.
Some years ago, the quarry at Craig Rhos y Felin became the focus of work led by professor Mike Parker Pearson. The claim was made that some stones from this quarry petrologically matched a number of stones at Stonehenge. This work was duly written up in Antiquity, Volume 89 Issue 348 – contributors listed were Mike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith. Continue reading
THE PRESELI CONNECTION
PART THREE of the STONEHENGE – WOODHENGE tryptych
Part One and Two of this tryptych revealed an unexpected geometrical relationship between the location of Stonehenge and that of its sister henge monument, Woodhenge. Part Three now expands this new evidence. By comparing data from the megalithic landscape around Stonehenge/ Woodhenge with that from the megalithic landscape in and around the Preseli Hills of West Wales a new type of connection emerges, one that links the ‘bluestone’ culture of the Preseli Hills of West Wales with that of the Wessex culture, specifically the Stonehenge landscape shown above (but perhaps even Avebury and elsewhere). Continue reading
A New Perspective
by Robin Heath
THE HISTORY OF THE STORY
The large number of stone circles found in the English Lake District of Northern Britain are among the oldest known, Aubrey Burl suggesting that the construction of Castle Rigg, its most visited ring as being ‘around 3200 BC’ [Burl 1995]. Many of these circles are in fact non-circular and most of the survivors are very large – over 100 feet in diameter. Their design geometry includes many of the ‘flattened circle’ geometries first discovered by Alexander Thom, [Thom, 1967], and which he named Type A and Type B flattened circles.
The Type A’s perimeter shape is based on hexagonal geometry, whereas the Type B is based on the division of a diameter line by three, which can be understood as based on a vesica piscis construction. These two types of flattened circle are fundamentally different. However, examples have been found where a definite geometrical change has made to the standard design. One example of this is the Type D flattened circle, whose geometry will be explained later.
This article focusses on the locations of the major Lake District circles and their relationship to other megalithic sites in Britain. It demonstrates that knowledge of Astronomy, Geometry and Metrology were all subjects that fell well within the capabilities of the circle builders.
Wooden Books new compilation hardback, MEGALITH- Studies in Stone, was duly launched over the summer solstice celebrations at Avebury and at Stonehenge. The sun dutifully arose from a perfect azure sky at 4:52 am ( First Flash). Fabulous!!
So, the new book’s out, and contains the revised and enlarged version of the earlier title Stonehenge (Wooden Books, 2000) available from the Wooden books website and their distributors (Central Books, and Amazon plus many book shops, including the Henge Shop at Avebury (see website). Seven Wooden books, plus hard to find original Alexander Thom survey plans of Stone rings, all in enlarged format and within hard covers, priced at only £16.99.
Synchronous with the launch were substantial articles in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail (20th June) The i, (21st June) plus interviews with either John Martineau or Robin Heath on eight local radio stations spanning from Radio Scotland to Radio Jersey. These newspaper articles are all available on line, we are told, for a limited period.
Many thanks for all who contributed to make this event a happy and fun occasion. In particular, Hugh Newman, for generously letting us use his home as an brief overnight resting place and watering hole, – almost unique in being within visible range of Stonehenge; Will Gethin, PR whizz of Conscious Frontiers, for stimulating the media to take interest in the event and for organising me and John (like herding cats, I should think).To a dear friend, the Archdruid Rollo Maughfling, for giving the launch proceedings some extra gravitas. And tor Dominique, Trudy and Jane at the Henge Shop, Avebury for laying on a lecture hall and providing many appreciated facilities within the Avebury ring.
Finally, to my wife Trish, who supplied a superb veggie lasagne late on solstice eve, and a greatly appreciated (and rapidly demolished) fried egg breakfast at 7:00 am on solstice morn.
Here are some photos of the event. No copyright, anyone can send any or all of them to whoever you llke.
I am now about to fall over through lack of sleep and having 400 miles driving under my belt in under 30 hours.
NB No-one was harmed in the production of this book launch.
Fun for all the family!!
One month to go before the annual megalithfest at Glastonbury. It’s my first Megalithomania appearance since 2012. I have also been asked to act as some kind of tour guide on the Stonehenge special access visit on the Monday (14th May), my first since the old road was removed, the new Visitor’s Centre was completed, and I finally found an older, bigger analogue of the Stonehenge site in the Preseli Hills of West Wales. Surely not!?
I’m giving two presentations: the first is Aboriginal Stonehenge in Wales (May 12th) which will be an update on my recent work and will include the recent boisterous new research into the relationship between Woodhenge and Stonehenge, which many readers of this website will already be somewhat familiar with.
My first presentation is on Saturday 12th May, 2018, 4:00 – 5:00pm
Aboriginal Stonehenge in Wales
Stonehenge as a later imitation.
Here is the official Megalithomania blurb:
In the 1970s, a motley assortment of leyhunters, dowsers and members of RILKO and IGR combed the Preseli hills of West Wales looking for evidence of a Preseli Zodiac. Support for their researches originated from ancient Welsh legends, and they almost found the original Stonehenge. For the past 33 years, Robin Heath has been living and working within this landscape, discovering that the landscape itself, together with the siting of several important megalithic monuments reveals the ‘zodiac’ that also formed the original design for Stonehenge. Robin’s illustrated presentation is the subject of a recently published book, Temple in the Hills.
My second presentation is on Sunday 13th May, 2018, 2:45 – 3:45pm
The 2018 John Michell Memorial Lecture
I have been honoured by being asked if I would give the annual John Michell Memorial Lecture (May 13th), entitled Keeping on the Old Straight Track. John was a very dear friend of me and my wife and we often walked miles of landscapes with John in search of evidence for prehistoric and ancient cultural evidence that supported the megalithic science of our ancestors. My own work was greatly accelerated by John’s energy and generousity.
Here is the official Megalithomania blurb:
Keeping on the Old Straight Track
Applying John Michell’s legacy to new research.
John’s books and lectures reintroduced two generations to a global prehistoric science whose traces were still visible because they had survived into later Babylonian, Egyptian, Minoan, Greek and Roman times. Although the scientific establishment remains to be convinced of it, this ‘megalithic science’ (which John sometimes referred to as ‘spiritual engineering’) remains recogniseable to modern thought.
In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ancient sciences when correctly understood and then applied, Robin will revisit some of John’s favourite haunts, and pull a few new rabbits out of the hat.
Many website readers have asked when Part Three of the tryptych article will finally appear, and the answer is between this event and midsummer, during the launch of the new composite Wooden Book ‘Megalith‘. This new tome includes my own contribution to this marque, a rewritten edition of Stonehenge with much new material plus some of Sun, Moon & Earth, within a contents page to satisfy the desires of anyone interested in prehistoric culture and ‘Old Stones’.
Editor’s Preface 1
Book I Stone Circles 7
Book II Carnac 59
Book III Stonehenge 127
Book IV Avebury 181
Book V Stanton Drew 237
Book VI Callanish 291
Book VII Ancient British Rock Art 355
Book VIII Surveys of Stone Circles 419
Alexander Thom and Archibald S Thom
At the time of writing this, the retail price for this bundle of joy is not available, but the other Wooden Book compilations have been set at around £14.99. Surely a whole lot of bangs for your buck at this price, with each separate WB’s priced at £6.99 this mammoth megalithic book is a hard bound bargain in a sparkly cover.
Go on (the WB website), because you’re worth it!!
The new year has brought me an opportunity to revise and update the first edition (2000 AD) of Stonehenge, one of those little sparkly Wooden Books, a genre founded by John Martineau.
PART TWO – A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
In Part One a single action began a process of investigation – I made a measurement of two physical realities. The first was the length of a line connecting Stonehenge centre to Woodhenge, centre, and the second was the angle of orientation that this line makes with respect to an east-west line, termed a co-azimuth angle. This second part of the article shows where that single action can lead a researcher into understanding presently unsuspected purposes within the designs of, in this case, Stonehenge and Woodhenge.
PART ONE – A LOST LEGACY
Soon after the distinguished Welsh archaeologist Maude Cunningham and her husband finished work excavating the site we now know as Woodhenge, in 1929, the locations of each of the site’s many revealed postholes were marked with grey concrete bollards. The best that can be said of this action was that it ensured their original exact positions were recorded for posterity (see Alexander Thom’s photograph below, from 1958, courtesy of Eoghann MacColl).
Visually, Woodhenge is neither a pretty nor an impressive site, unlike its nearest neighbour, Stonehenge, some 1.9 miles to the southwest. VIsitors to Woodhenge tend not to linger around this site, and soon slope off to nearby Durrington Walls, to the north, or Stonehenge, to the southwest. This article claims to lift the present Cinderella status afforded to this Neolithic class II henge and timber circle monument, by identifying a previously unrecognised significance in its geodetic placement with respect to Stonehenge.