A Sideways Glance at the recent ‘Breakthrough at Stonehenge’ news story.

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 “A Sideways Glance at the recent ‘Breakthrough at Stonehenge’ news story.”

Stonehenge – Woodhenge (Part Three)

THE PRESELI CONNECTION

PART THREE of the STONEHENGE – WOODHENGE tryptych

INTRODUCTION

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 “Stonehenge – Woodhenge (Part Three)”

The English Lake District Stone Circles

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.

Continue reading “The English Lake District Stone Circles”

LAUNCH OF MEGALITH BOOK AT AVEBURY AND STONEHENGE, SUMMER SOLSTICE 2018

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.

RH zzzz!

NB No-one was harmed in the production of this book launch.

Continue reading “LAUNCH OF MEGALITH BOOK AT AVEBURY AND STONEHENGE, SUMMER SOLSTICE 2018”

MEGALITHOMANIA 2018

MEGALITHOMANIA 2018

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.

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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’.

MEGALITH Contents

Editor’s Preface                          1

Book I  Stone Circles                7

Hugh Newman

Book II  Carnac                        59

Howard Crowhurst

Book III  Stonehenge               127

Robin Heath

Book IV  Avebury                     181

Evelyn Francis

 

Book V  Stanton Drew          237

Gordon Strong

 

Book VI  Callanish                291

Gerald Ponting

 

Book VII  Ancient British Rock Art   355

Chris Mansell

Book VIII  Surveys of Stone Circles   419

Alexander Thom and Archibald S Thom

Index  487

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!!

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Stonehenge & Woodhenge – PART TWO

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.

Continue reading “Stonehenge & Woodhenge – PART TWO”

Stonehenge & Woodhenge – A Lost Legacy – PART ONE

  • 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.

Continue reading “Stonehenge & Woodhenge – A Lost Legacy – PART ONE”

Interesting Factoids about Avebury + free PDF download.


Ten Interesting Factoids about Avebury

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.