1913-2013: 100 Years of Protecting the Past.

11 12 2013

This year, the centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act, will culminate in the opening of English Heritage’s new Stonehenge exhibition galleries and visitor centre on 18th December.

“A Monumental Act”

2013 is the centenary of a landmark moment for England’s heritage.

eh-centenary-logo

The passing of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act in 1913 recognised for the first time that there are physical remains of the nation’s history which are so special and so significant that the state has a duty to ensure their continued survival.


Preservation Orders and Scheduling

The Act did three new things. It introduced a system whereby the Office of Works could issue a compulsory ‘Preservation Order’ when a monument or building of sufficient ‘historic, architectural, traditional, artistic, or archaeological interest’ was at risk of demolition by a private owner.

Each order would need an Act of Parliament to confirm it, making it an unwieldy instrument, but the Act did at least establish the principle that some buildings in private ownership might, if they were important enough, warrant the intervention of the state to save them.

The second major innovation was the ‘scheduling’ of monuments. This involved compiling a list, or schedule, of monuments which were deemed by an expert board to be of ‘national importance’. Once a site was on the list and the owner informed, it became a crime to damage it.

Under the Act, the Office of Works could give free advice to an owner regarding the treatment of an ancient monument on their land and could oversee any works free of charge. Scheduling considerably widened the scope of protection to the thousands of monuments on private land rather than just those in Government or local authority care.

These two initiatives – the preservation order and scheduling – established the statutory protection of those parts of the nation’s heritage in private hands. It would develop in future years through the listing system and a rapidly evolving planning system.

http://www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/assets/Nomination-Document.pdf

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/heritage-centenary/1913-ancient-monuments-act/

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/46

Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge – whose culture?

10 12 2013

Originally posted on The Heritage Trust:

 
Merlin Building Stonehenge
Manuscript illustration, England, second quarter of the 14th century (British Library, MS Egerton 3028, fol 30)
 
The International Council on Monuments and Sites UK has announced details of its Annual Christmas Lecture and Reception for 2013. This year’s event will take place in London on the 12 December with a lecture entitled Stonehenge – whose culture? delivered by Julian Richards, archaeologist, writer and broadcaster -
 
Stonehenge is the most important and studied prehistoric site in Europe, yet still remains an archaeological enigma. But it is also an international cultural icon, its stones instantly recognizable, providing inspiration for medieval manuscript illuminators, artists such as Turner and Constable, among others, and generations of writers, photographers and craftsmen. It seems as if everyone has wanted a piece of Stonehenge, literally so in past centuries, and today the question of ‘Stonehenge – whose culture?’ is as passionately argued…

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Countdown to a New Dawn. New Stonehenge Visitor Centre opening on 18th December 2013

6 12 2013

 

The new Stonehenge visitor centre will open on the 18th December, in time for the winter solstice. Over the festive period you can visit Stonehenge without booking and from 1st February 2014, entrance to Stonehenge will be managed through timed tickets and advance booking is strongly recommended.

For the first time ever at the site, they will be able to learn more about this complex monument in a stunning, museum-quality permanent exhibition curated by English Heritage experts.

“The exhibition will change the way people experience and think about Stonehenge forever”

The £27m project also includes grassing over the A334 alongside the ancient monument and closing another section of the busy road.

Exploring the past: The impressive new visitor centre will open on 18 December

Exploring the past: The impressive new visitor centre will open on 18 December

The visitor centre and museum will be located about a mile-and-a-half from the stones.  Visitors will be shuttled to Stonehenge by a little train, pulled by a Land Rover.

The first part of the long-awaited environmental improvements to Stonehenge will be the unveiling of a new visitor experience. This includes the new visitor centre and exhibition facilities to enhance your visit to the Stones.

A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter a gallery presenting the facts and theories surrounding the monument through various displays and nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts.

The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge. All were found inside the World Heritage Site and many are on public display for the first time.

Set in Stone? How our ancestors saw Stonehenge, will be the first special temporary exhibition. It will chart more than 800 years of ideas and debate – from 12th-century legends to radiocarbon dating reports in the 1950s – on who built Stonehenge and when, and features objects on loan from many national museums.

Down the road: An aerial view of the site shows how developers have managed to place the site nearby, without spoiling the immediate surroundings of Stonhenge

Down the road: An aerial view of the site shows how developers have managed to place the site nearby, without spoiling the immediate surroundings of Stonehenge

In Easter 2014, visitors can look forward to the opening of a group of reconstructed Neolithic houses. The Neolithic houses are the highlight of the outdoor gallery and will be built from January 2014 onwards by volunteers based on houses where the builders of Stonehenge may have lived, complete with furniture and fittings.

Advance booking will be available shortly to give you guaranteed entry on the day and at the time of your choice.

Please note: road access to Stonehenge has changed and permits are being issued to vehicles driving on the A344 to Stonehenge until the new visitor centre opens at Airman’s Corner.  Please go to the Directions page for more details.

Stonehenge Links:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/

http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/explore/stonehenge-and-avebury/stonehenge-visitor-centre
Stonehenge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge: International team of broadcasters and experts to collaborate on new two-part documentary

5 12 2013

stonehengenews:

They are recruiting for film extras: Stonehenge Empire film extras wanted. Neolithic Male/Females to play pre-historic man. http://tinyurl.com/qxmydly

Originally posted on The Heritage Trust:

 
Stonehenge
©
The Heritage Trust
 
Realscreen reports yesterday that -
 
BBC2, France 5, the CBC, Smithsonian Channel, Australia’s ORF and ZDF Germany are among the broadcasters uniting for Stonehenge Empire, a two-part doc looking at Britain’s ancient Stonehenge site (pictured). The 2 x 60-minute production is being made by UK indie October Films with Canada’s Lightship Entertainment and Austria’s Interspot Film.
 
Davidson, the BBC’s commissioning editor for history and business programming, added: “This is a really exciting project which will, using drama, CGI and the latest archaeological discoveries, allow us to properly understand the achievements and character of the people that built it; people who mastered deep mining, sophisticated engineering, textile manufacturing, ship-building, ‘micro’ gold-working, metallurgy, glass making, overseas trade and complex astronomy and mathematics.”
 
Full article here.
   

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Visit Avebury and Stonehenge: Explore these World Heritage Sites with the new English Heritage Map

3 12 2013

The Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site is internationally important for its outstanding prehistoric monuments. This new map would make a great Christmas gift!

Stonehenge and Avebury MapStonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest.  Around them lie numerous other monuments and sites, which demonstrate over 2,000 years of continuous use.

Together they form a unique prehistoric landscape. There is no better way to learn about and experience the monuments than to go out and explore the World Heritage Site on foot.  This map is ideal for walkers and others wishing to explore the fascinating landscape of the two areas of the World Heritage Site.

The map uses an Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 base and draws upon information from the English Heritage Archive and recent archaeological investigations.  With Stonehenge on one side and Avebury on the other, the map shows and describes both visible and hidden remains, with information about where you can find out more. The map is divided into two parts on a durable double sided waterproof sheet.

A great Christmas Gift! You can purchase a copy now at the excellent Wiltshire Museum in Devizes: The Museum shop is located in the entrance hall and sells a variety of items.  Non-Museum visitors very welcome to go in, browse – and hopefully purchase. http://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/

You can also pre order a copy of the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Map-Stonehenge-Avebury-Exploring-Heritage/dp/1848021267

Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle Links:

Stonehenge and Avebury were inscribed together on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1986. The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site was one of the UK’s very first World Heritage Sites http://www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/

The Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site (English Heritage): http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/world-heritage-site/

Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle guided tours: http://www.stonehengetours.com/day-tours.html

Wiltshire is proud to be the home of Stonehenge and Avebury which form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and our mystical landscape. http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/explore/stonehenge-and-avebury

Stonehenge News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

The Stonehenge News Blog





Phase 2 begins!!!!!

3 12 2013

Originally posted on Stonehenge Neolithic Houses:

After a long break it was great to see some familiar faces arrive in Garston Woods. We are beginning the harvesting of materials needed to construct the buildings at the new Visitor Centre.

Our coup is very close to the one that we harvested last time and it was great to see the hazel growing back strongly. We are coppicing in the same way as the first phase of the project with all of the collected rods being tied into bundles. This makes the job of counting the number collected easier and also allows the rods to be transported more efficiently.

Volunteers busy coppicing

Volunteers busy coppicing

The main difference this time is that all of the experiments are complete and so we are now trying to harvest efficiently because we have a lot of material to collect.

The first week's gathered hazel.

The first week’s gathered hazel.

The first week has flown by with all our volunteers…

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The Path to Stonehenge from Avebury: Walking Guide

24 11 2013

Wiltshire is home to arguably the greatest concentration of prehistoric monuments in Europe, if not the world!

The 45 mile route begins at Windmill Hill before heading south to spend the first day walking amongst the stone circles of Avebury.

                Stonehenge walking map                   

DOWNLOAD: The Path to Stonehenge walking guide (PDF 883kb)

The download includes full day by day walking instructions with accompanying history guide.

Discover how the famous monuments of the area are connected and what they can tell us about life, and death, in Neolithic Britain. The walk takes us across some of the most beautiful landscape in the south west, as we uncover the actions of our ancestors here between 4000 and 2000BC.

Day 1


Avebury Stone Circle

                Avebury Stone Circle                   

A gentle first day with plenty of time for admiring the monuments encountered along the route.

  • Windmill Hill to Avebury via Avebury Stone Circle and the Sanctuary

Distance: 6.5 miles

Day 2


                West Kennet Long Barrow                   

We up the pace as we hunt for hard evidence of our elusive ancestors at Silbury Hill and the West Kennet Long Barrow. We skirt the Marlborough Downs and head up and over Milk Hill for some more modern mysteries, like crop circles.

  • Avebury to Honeystreet, via Silbury Hill, Swallowhead Springs, West Kennet Long Barrow, Field of Sarsen Stones, Milk Hill and the Alton Barnes White Horse, and Adam’s Grave.

Distance: 15.5 miles

Day 3


The Avenue

                The Avenue                   

We follow our ancestors down the River Avon to the greatest prehistoric monument of them all – Stonehenge.

  • Honeystreet to Stonehenge via: Durrington Walls, West Amesbury Henge and the Avenue

Distance: 23.5 miles


The Map

OS Explorer Maps 157, 130 (1:25k) or OS Landranger 173, 184 (1:50k)

All distances are approximate so allow plenty of time

Link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/walking-through-history/articles/all/walking-guide-the-path-to-stonehenge

Please share your Stonehenge / Avebury pics on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Unravelling the mysteries of Stonehenge

22 11 2013

stonehengenews:

5th December 2013. You can watch it live online at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/streamed

Originally posted on FragmeNTs:

If you’re hooked on Stonehenge and its landscape this may be just the thing for you. On Thursday 5 December between 1.15pm – 1.55pm Professor Mike Parker Pearson of UCL Institute of Archaeology will be giving a free public lecture as part of UCL’s  Lunch Hour Lecture series .

Professor Mike Parker Pearson enjoying his time with us in the northern half of the WHS

Professor Mike Parker Pearson enjoying his time with us in the northern half of the WHS

 The lectures are free and open to everyone on a first-come first-served basis and don’t have to be  pre-booked (you’ll find details of the venue and the lecture below). But don’t despair if you can’t make it to London, you can watch it live online at www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/streamed or after the event on UCL’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/UCLLHL 

Is Stonehenge beginning to give up its mysteries after 5000 years?

Is Stonehenge beginning to give up its mysteries after 5000 years?

LectureUnravelling the mysteries of Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries of archaeology. Since 2003 there has been a…

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The case for making Stonehenge bigger

22 11 2013

Originally posted on The Heritage Journal:

SHKites

Now that millions of pounds worth of new infrastructure is in place at Stonehenge is it time to consider if the way it is used should be expanded? It’s going to remain a mass tick-box for the world’s tourists of course, plus it will host Solstice and Equinox gatherings, but is that it? Shouldn’t it now be used for a whole range of events and interactions?

We’ve previously suggested some new ways Stonehenge could be used. However, as Sarah May has pointed out there’s always a tension at heritage assets between the need for conservation and the perceptions and aspirations of the many groups that see them as theirs: There is a process by which buildings, places and objects come to take this more distant role permanently. They are extracted from the lived landscape. No longer available for the kind of rough and tumble interactions they may have…

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Another piece in Stonehenge rock source puzzle.

20 11 2013

Research to be published this month may bring us a step closer to understanding how bluestones from Pembrokeshire ended up at Stonehenge. A team of geologists have identified a hill in the Preseli Hills as the site from which 11 stones known as spotted dolerites were transported to Stonehenge

Scientists from Aberystwyth University, University College London and National Museum of Wales have located the specific outcrop, Carn Goedog, in the Preseli Mountains.

The chances of Stonehenge's spotted dolerites not coming from Carn Goedog are 'infinitesimally small'

The chances of Stonehenge’s spotted dolerites not coming from Carn Goedog are ‘infinitesimally small’

This is where the distinctive spotted dolerites originated.

The findings are to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Geologist Herbert Henry Thomas first proposed in 1923 that the rocks which form the giant inner ring were specifically quarried for Stonehenge by Neolithic man around 5,000 years ago, and were hauled to Wiltshire via land and sea.

However, other geologists theorise that they were carried east on an ice-age glacier 20,000 years ago.

“Trying to match the rocks at Stonehenge to a specific outcrop is considerably more complicated than looking for a needle in a haystack”

End Quote Dr Richard Bevins National Museum Wales

While the new discovery will not answer the debate, according to Dr Richard Bevins, of the National Museum Wales, it may eliminate some of the unknown variables.

“I’m not here to come down on one side of the argument or the other,” he explained.

“But our research is aimed at better informing the debate.”

Dr Bevins, keeper of natural sciences, added: “Trying to match the rocks at Stonehenge to a specific outcrop is considerably more complicated than looking for a needle in a haystack but the more we can trace them back to their original source, the closer archaeologists and geologists can hunt for clues to back-up their theories.

Rock sample The research has brought together archaeologists and geologists

“Archaeologists can now search an area of hundreds of metres rather than hundreds of kilometres for evidence of Neolithic quarrying.

“While geologists supporting the glacier theory know exactly where to hunt for the scarring they’d expect to find on the landscape if enormous chunks of the stone had indeed been swept east on a glacier.”

As the name suggests, the spotted dolerites have highly distinctive markings created by the elements contained within, cooling at different rates in the minutes after they were spewed out of an underwater volcano 450 million years ago.

In 2011, Dr Bevins’s team located the source of another of Stonehenge’s Pembrokeshire Bluestones – the rhyolites – 3km away from the spotted dolerites at Craig Rhos y Felin.

Although the relative proximity of the two discoveries offers evidence to both camps.

“Three kilometres is both closer and farther away than expected, depending on which theory you support.

“From a geologist’s point of view, 3km is nothing, and the rocks which ended up close to each other in Wiltshire could easily have been carried on the same glacier.

“However, for the archaeologists a distance of 3km between the potential quarries could be seen as evidence of planning and forethought, and a suggestion that the different types of stone were chosen for some specific purpose.”

‘Each piece of the puzzle’

Dr Bevins’s team are able to say so categorically that they have discovered the source of the spotted dolerites thanks to a range of laser mass spectrometry techniques which analyse both the chemical composition of the rock and the microbiology present when it was formed.

He says that the chance of them having originated anywhere other than Carn Goedog is “statistically-speaking, infinitesimally small”.

And while he is the first to admit that this discovery on its own gets us no closer to solving the riddle, he believes a definitive answer will come eventually.

“I’ve been studying the bluestones for over 30 years now, and I’m no closer to finding an answer which convinces me either way. But the one thing which I am increasingly sure of is that each piece of the puzzle we find brings us another step closer to the truth.

“We’ve located two of the sources, and there’s another five or possibly six to go.”

He added: “By the time we have identified those then I’m certain we’ll have an answer either way. Whether that happens in my career, or even my lifetime, who knows?”

By Neil Prior BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25004282

Link:http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/origin-stonehenges-blue-stones-pinpointed-6317230

Follow Stonehenge News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonhenge News Blog








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