New theory over Stonehenge origins

18 02 2018

THE community that built the Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Larkhill may have been the architects of the Stonehenge landscape, archaeologists believe.

New theory over Stonehenge origins A Beaker or Bronze Age infant burial site at Larkhill. Picture by Wessex Archaeology

The causewayed enclosure, which dates between 3650 to 3750 BC – pre-dating Stonehenge by 600 years, was uncovered by archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology in 2016.

Si Cleggett, project manager and archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology now believes the community who built the causewayed enclosure may have been more closely involved in the planning of Stonehenge than previously thought.

He said: “The causewayed enclosure at Larkhill was constructed during the late Stone Age, a period of transition when our ancestors gradually moved away from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle and embraced a farming existence where the domestication of livestock and control of agriculture began.”

Causewayed enclosures are believed to be meeting places, centres of trade and cult or ritual centres to name but a few. They are only 70 known examples.

The Wessex Archaeology teams were commissioned by WYG on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to undertake excavations on land adjacent to Royal Artillery Larkhill. The land, on the edge of Salisbury Plainand, immediately north of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, has been earmarked for the provision of service family accommodation under the Army Basing Programme.

Archaeologists believe there was a five post alignment at the entrance of the causewayed enclosure which were positioned almost identically to the stones of Stonehenge.

Mr Cleggett said: “The communities who gathered at the Larkhill causewayed enclosure during the Early Neolithic were there 600 years before the landscape setting of Stonehenge was conceived and may have been involved in the conceptualisation or even the creation of the landscape we see today.

“It is enormously fitting that thousands of years later, those that strive to protect our identity as a nation will again meet at Larkhill through the delivery of service family housing.”

The Larkhill site, which is 24 hectares, is the largest open area archaeological excavation ever undertaken in proximity to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

Article Source: Katy Griffin – Salisbury Journal

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It’s your final chance to have a say on the plans to build a tunnel for the A303 at Stonehenge.

8 02 2018

It’s your final chance to have a say on the plans to build a tunnel for the A303 at Stonehenge over the next weeks before they get sent off to go for planning permission.

tunnell

A public consultation starts today (Thursday Feburary 8th) and lasts through until Friday April 6th, with some public exhibitions planned for us to take a look for ourselves.

HAVE YOUR SAY:

Here’s the list of the public exhibition events being held over the next few weeks:

  • Friday 9th February – Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Saturday 10th February – Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 11.00am – 5.00pm
  • Thursday 22nd February – Kennet Valley Village Hall (Avebury), Overton Road, Lockeridge, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 4EL, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Friday 23rd February – Warminster Civic Centre, Sambourne Road, Warminster, BA12 8LB, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Saturday 24th February – Shrewton Village Hall, Recreation Ground, The Hollow, Shrewton, SP3 4JY, 11.00am – 5.00pm
  • Tuesday 27th February – The Laverton Hall, Bratton Road, Westbury, BA13 3EN, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Thursday 1st March – Mere Lecture Hall, Salisbury Street, Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6HA, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Saturday 3rd March – The Guildhall, Salisbury, The Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1JH, 11.00am – 5.00pm
  • Thursday 8th March – Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE, 12 noon – 8.00pm
  • Friday 9th March – The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Saturday 10th March – The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ, 11.00am – 5.00pm
  • Tuesday 13th March – Avon Valley College, Durrington, SP4 8HH, 2.00pm – 8.00pm
  • Wednesday 14th March – Larkhill Primary School, Wilson Road, Larkhill, SP4 8QB, 4.00pm – 8.30pm
  • Friday March 23rd – Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 2.00pm – 8.00pm

WATCH: Take a look at the plans for the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down, including a visualisation video of what it might look like on our news page

Relevant Links:

The Knotty Problem of the A303 and Stonehenge.

A303 STONEHENGE: Have your say (Spire FM)

Stonehenge A303 tunnel plans revealed – and they include a flyover at Countess roundabout (Salisbury Journal)

Revealed: Plans for £1.6bn two-mile road tunnel that will restore tranquillity to Stonehenge by ‘brutally intruding’ beneath the sacred site (Daily Mail)

Stonehenge tunnel: plans for £1.6bn scheme published (The Guardian)

Stonehenge A303 tunnel plans will ‘protect and enhance’ monument (BBC NEWS)

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Prehistoric Enclosure Found Near Stonehenge

3 02 2018

LARKHILL, ENGLAND —According to a report in The Guardian, a team led by Si Cleggett

England-Larkhill-alignment

Wessex Archaeology

of Wessex Archaeology has uncovered a series of nine post holes in a causewayed enclosure they say matches the orientation of the circle at Stonehenge. The site is located a short walk from Stonehenge, and dates to between 3750 and 3650 B.C., or about 600 years before a circular ditch and timber posts were first installed at the Stonehenge site. Cleggett suggests the people who built the enclosure at Larkhill may have been the architects of the Stonehenge landscape. “That nine-post alignment could be an early blueprint for the laying out of the stones at Stonehenge,” he said. For more, go to “The Square Inside Avebury’s Circles.”

 

An exhibition at the site gives fresh insight into the builders of Stonehenge, showcasing research that suggests animals were brought from as far afield as northern Scotland to feed the engineers and for lavish midwinter feasts.

The Larkhill dig, which is taking place because the land is being cleared for military housing, has also unearthed some fascinating 20th-century history.

REad the article in the Archaeological Magazine

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2018 Moon Phases for Stonehenge. #FullMoon #Calendar

14 01 2018

Ancient peoples had the benefit of dark skies and experienced the full spectacle of the starry heavens. The Moon gave light at night and would have been particularly useful in the two weeks centred on full Moon. The regular monthly cycle of lunar phases provided a convenient measure of time, upon which many ancient calendars were based.

Was it a Neolithic calendar? A solar temple? A lunar observatory? A calculating device for predicting eclipses? Or perhaps a combination of more than one of these? In recent years
Stonehenge has become the very icon of ancient astronomy, featuring in nearly every discussion on the subject.
A more informed picture has been obtained in recent years by combining evidence from archaeology and astronomy within the new interdiscipline of archaeoastronomy – the
study of beliefs and practices concerning the sky in the past and the uses to which people’s knowledge of the skies were put.

Lunation New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Third Quarter Duration
1175 2 Jan 02:24 8 Jan 22:25 29d 19h 47m
1176 17 Jan 02:17 24 Jan 22:20 31 Jan 13:26 7 Feb 15:53 29d 18h 48m
1177 15 Feb 21:05 23 Feb 08:09 2 Mar 00:51 9 Mar 11:19 29d 16h 06m
1178 17 Mar 13:11 24 Mar 15:35 31 Mar 13:36 8 Apr 08:17 29d 12h 46m
1179 16 Apr 02:57 22 Apr 22:45 30 Apr 01:58 8 May 03:08 29d 9h 51m
1180 15 May 12:47 22 May 04:49 29 May 15:19 6 Jun 19:31 29d 7h 55m
1181 13 Jun 20:43 20 Jun 11:50 28 Jun 05:53 6 Jul 08:50 29d 7h 05m
1182 13 Jul 03:47 19 Jul 20:52 27 Jul 21:20 4 Aug 19:17 29d 7h 10m
1183 11 Aug 10:57 18 Aug 08:48 26 Aug 12:56 3 Sep 03:37 29d 8h 04m
1184 9 Sep 19:01 17 Sep 00:14 25 Sep 03:52 2 Oct 10:45 29d 9h 45m
1185 9 Oct 04:46 16 Oct 19:01 24 Oct 17:45 31 Oct 16:40 29d 12h 15m
1186 7 Nov 16:01 15 Nov 14:54 23 Nov 05:39 30 Nov 00:18 29d 15h 18m
1187 7 Dec 07:20 15 Dec 11:49 22 Dec 17:48 29 Dec 09:34 29d 18h 08m
* All times are local time for Stonehenge. Dates are based on the Gregorian calendar.
Source: Time and Date

Stonehenge Links:

Astro Moon Calendar shows phases of the Moon each day, astronomical events and astrological forecast for the year.
Stonehenge and other stone monuments were probably used for special moonlit ceremonies.
Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy. Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site
Stonehenge Full Moon Guided Walking Tours.  Explore the landscape with a local historian and astronomer.
All eyes on the sky! We’ll see a supermoon, blue Moon, and blood Moon all in one night!
How to see the super blue moon, a cosmic event you won’t want to miss

The Stonehenge News Blog
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily Stonehenge Sunset / Sunrise / Moonrise / Moonset times.

 





2018 Stonehenge Opening Hours, Entry Prices and Tickets.

13 01 2018

Stonehenge Opening Times and Entrance Prices.
English Heritage advise to expect a visit to last around two hours. Please see the table below for opening times for 2018, with some seasonal variability, and entrance prices for adults, children, families, seniors and groups.

visitor-centre2

The English Heriatge Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitor Centre

The English Heritage Visitor Centre at Stonehenge is located 2 kilometers from the monument. This is your entry point to Stonehenge and the place where you pick up your tickets, souvenir guides and optional audio guides. The new Visitor Centre also offers a modern exhibition with prehistoric objects on display, and a spacious café and gift shop. A Stonehenge shuttle transports you between the Visitor Centre and Stonehenge (included in your ticket price).

If you come by car you will park in the car park outside the visitor centre. It is free for people purchasing tickets to enter Stonehenge, there is a charge if you are not. Tour buses have their own separate coach park.

All Members of English Heritage or National Trust must show a valid membership card on arrival to be granted free parking and site access.

To enter the Stonehenge Exhibition at the Visitor Centre you need a full ticket to Stonehenge, anyone can access the café, gift shop and toilets though, for free.

Very Important!  Book Your Stonehenge Tickets in Advance 
To be assured of entering Stonehenge the best way is to reserve timed tickets in advance on the English Heritage web site or if you need more flexibility and without the time constraint you can purchase discount advance Stonehenge tickets here

Tickets to Stonehenge are booked by half hour time slot, the website showing you how many tickets are still available for your chosen date and time.

Note: you cannot reserve tickets on-line on the day of your visit, you must reserve before midnight latest on the day before. Only a very small number of tickets are held back each day for walk-up visitors.

Note: the last admission time is two hours before closing time of Stonehenge. Closing times are variable according to month of the year (see below)

Stonehenge Admission & Opening From 1st January 2018 – October 2018

Admission

Opening Times

Adult

£16.50

16 Mar – 31 May

09.30 – 19:00

Child (5-15)

£9.90

1 Jun – 31 Aug

09.00 – 20:00

Students/Seniors *

£14.90

1 Sep – 15 Oct

09.30 – 19:00

Family Ticket †

£42.90

16 Oct – 15 Mar

09.30 – 17:00

Last entry 2 hours before closing
Members of the National Trust & English Heritage enter free
Prices are valid until 31st March 2018* 16-18 yr olds + seniors 60+† 2 Adults and 3 Children~ Closed 24th to 26th December

2018 STONEHENGE OPENING TIMES (Last entry 2 hours before closing)

1st JANUARY 2018 – 31st MARCH 2018

Monday 9:30 – 17:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 17:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 17:00
Thursday 9:30 – 17:00
Friday 9:30 – 17:00
Saturday 9:30 – 17:00
Sunday 9:30 – 17:00

1st APRIL 2018 – 31st MAY 2018

Monday 9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 19:00
Thursday 9:30 – 19:00
Friday 9:30 – 19:00
Saturday 9:30 – 19:00
Sunday 9:30 – 19:00

1st JUNE 2019 – 31st AUGUST 2018

Monday 9:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 9:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 9:00 – 20:00
Thursday 9:00 – 20:00
Friday 9:00 – 20:00
Saturday 9:00 – 20:00
Sunday 9:00 – 20:00

1st SEPTEMBER 2018 – 15th OCTOBER 2018

Monday 9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 19:00
Thursday 9:30 – 19:00
Friday 9:30 – 19:00
Saturday 9:30 – 19:00
Sunday 9:30 – 19:00

16th OCTOBER 2018 ONWARDS
Opening times will be available nearer the time

For more information please visit the official English Heritage website.  If you are looking to book a tour of Stonehenge, we recommend using Stonehenge Guided Tours

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Events are planned throughout 2018 to mark Stonehenge’s special anniversary.

6 01 2018

A series of English Heritage exhibitions and archaeology projects will be run from March to celebrate the centenary year of Stonehenge being donated to the nation.

2018 is an important anniversary for Stonehenge. A hundred years ago, in 1918, local barrister Cecil Chubb and his wife Mary gifted it to the nation. This public spirited decision marked a turning point in the history of Stonehenge and its fortunes.

A programme of restoration began almost immediately, starting a centenary of care and conservation at Stonehenge which continues to this day.

Once a supposed gift for a wife we, as the public, have now had access to one of the most famous prehistoric monuments for around 100 years.

Stonehenge was donated by Cecil Chubb and his wife Maryin 1918 so that they could be properly looked after and enjoyed by all.

Cecil bought the stones in an auction in 1915 and it’s been said that the only reason he was there at the auction was to buy a set of dining chairs!

Legend has it that he bought it for his wife but she was not happy about…

Late in 1918, Cecil and Mary, gave the stones away to be cared for The Office of Works (what would be English Heritage).

Throughout 2018, English Heritags will be celebrating the centenary of the gift, and discovering what this iconic monument means to people today.

They were in a ‘perlilous condition’ according to the charity, so they set to work to restore it to it’s former glory.

For the past 100 years, millions of people have visited the monument from locals to people travelling thousands of miles to see it.

BRIEF HISTORY

The first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.

In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.

From 1927, the National Trust began to acquire the land around Stonehenge to preserve it and restore it to grassland.

A new visitors centre was built in 2013 and the byway next to the stones was closed.

CELEBRATION

Throughout 2018 there will be special programmes to celebrate the centenary, such as a special collaboration with the British Museum featuring an exhibition on the Neolithic and Bronze age items found.

You can see all that’s going on here: www.english-heritage.org.uk
Link source (Spire FM)

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THOUSANDS gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the first sunrise after the winter solstice.

23 12 2017

Thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge to witness the sunrise on the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

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Crowds arrived at the Wiltshire landmark before dawn with many others travelling to the Avebury stone circle, which is also in the county.

The winter solstice marks the point when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun.

The solstice occurred at 04:49 GMT, with the sun rising at 08:04.

Pagans and druids dressed in traditional clothing joined families and a choir to mark the end of the longest night of the year.

Thick cloud at the prehistoric site in Wiltshire meant the sunrise, at 8.10am, was not visible.

Kate Davies, of English Heritage, said: “We were delighted to welcome approximately 5,000 people to Stonehenge to celebrate winter solstice this morning.

“It was an enjoyable and peaceful celebration despite the damp weather and it was great to see so many families enjoying the music and chanting around the monument.

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