THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF OUR AREA – AN ENTERTAINING AND ILLUSTRATED TALK BY TV PERSONALITY JULIAN RICHARDS

14 01 2014

Julian is a local archaeologist who is well known to the general public through his television programmes “Meet the Ancestors” and “Blood of the Vikings”.

 meettheancestorsHe is one of the leading experts on Stonehenge, and has most recently carried out investigations for the project   “What’s Under Your School”, which included Coombe Bissett and Broadchalke.

Friday 24th January, 7.30pm (Doors open 7pm)

All tickets cost £7.50 and include a ploughman’s supper and there is a cash bar available. Call Caroline on 01722 781044 for your tickets.

Link: http://www.broadchalke.info/general.php
Link: http://www.spirefm.co.uk/contribute/whats-on/?start=20

 

Guest Blogger
The Stonehenge News Blog





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





New Stonehenge tourist attraction planned in Wiltshire

29 06 2013

Plans have been unveiled for another Stonehenge stone circle to be built in Wiltshire using different-coloured stones from around the world.

Organisers of the £50m project want it to become another major tourist destination in the county, and one which will last for thousands of years.

Archaeologists believe the original Stonehenge was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC

Archaeologists believe the original Stonehenge was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC

New Stonehenge would include yurt huts for visitors to stay in, a planetarium and an observatory.

It would be located about four miles (6 km) from the existing stone circle.

The land is close to Fugglestone Red where Wiltshire Council has proposed a major new housing development as part of its 2009 Core Strategy.

“For tourism in Wiltshire, it will be a huge boost. The new Stonehenge will compliment the old one”
Graham Gould Salisbury City Centre Management

The project is currently in the planning stages while the team behind it seeks funding for consultation on the environmental impact of the proposed structure.

Private investment for the build is currently being sought, with organisers expecting the attraction to make back the outlay within 6-10 years of it opening.

‘Homage’ to original circle

Project leader Colin Shearing said it will be an “homage” to the original Stonehenge.

He said: “You can’t really experience how it was when it was new because it’s old, so a new one would give you an opportunity to experience what our ancestors experienced when they went to the original one.”

Archaeologists believe the original Stonehenge was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

Mr Shearing said the new Stonehenge circle would be built with stones imported from different countries around the world, with each one matching a colour of the spectrum.

He said the entire structure will be polished and set into a floor of white quartz granite and surrounded by a white stone wall.

It is planned for the attraction to host events such as summer concerts and festivals as well as conferences and weddings.

Graham Gould, of Salisbury City Centre Management, described it as a “fantastic idea”.

He said: “For tourism in Wiltshire, it will be a huge boost. The new Stonehenge will compliment the old one.

“The two can work together, without a doubt.”

An English Heritage spokesperson said it is an “ambitious and interesting” project, and the organisation will be watching its development “with interest.”

Following a full environmental impact study, organisers hope to apply for planning permission to Wiltshire Council in 2014.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23094202

More info: http://www.newstonehenge.co.uk/

Merlin says “Great idea”
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge Visitor Centre and Galleries Preview Tour.

11 05 2013

What happened on the visit ? We met English Heritage; Loranie Knowles (Stonehenge Project Director), Richard Williams (Stonehenge Project Manager) and Lisa Holmes (Stonehenge Community Projects Manager) together with staff from Vinci Construction.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Collectively they shared their experience behind the scenes of how the fantastic new facility is being made possible.  We got a tour around the site and also a chance to ask questions.

We also had an opportunity to make comments after the tour and shared our thoughts about the build, along with ideas and ways we would like to see the centre used by local community in the future

The open day has been organised and hosted by English Heritage with thanks to Vinci Construction and to Heritage Lottery funding which supports local community involvement in the Stonehenge Environmental Improvement programme.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Panoramic view of Stonehenge Visitor Centre Roof

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Panoramic view of Stonehenge Visitor Centre from the new coach park

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Panoramic view from the Stonehenge Visitor Centre Souvenir Shop

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

Panoramic view of the Stonehenge Visitor Centre from the West

More images of the exterior and interior:

The Stonehenge 360 Cinema

The Stonehenge 360 Cinema

Stonehenge Visitor Centre.  Roof top view

Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Roof top view

Stonehenge Visitor Centre.  Main entrance.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Main entrance.

Loraine Knowles, Stonehenge director for English Heritage, said: “It is fantastic to see the building taking shape and to see how well it sits in the landscape. “Progress with the creation of the interior spaces for the museum galleries, education area, shop and cafe is equally exciting because it is now possible to see on the ground how these great new facilities will be experienced by our visitors.

English Heritage’s £27million project to transform the visitor facilities at Stonehenge will see the new centre open in December, with the existing facilities to be demolished and grassed over by next June.

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Wiltshire: Land of mystery and home to Stonehenge

1 04 2013

Home to Stonehenge and packed with active opportunities for all ages, Wiltshire is a beautiful county

The Unesco world heritage site of Stonehenge was erected more than 4,000 years ago and is open to the public Photograph: Frank Lukasseck

The Unesco world heritage site of Stonehenge was erected more than 4,000 years ago and is open to the public Photograph: Frank Lukasseck

Best known for its myths and legends, Wiltshire offers the setting for a perfect break – a mixture of ancient history and outdoor pursuits. It is home to Stonehenge and Avebury, two breathtaking sites erected more than 4,000 years ago. But mysterious artefacts aside, you can also cycle, skydive, canoe, golf and horse-ride your way around this part of the world.

Speculation on the reason Stonehenge was built ranges from human sacrifice to astronomy, and the world heritage site is a must-see. Unless you visit on the summer or winter solstice there’s a charge to walk around the magnificent stones. However you can visit the world’s largest stone circle at Avebury for free. If you want to see Stonehenge from a unique vantage point, Heritage Cycle Tours’ accompanied ride from Salisbury arrives over the crest of a hill, for a stunning view of the stones, before passing through the iron age settlement of Old Sarum.

For an even bigger thrill, see Stonehenge from 3,500ft with Skydive Netheravon, located between Salisbury and Marlborough. Beginners can experience freefall in tandem, jump with an automatic parachute or take a learners’ skydive course.

You don’t have to head skywards to experience Wiltshire in a special way. Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Pewsey Vale Riding Centre provides a horse ride to remember. And at Peddles and Paddles you can hire kayaks or Canadian canoes to travel down the canal to Devizes Wharf, where you’ll find the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Museum.

Alternatively, experience this fine region at a slower pace. Climb the 332 steps to the base of Britain’s tallest spire at the gothic Salisbury Cathedral. You’ll be treated to views of the medieval scaffold of the spire and across the Wiltshire countryside. Don’t leave without visiting the cathedral’s Chapter House: it’s home to one of the four original Magna Cartas.

And if you judge an area by its golfing opportunities, Wiltshire may be your dream destination: Cumberwell Park Golf Club offers rolling countryside, lakes and woodland; North Wilts Golf Club encourages players of all abilities with no tee booking required; and Tidworth Garrison Golf Club, a tree-lined, downland course for private members, was described by golfing legend Peter Alliss as “a gem of a course on the edge of Salisbury Plain”.

So whether you spend your Wiltshire trip investigating the ancient past, or trying an exciting activity or two, a break in this outstanding part of the country will make an unforgettable impression.

Where to revive

Eat: The Harrow at Little Bedwyn boasts accolades including AA Restaurant of the Year (2011) and a Michelin star. The focus is on food from artisan growers, fishermen and farmers.

Drink: Savour a pint in atmospheric surroundings at the charming Cloisters, an “olde worlde” pub minutes from Salisbury Cathedral. Or, for a more rural experience, head to the village of Market Lavington for a real ale at the Green Dragon.

Sleep: Extend your Stonehenge experience by spending the night in a luxurious “glamping pod” at Stonehenge Campsite in Salisbury (and enjoy eight real ale and foodie pubs within a four mile radius), or chill out at Whatley Manor, a beautifully restored Cotswold manor house hotel and lavish spa.

visitwiltshire.co.uk

Full article and soure: guardian.co.uk





Ancient Avebury site has so much potential

12 02 2013

A TWO-man Avebury stone circle research team say the site should capitalise on a World Heritage boost.

The Which? Travel magazine hailed Avebury as the second greatest World Heritage site, behind only the ancient Mexican city of Monte Alban and ahead of attractions including the Great Pyramid and the Taj Mahal.

Avebury_Stone Circle, WiltshireThis was music to the ears of author Eric M Crook and artist Maurice Giraffe from Swindon, who have spent decades investigating not just Avebury but other ancient sites such as Stonehenge and Silbury Hill.

Mr Crook, 88, is the author of a study called Wiltshire: A Journey-man’s Tale. Many of the book’s illustrations are the work of Mr Giraffe, 55, who combines artistic and technical drawing skills to plot the relative positions of stones.

Mr Crook said of the Which? Travel accolade: “It’s fantastic for this to happen, and we would hope that maybe somebody has taken notice of our comments over the years about this place being so important.”

Mr Giraffe added: “I too am very, very pleased that Avebury has been nominated within the top 10.

“At the same time, what draws the attention is that seven of the 10 are building complexes. There is only one stone circle.

“Avebury should now improve its facilities for visitors. Shelters from the rain would be useful, and so would pathways for wheeled access around the stones. We’d like to see uplighters installed so the stones can be seen better at night.”

The two also suggest night time tours and regular grass cutting, as well as restricting access by grazing sheep.

The researchers believe the archaeological establishment has missed clues about ceremonial and navigational uses for such prehistoric places.

They say their research indicates that the surviving Avebury stones were once part of a vast amphitheatre featuring many thousands of carved human and animal faces, and these faces would have appeared to come to life in flickering firelight.

The researchers say remnants of these carvings can still be seen in fragments hacked from the stones down the years, whether for recycling or because the early Christian church objected to the old religions.

Mr Crook said: “Many churches were built with the old stones, and also other properties across Wiltshire.”

Wiltshire: A Journeyman’s Tale costs £9.99 and can be ordered from Amazon and book shops.
Article (By Barrie Hudson – http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk)

Merlin says: ‘Not sure about the uplighters idea’ ?

Merlin @ Stonehenge
Stonehenge News Blog





Neolithic New Year Walk – Stonehenge Landscape

28 12 2012

Welcome in 2013 with a walk around the ancient monuments of the Stonehenge Landscape. Booking essential.

Stonehenge Landscape ToursAncient ceremonial landscape of great archaeological and wildlife interest

Within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares (2,100 acres) of downland surrounding the famous stone circle.

Walking across the grassland, visitors can discover other prehistoric monuments, including the Avenue and King Barrow Ridge with its Bronze Age burial mounds.

Nearby, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. While Durrington Walls hides the remains of a Neolithic village.

The best approach to the famous stone circle is across Normanton Down, a round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC.








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