Stonehenge Rocks! A talk with Prof Timothy Darvill: 21st March 2018

24 02 2018

Stones of many different kinds, shaped and built into intriguing structures, is what makes Stonehenge special; a unique monument in the world of early farming communities in northwest Europe. Join Prof. Timothy Darvill as he explores some of the main components that made up Stonehenge in the late third millennium BC, asking: What were they for? How might they have worked? Why were the stones chosen? And what made the place rock?

tim-stones

THIS IS THE THIRD IN THE SERIES OF LECTURES TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY OF CECIL AND MARY CHUBB’S GIFT OF STONEHENGE TO THE NATION.

Tickets are free but places must be reserved by calling the English Heritage Bookings Team on 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm, Sat 9am – 5pm). The telephone bookings will close at 3pm the day before the event.

Hosted by English Heritage:

The Stonehenge News Blog
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest Stonehenge News
http://www.Stonehenge.News





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)

The Stonehenge News Blog
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest Stonehenge News
http://www.Stonehenge.News





Freemasons and Stonehenge. The Masonic Connection.

14 12 2016

As you might expect for such an imposing stone monument, people have sometimes associated Stonehenge with Freemasonry.

Oddly there is actually not much in the way of direct evidence that the Brotherhood ever took much interest in it apart from the odd article in ACQ (“Ars Quatuor Coronatorum”) discussing various aspects of its construction and history.

Various attempts have been made down the years to find a link between Druidism and Freemasonry with some authors claiming that the Druids were the original basis for it – notably G.S. Faber (“Origins of Pagan Idolatry”, 1816), Winwood Reade (“The Veil of Isis”, 1861) and Dudley Cory-Wright (“Druidism – The Ancient Faith of Britain”, 1924).

masons-camberwellThere’s even some graffiti that refers to masons – on the southwest side of the tallest stone still standing these lines appear:

           (J.DAY           )

1802    (                       ) MASONS CAMBERWELL

            (W.LAW         )

… although it’s not clear whether these are stone masons or Freemasons. Clearly they were equipped with excellent quality chisels.

Several of the Druid Orders that sprang up from the 18th Century onwards had Freemasonic roots – whether due to their founders being Freemasons or through the orders’ individual philosophies being quasi-masonic – and one was quite definitely and deliberately masonic in outlook.

That was the Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids, founded by Wentworth Little (a Freemason) in 1874, whose members all had to have achieved the degree of Master Mason and it was set up specifically to study the alleged links between Druidism and Freemasonry. Winston Churchill was initiated into this order in 1908 at Blenheim Palace.

There are two notable Freemasons who’ve been part of the story ofchurchill Stonehenge.

The first is William Stukeley, the 18th Century Antiquarian who identified the Greater Cursus as a monument (and thought it was probably a Roman racecourse – hence the name he gave it). Stukeley is largely responsible for popularising the idea that Stonehenge is an ancient Druid temple.

The second is Sir Cecil Chubb, who became a Mason in Salisbury at Lodge Elias de Derham, No. 586, on 26 October 1905. 10 years later he purchased Stonehenge at auction from the estate of the Antrobus family for the sum of £6,600, apparently on a whim (it’s said he went to the auction to buy some chairs). In 1918 he gifted Stonehenge and the surrounding 31 acres of downland to “the Nation” and was rewarded with a knighthood.

Finally there’s a very obscure Stonehenge masonic link that involves Sir Laurence Washington, the great great great grandfather of the first President of the USA – renowned Mason, George Washington.

Sir Laurence owned Stonehenge in the early 17th Century and it passed down to his son, the Rev. Lawrence Washington. It is reported that on his deathbed the Rev. Washington said:

“Embedded in the Ancient’s Concrete mixture of 1 part Bluestone and 3 parts Limestone cement, four feet (4 ft, 1.2 m) below my Helestone in Wilts, is my brass Altar of Burnt Offering (5c-5c-3c) containing my Seven (7) golden Tabernacle relics:

My gold Mercy Seat (2.5c-1.5c), my gold Ark of the Testimony (2.5c-1.5c-1.5c), my gold Table for the Shewbread (2c-1c-1.5c), my gold Candlestick, my gold Ephod-Girdle, my gold Breastplate, and my gold Altar of Incense (1c-1c-2c), are there.”

There appears to be only a single source for this story – one Garry Denke – and if you eris-symbolGoogle his name you’ll find that his Stonehenge Armageddon Prospect campaign to dig up these relics from beneath the Heelstone has appeared on forums and mailing lists all over the Internet.
Is Garry in possession of information known only to him and a shadowy conspiracy of hidden societies? Or is Stonehenge simply so ineffable that extra mysteries are constantly attracted to it?

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Article by guest blogger and local Stonehenge historian Simon Banton

What is freemasonry?

Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.

one-dollar

The All Seeing Eye is pictured on the $1 note

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practised under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.

Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.  More information

Are you a Freemason and can you share any information about Stonehenge and the Masonic connection?  We would love to hear from you.

The Stonehenge News Blog
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest Stonehenge News and Stories

 

 

 

 





Visit Stonehenge for half term fun.

23 10 2015

This half term Stonehenge is hosting an interactive, theatrical performance which will take families back 100 years to the dramatic auction of 1915 where Stonehenge was put up for sale!~

stoneman2Last month English Heritage marked the 100th anniversary of Stonehenge – the most iconic prehistoric monument in Europe – being sold at auction to local Wiltshire man Cecil Chubb. The auction marked a turning point in the care of the ancient monument. A series of major restorations and excavations began a few years later and Stonehenge went from isolated ruin to national treasure. Today it is cared for by English Heritage, and thanks to extensive work now sits within a restored landscape that gives a sense of its original setting.

Bring the family this half term and play a part in bringing a monumental historical moment to life in this centenary year, with this fun theatrical performance – specially developed for English Heritage by historical theatre compan Time Will Tell.The play is in two parts and will take place outside the visitor centre by the Neolithic Houses, every day of half term from Monday 26th October to Sunday 1st November, between 10am and 4pm

What better way for kids to step into England’s story than exploring a World Heritage Site and its prehistoric monuments? The Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre will entertain the most inquisitive of minds and there is plenty of outdoor space to work off extra energy, run and picnic. Pick up a family audio tour, explore our reconstructed Neolithic Houses and imagine what life would have been like for a Neolithic family four and a half thousand years ago!

Article by jspiteri  – Blackmore Vale Magazine

Entrance to Stonehenge is now managed through timed tickets and advance booking is the only way to guarantee entry on the day and time of your choice. By booking in advance you will also benefit from an advanced booking discount.
Click here for opening hours:

The Stonehenge News Blog





English Lawyer Cecil Chubb snagged #Stonehenge for just £6600 100 years ago.

20 09 2015

Given it was on the market 16 years earlier for £125,000, lawyer Cecil Chubb bagged a bargain when he picked up Stonehenge at a 1915 auction for £6600, two years after Druids cursed the relic’s owner.

First angering Druid worshippers by building a fence and charging admission, in 1913 Edmund Antrobus, whose family bought 525ha on Salisbury Plain around Stonehenge in 1824, banned Druid solstice celebrations in 1913.

Druid leader Macgregor Reid called down a “kara” on Antrobus, chanting “in grief and sorrow I call down the curse of Almighty God”.

Antrobus died at 67 in February 1915, four months after his only son, Edmund Jr, 28, perished on Belgian battlefields. A Grenadier Guards lieutenant, he died fighting Germans on October 24, 1914, and was buried in an orchard in a village outside Ypres.

Estate agents Knight, Franck and Rutley put the historic site under the hammer at Salibury’s Palace Theatre on September 21, 1915. Chubb placed the winning bid for “Lot 15: Stonehenge with 30 acres of adjoining land”.

Sir Cecil Chubb purchased the Stonehenge site in 1915.

Chubb reportedly placed the bid on a whim, either to purchase the site as a gift for his wife or because be believed a “Salisbury man ought to buy it”.

Chubb was born in 1876 at Shrewton, 6km west of Stonehenge, to saddler Alfred and his wife Mary. He attended Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury, working as a student teacher from age 14, when he met his future wife Mary Finch at a school cricket game.

Chubb earned a double first in science and law at Christ’s College, Cambridge and in 1902 married Mary, whose uncle Corbin Finch owned Fisherton House mental asylum.

After Finch’s death in 1905, the business and buildings were transferred to Mary. A limited company ran the hospital in 1924, with Chubb, then Sir Cecil, as chairman.

Under his management it became Europe’s largest private mental hospital. He also served on Salisbury City Council, became a successful racehorse owner and cattle breeder.

An 1800 engraving of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge ownership records date to at least 1620, when a “Mr Newdick”, probably Robert Newdyk who bought land at Amesbury, Wiltshire, in 1614, refused “any offer from George, Duke of Buckingham”. Amesbury, 3km east of Stonehenge, is the oldest continuously occupied site in Britain, dating to 8820BC.

By 1639 Stonehenge had passed to knight Laurence Washington. His friend, architect Inigo Jones visited to write in 1665 of “the most notable Antiquity of Great Britain, vulgarly called Stonehenge”.

When antiquarian William Stuckley described walking “hard and dry, chalky soil” in 1740 in “Stonehenge, A Temple Restor’d to the British Druids”, it stood “in the lordship of … Armesbury, the possession of Rev Mr Thomas Hayward … the Arch-Druid of the Island”.

It belonged to William, Duke of Queensberry, in 1778, passing on his death in 1810 to Archibald, Lord Douglas, who in 1824 sold the Amesbury estates to Cheshire baronet Edmund Antrobus. His great-nephew Edmund, 4th Baronet and former Grenadier Guards colonel, put Stonehenge on the market in September, 1899.

Druids at Stonehenge in 1998.

“The most splendid relic of man’s work in Britain … is under offer to the British Government by owner Sir Edmund Antrobus, who asks no less than £125,000,” the Spectator reported. “This includes 1300 acres of land surrounding the great stone circles. The proposal … will, no doubt, receive serious consideration. It cannot be disputed that if so priceless a relic of antiquity is to pass from a private owner, who has never interfered with the public’s enjoyment of it, the State should be the purchaser.”

Today the ancient site attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.

But the Spectator suggested a value of £25,000, allowing “£10 an acre for the land, which from an agricultural point of view is probably the worst in England and … the remoteness of Stonehenge from the beaten tracks of tourists and sightseers”, encouraging few visitors. The government refused, so in 1901 Antrobus enclosed Stonehenge and charged 1 shilling, or about £5, admission. Some 700 brothers joined an Ancient Order of Druids ceremony at Stonehenge in August, 1905, when Antrobus was inducted into the society.

In June, 1912, Reid led his Universal Bond of Zoroastrian-inspired Druids in “Sun-worship at Stonehenge”. Antrobus banned the gathering in 1913, when police attempted to stop Reid entering the site. He clashed with police again at the 1914 solstice. Chubb, who died in 1934, permitted Druid celebrations before donating Stonehenge to the British nation in October, 1918.








%d bloggers like this: