Landscape with Stones: Paintings and woodcuts by Nick Schlee
"An exhibition of oil paintings and woodcuts by British landscape artist Nick Schlee, focusing on Avebury and the Ridgeway. This new exhibition features some of Nick Schlee's most bold and vivid work portraying the ancient monument of Avebury and the nearby Ridgeway... continues...
"The gateway to the Avebury World Heritage Site has been transformed after work to bury unsightly electricity cables was completed…"
"The project, which started over three years ago, was made possible by a partnership involving Wiltshire Council, the National Trust, North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, English... continues...
Following the request made by certain members of the Council of British Druid Orders in June 2006 for the reburial of ancient ancestral remains excavated from the Avebury Complex in Wiltshire, in 2008 English Heritage and the National Trust launched a consultation exercise to take public input... continues...
This year the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Sarsen Trail, and to mark this milestone is encouraging us to take part in the 'Walk for Wildlife Week' which precedes the Trail, Saturday 26th April to Sunday 4th May.
The Week will culminate with the Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon on Sunday 4th May... continues...
Sometimes there breaks out water in the manner of a sudden land flood, out of certain stones (that are like rocks) standing aloft in open fields near the rising of the river Kenet in this shire, which is reputed by the common people a fore runner of death. That the sudden eruption of Springs in places, where they use not always to run, should be a sign of death, is no wonder. For these usuall eruptions (which in Kent we call Nailbourns) are caused by extream gluts of rain, or lasting wet weather, and never happen but in wet years (witness the year 1648 when there were many of them) In which years Wheat, and most other grain thrive not well (for a plain reason) and therefore a dearth succeeds the year following.
From 'Britania Baconica: or, The natural rarities of England, Scotland, and Wales', written by J Childrey (1662).
Always beware of local people spinning a yarn. Could this be useful advice to visitors during the circus surrounding Silbury's latest excavations?
[Around 1776 when the miners were excavating Silbury] a correspondent of the Salisbury Journal, with the intention of throwing ridicule on the undertaking, narrated [..] that some years previously a poor boy who was carrying a pitcher of milk along the high road at that spot, fell down and broke the vessel. A tailor, who lived at Avebury close by, met the boy lamenting his case just at the same moment that a carriage appeared in sight. He, therefore, directed him to shout out lustily in order to excite the compassion of the passengers, and advancing up to the coach himself, observed that the poor lad had but too much reason for his lamentations, for the urn which he had broken had but just before been exhumed by his father, and as a piece of antiquity was of such rare value, that Dr. Davis of Devizes would no doubt have given a guinea for it. This declaration so wrought upon the curiosity of the travellers, that after due examination of the fractured vessel, and a consultation as to the possibility of uniting the fragments, they agreed to give a crown for the article, and drove off with their prize. The tailor then gave the boy one shilling, and appropriated four to himself.
From 'A History Military and Municipal of the Town of Malborough. James Waylen. 1854. p406.
The cuckoo's double note
Loosened like bubbles from a drowning throat
Floats through the air
In mockery of pipit, lark and stare.
The stable boys thud by
Their horses slinging divots at the sky
And with bright hooves
Printing the sodden turf with lucky grooves.
As still as a windhover
A shepherd in his napping coat leans over
His tall sheep-crook
And shearlings, tegs and yoes cons like a book.
And one tree-crowned long barrow
Stretched like a sow that has brought forth her farrow
Hides a king's bones
Lying like broken sticks among the stones.
Sarsen is a village that has no great landlord. There are fifty small proprietors, and not a single resident magistrate. Besides the small farmers, there are scores of cottage owners, every one of whom is perfectly independent.
Nobody cares for anybody. It is a republic without even the semblance of a Government. It is liberty, equality, and swearing. As it is just within the limit of a borough, almost all the cottagers have votes, and are not to be trifled
with. The proximity of horse-racing establishments adds to the general atmosphere of dissipation. Betting, card-playing, ferret-breeding and dogfancying, poaching and politics, are the occupations of the populace.
A little illicit badger-baiting is varied by a little vicar-baiting.
"These downes looke as if they were sowen with great Stones, very thick, and in a dusky evening they looke like a flock of Sheep: one might fancy it to have been the scene, where the giants fought with huge stones against the Gods. " Twas here that our game began, and the chase led us through the village of Avbury...."
A curious watery factoid about the edge of the downs:
..The chalk ridge of Martinsell and St. Anne's Hill, not far from the centre of the county, furnishes three springs, which, as old Aubrey, the Wiltshire antiquary of the seventeenth century observed, 'do take their courses thence three several waies:' one to the German ocean through the Thames, one by Salisbury to the Channel, the third by Calne and Bristol into the Atlantic.
Renoted on p109 of a curiously anonymous article on Wiltshire in 'The Quarterly Review' no205, v103.(1858)
Chris outlines his life in stone(s) writing that, "Eventually we had our first field trip and were taken to Lanhill and Lugbury Longbarrows. These two places are just a few miles from my doorstep and I never knew they existed. I was particularly interested in Lanhill with its stone walled entrance and little chamber. This was my first barrow experience and until this day I feel quite protective about it. Our next field trip was to the Avebury Complex including Windmill Hill, Silbury and West Kennet which just blew me away. The lectures and the field trip had such a big impact on me and gave me a love of the Neolithic people and their awesome structures which has remained with me ever since."
One of the Web sites relating to a collaboration between the Universities of Leicester, Newport and Southampton. This page links to interim reports on the 2001 and 2002 seasons, including the excavation of Falkner's Circle.