The boneyard of the bizarre that rewrites our Celtic past to include hybrid-animal monster myths
Ancient Mediterranean cultures thought nothing of splicing different animals together to form fantastical mythical beasts, such as the half-lion, half-goat chimera or the half-lion, half-eagle griffin.
Until now, however, ancient Britons were not credited with such imagination... continues...
The south Dorset Ridgeway project was launched in Portesham village hall. The three year project aims to protect historic monuments affected by erosion over the last forty years. The cash comes from the heritage lottery fund.
An Iron Age boat found when Poole Harbour was dredged in the 1960s is nearly ready for display after extensive conservation work overseen by York Archaeological Trust. You can visit it when the Poole Museum reopens in June. From the Manchester Evening News website.
[Area centred at SY 58959079] Half a mile beyond the BROADSTONE] in a W. direction, "on the right hand of the road are two large erect stones, four feet high; and, about five or six paces from them two more; one about two feet high, the other broken off the ground". Aubrey describes the three last stones as all standing and forming a circle eight paces in diameter (1) Similar information; this stone circle is now swept away (2). (1-2)
There are no visible remains of this possible stone circle within the area indicated by the description in T1. (3)
(SY58389109. Sited from auth 1 and OS 1000 1975)
The Sarsen Stone Survey (a) of 1974-5 prompted a search for the site of Hangman's Rocks, noted by both Aubrey and Hutchins, and shown on the 1765 Bedford Estate Map as 3 stones. A thorough search revealed one sarsen 3m long by 1m wide lying in a hedge bank, doubtless the remains of the Hangman's Rock group. (1)
[SY 57259149] MONOLITH [OE] (1) "Standing stone." (2) A rough block 6 1/2 ft high. 9 ft long and 2 1/2 ft wide. A standing stone (3) "Monolith" (4). (3-4) STANDING STONE [OE] (5) Scheluled Ancient Monument. (6)
This sarsen stands in a ploughed field. It is 2.2m high, 2.7m long at the base, and 0.5m thick. From the base it tapers to the top, assuming a triangular outline. The stone leans slightly to the S. There are no soil marks or indications of any other stone in the vicinity. (7)
(SY579912. Cursus sited from auth 1 and OS 1:10000 1975). A possible cursus has been recorded S.W of Kingston Farm. A sarsen stone 1.5m long, 0.85m wide and 0.35m thick was located in a chalk cut pit at SY57979118. Although it may be a natural stone removed during field clearence, its possible significance in relation to local prehistoric activity cannot be ruled out. (1) (illustration card 1, 'x')
Cropmarks of a possible cursus just southwest of the village of Kingston Russell. The feature appears on the north side of the A35 as a single ditch running parallel with the road before curving round towards and meeting the road. No cropmarks have yet been noted south of the road. Neither have any yet been observed east of the the road from Kingston Russell to the A35. However, the line of the possible cursus west of the Kingston Russel road is continued by the line of the pre-turnpike road, as marked on 1765 estate maps. This road was replaced circa 1776 by the new, turnpike, road immediately to the south on the line of the A35. A machine-cut section through the line of the cropmark found no trace of a ditch, which would appear to strengthen the possibility that the cropmark feature is not a cursus, although this leaves the terminal-like curve at the northwestern end to be explained. Another small trench excavated near the one noted above, but this time wholly "inside" the suggested cursus found a pit containing a large sarsen. Burial of an obstruction to cultivation appears the most likely explanation, although the proximity of a range of definite and possible prehistoric monuments appears to have given the sarsen greater significance than it might otherwise have attracted (see for example the standing stone SY 59 SE 30; the possible stone circle SY 59 SE 70; sarsens at SY 59 SE 87; as well as the various bank barrows and other cursus (see associated monuments). (1-2)
(centred SY 57818776) Stones (NAT) (Three shown). (1) There is no apparent archaeological significance in these stones. The only surviving conglomerate is the most westerly one, a sarsen 1.2m long, 0.7m wide and 0.3m thick. It is just possible that the stone had some connection with the stone circle to the NW but this seems doubtful. (2) Like the stones of the circle, the remaining stone is prostrate. It is too far from the hedge to be the result of field clearing. (3)
Two stones of a similar kind to those comprising Kingston Russell Stone Circle (SY 58 NE 6) "from whence they seem to have been displaced", lie by the side of an adjoining fence. (4)
(SY60698701) Standing Stones (NR) (Site of) (NAT) (1) "Four upright stones once stood here about, similar to those which compose the stone circle at Winterborne (possibly SY69SW17), in 1840 they were buried by the owner - W Manfield (now deceased) : the site shown was indicated by him". (2)
Boulders [NAT] [Three Shewn] (1) [ST 51370488] Standing Stones: Three stones 70 yds. S.S.W of Beckhams Coppice. They are set upright as though to form the end of a chamber. They measure 5' 9" high and 4' 6" wide, 3' 6" high and 5' wide, and 4' high and 2' 6" wide. 8 yards to the W. are two prone stones 5' long and another 50yds to the S.S.W. which measures 8' by 4'. The intervening space appears to have been disturbed. (2)
1/2 mile NW. of the Hoar Stones is a destroyed chambered long barrow consisting of 4 stones, locally known as The Devil's Arm Chair. [Probably applies.] (3)
Whereas the three stones are erected as if to form a chamber they are particularly weathered and are rather flat. Their heights are 1.2m, 1.5m and 1.8m. The significant fact about the entire group is that they are situated on the floor
of a steep sided valley. The ground between the group of three and the prostrate one to the south west has been dug out. The other prostrate stones are covered by bushes. There is evidence of light quarrying on the valley sides. These stones may be contemporary with the quarrying. (4) Perambulation revealed no traces of the alleged long barrow in the area stated. If the remark is intended to refer to these stones, the point is made that the site is topographically unsuitable, the orientation (NNE-SSW) is unusual, and the stones do not have the appearance of great age in their present situation. There seems little to warrant this site as an antiquity of any form. The legendary name "Devil's Arm Chair" was unknown to local people questioned. (5) These stones remain as described but they are not the remains of an archaeological feature or setting. (6)
A standing stone at Verwood (SU 0808), known as the "Wur Stone", was probably "Le Horeston" mentioned in a perambulation of the bounds of Cranborne Chase in the time of Edward I. It was a large block of sandstone and stood on the heath not far from the Ringwood road, but was thrown down and buried some time before 1872. (1-2)