Karl Lee - Flintknapper and primitive technologist
Karl Lee, flintknapper and primitive technologist will be performing his art as part of the Festival of Archaeology 2014.
This event is free and runs from 10:00-04:00 on Sat 12th Jul 2014 at Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre 10, Market Place, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3HF Tel: 01249 705020 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org... continues...
Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Sites, a talk by Rachel Foster
Thursday 5th September 2013 2.15 pm
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN
An insight into two of the richest archaeological sites in the country. This talk will help you explore these ancient landscapes and celebrate their contribution to our understanding of our prehistoric ancestors... continues...
Archaeology and Conservation Fair - Sunday 14th July
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN
Ever wondered what the county archaeology team based in the History Centre does?
Curious to take a tour of the Conservation Labs upstairs?
Maybe you would like to find out about recent excavations, hoards and the work of local archaeology field units?<... continues...
A priceless prehistoric gold lozenge excavated in the 19th century will be put on public display for the first time when the new Neolithic gallery at Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes opens next year... continues...
"An exhibition of works by Rob Pountney, Dave Gunning and David Inshaw depicting the spectacular landscapes and ancient archaeological sites that feature in the novels and poems of Thomas Hardy... continues...
"The Annual General Meeting of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society will take place at Devizes Town Hall, commencing at 2.30pm (10 October, 2009). This will be followed by a lecture from Prof. Mike Parker Pearson.
"Mike's talk is entitled 'The Stonehenge Riverside Project - Recent Results'... continues...
"About 4,500 years ago some inhabitants of Britain suddenly started wearing and being buried with jewellery. Subsequent centuries saw objects being fashioned out of amber, jet, gold, copper, bone and faience in a bewildering variety of forms... continues...
Culture minister Barbara Follett has announced a £150,000 grant for the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes. The grant will be used to create a new Bronze Age Gallery to house material excavated from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.
"A survivor of one of the most audacious invasions of Stonehenge has turned up in time for this week's solstice celebrations, more than 40 years after all the perpetrators were believed to have perished in a fire... continues...
Just before Christmas the Wiltshire Archaelogical and Natural History Society, which maintains the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, library and gallery in Devizes, heard from the county council that their grant for 2006/7 (£24,500) would not be renewed in 2007/8... continues...
A dig near Malmesbury town walls has uncovered a substantial stone-fronted defensive rampart and a deep ditch which could date to the Iron Age.
Archaeologists believe the prehistoric hill fort would have had impressive multiple defences rising above the valley of the River Avon... continues...
Wiltshire Bronze Age Pot Project at Devizes Museum
gleaned from 'WeirdWiltshire.co.uk'
15 FEB - 22 APRIL, DEVIZES: The current exhibition at Wiltshire Heritage Museum reviews the progress of the five year project, Repairing the Past, the Wiltshire Bronze Age Pot Project, funded chiefly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to conserve 105 prehistoric pots from Wiltshire... continues...
Bronze Age bowl barrow 35m in diameter and 0.5m high. Scheduled.
ST 78487817 A round barrow, 25 paces in diameter and a foot high, apparently on an ancient field boundary (ST 77 NE 4) Found by Grinsell, 1949. (1)
This is a bowl barrow 0.6m high at ST 78417813. There is no trace of the field boundary. Surveyed at 1/2500. (2)
Malmesbury, a Saxon town in north Wiltshire famous for its historic Abbey and it connection with the first king of all England, Athelstan. I was in the Athelstan Museum earlier today and was fascinated to learn Malmesbury is built on the site of an early Iron Age hill fort. Was looking at a 3D model of town in the museum and it is almost surrounded by two rivers. A town where prehistory becomes the history of England - life before the Normans. Also known as the "Queen of Hilltop Towns".
A fine website, with an easy search engine. Once a site is found, there is a link to a local Ordnance Survey map of the area, with zoom facilities. The best bit is that all the sites are marked with their features on top of the existing modern features. Check out the Stonehenge Avenue for instance.
This new 35-minute documentary explores the past, present and future of the Marlborough Mound. This film uncovers the history of the Mound, explaining its legacy to those unaware of its profound importance, and to those curious about the unknown.
Manton Down Barrow Destroyed.
Discovery by Youth Hostel Party.
From our correspondent, Swindon, April 27.
The Long Barrow at Manton Down, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, which is believed to date from about 2,200 B.C., has been destroyed. Its destruction was discovered yesterday when a party of Youth Hostel Association members were taken to inspect the tumulus by Mr. N. Thomas, curator of Devizes Museum, and Mr. L.V. Grinsell, curator of the Department of Antiquities, City Museum, Bristol. Trees in the area had also been cleared.
Large stones which composed the barrow are scattered over a fairly wide area. Gathered around a solitary small tree are big sarsen stones at the point which was probably the burial chamber. Some now stand on edge. In a half circle from the rubble which originally composed the mound are groups of uprooted bushes and trees.
Mr. Thomas said to-day: "Mr. Grinsell and I are reporting the matter to the chief inspector of monuments at the Ministry of Works." The title of the barrow, he said, was something of a misnomer. It was, in fact, one of the shortest of the barrows, of which there are several in the locality. He put its length at about 80ft., and it would, he thought, have been about 3 ft. to 4ft. high. It was scheduled as an ancient monument.
Featuring my favourite folklore icon, Mr Grinsell. From The Times, April 28th, 1953. Can you imagine their faces (or the language). The next part of the story is in another post below.
A small tribute to the 49 bus between Swindon- Avebury-Devizes.
The 49 bus route from Swindon to Devizes via Avebury is my favourite bus journey. For quite a few years I only really went as far as Avebury, having joined the now defunct internet forum set up to discuss all aspects of Avebury. A disparate collection of people though we were, we often arranged ‘meets’ at Avebury, immersing ourselves in the WHS landscape. All good things come to an end and the Avebury Forum eventually folded but even now there is nothing better on a breezy day than a walk along the Avenue to Waden Hill - climbing up to see Silbury against the cloudscape of the day.
These days life has moved on and I now have a regular commitment in Devizes so make the return journey at least once a week, always sitting upstairs. When the bus climbs the hill out of Wroughton just south of Swindon, the landscape opens out into downland; on we go past the Hackpen White Horse at Broad Hinton. Sheep grazing, a buzzard or two sitting motionless in a ploughed field, very occasionally lapwings or fieldfares. Sometimes the downs are covered in layers of mist which is always beautiful to see. Then through Avebury, always people wandering about regardless of the weather – always a different view, depending on which side of the bus I sit. On past Silbury sitting enigmatic as always in the landscape, past the Adam and Eve stones and the Beckhampton long barrow. Then a long stretch of straight road between Beckhampton and Bishop Cannings. Bronze Age round barrows strung out at various points on either side of the road (a couple in the garden of a farmhouse). I believe there is also a long barrow out there somewhere though I’ve never been able to identify it. Travelling upstairs on the 49 bus is a great way to see a truly unique archaeological landscape and to see the way modern day farming practices intersect with it.
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I called here on my way to my parents near Swindon and hadn’t been here for more than 20 years prior to this. It’s very easy to locate owing to the Lansdowne Monument, a 38m stone obelisk on Cherhill Down visible from both the A4 and the A361. Because of its proximity to Avebury, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, et al., the area is littered with sites from the Neolithic to the Iron Age and also includes more recent works like the white horse cut in 1780. I parked at the run off East of the hill fort in what must have been the Old Bath Road before it was metalled and straightened somewhat and made my way past the gallops and up towards the top of the Down. The path isn’t very obvious from this direction, but you do get to see a lot of earthworks which may, or may not, be connected with the hill fort. Some may be hut circles or animal pens, others might be dew ponds or slightly unambitious chalk quarries. Reaching the South East corner (it’s not round!) of the hill fort you get great views of the surrounding hills to the South and West including the linear Bronze Age barrow groups on Morgans Hill and also an impression of the scale of the mighty banks and ditches of the fort itself. Early evening is almost always the best time to visit these kind of sites, particularly if you have low raking sunlight. It brings out the best definition and colour in the landscape and makes it almost heartbreakingly beautiful and, for me, tinged with nostalgia. Moving around the earthworks in a clockwise direction you come past the Lansdowne Monument and get a good view of the long barrow, the oldest element in the vicinity, standing on a slight promontory just below it. By this time it’s becoming clear that the Western horizon is filling with rain clouds and so I head North East again taking in the white horse and then exit via the hill fort’s Eastern opening descending back towards the A4. As you get to the bottom of this track you’ll notice a fine barrow in the corner of a field (Cherhill 4 - not very romantic is it?) and if you turn right you’re back on the Old Bath Road track which is where the parking place is. By now the weather was going into overdrive and though the torrential downpour I’d been anticipating hadn’t yet materialised, the sky was now leaden and a fantastic rainbow appeared at the end of the track urging me onwards. Before you get to the parking spot there’s another large barrow right beside the track which, although I didn’t notice at the time, has a World War Two bunker built into the North side of it. This makes strategic sense in terms of the now disused Yatesbury airfield just the other side of the A4. I reach my car just in the nick of time as the raindrops descend. What luck! What weather! What poetry!