English Heritage has been given £80m in the government's Spending Review as part of plans for the organisation to become a charity. Some of the £80m awarded by the government will help to set up the charity so it will be fully operational by March 2015.
Some information that may be of use to TMA-ers looking at OS maps of England and Wales, from "Field Archaeology - Some Notes For Beginners Issued by the Ordnance Survey" (1963 - Fourth edition), chapter entitled "Tumuli":
"Today the term tumulus is reserved for those earthen mounds either known or presumed to be covering burials. Formerly a class of larger mounds, now known to belong to early medieval castles also received this name in error ..., but now are given their correct technical description or are described as 'Mound' in the appropriate type. All piles of stones are called cairns whether their funerary character is known or not, but the use of an 'antiquity' type will mean that the Survey believes it to be sepulchral. In some very lofty situations it will be obvious that they are not graves. Where a mound has a local name which clearly indicates the belief that it is a burial place the descriptive name tumulus is not added."
Ancient craft is dedicated to the archaeology of primitive crafts and technologies that encompass the three prehistoric ages: STONE; BRONZE and IRON. This includes working with materials such as stone (also known as "flintknapping"), wood, bone, horn, leather, metals and cloth (plant fibres, and wools).
"The Scheme's database holds records of artefacts and coins found by the public, whilst pursuing a wide range of activities (the majority from metal detecting). We do not record details of objects found by archaeologists, and these data can be found within the local Historic Environment Office."
"The half a million objects recorded mark was reached on March 21st 2010."
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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!