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Wiltshire

Weird Wiltshire Exhibition - featuring Julian Cope at Avebury


An art exhibition at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6AA features a portrait of Julian Cope by the Avebury Stones - artist as yet unknown.

Exhibition is called 'Weird Wiltshire' - celebrating the "myth, magic and mystery of Wiltshire" in art form.
http://swindonopenstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/weird-wiltshire-exhibition.html?spref=fb

From 1st - 29th April. Entry Free.
Opening times vary so, if planning a visit please call 01793-466571 or see web-site:
http://richardjefferiessociety.co.uk/RJmuseum.html

Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon 2017 - cancelled


Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have made the following announcement:

"It is with much regret that we must cancel the 2017 Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.

Unfortunately there is now going to be a major military exercise on Salisbury Plain with live firing. As a result we will be unable to access the Plain or Old Carter Barracks at Bulford (the finish) on 30th April, the planned date of our Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.
We have overcome many challenges in the 29 years of running this event but after looking at alternatives including changing the date and route, none of these options are viable.

To find out more information, how to claim a refund or how to donate your entry fee please call 01380 829084."

Avebury (Stone Circle)

Changes to Sunday bus service to Avebury


As helpfully pointed out by thesweetcheat on TMA Forum, there have been some seemingly sudden changes to the 49 bus service from Swindon Bus Station to Avebury.

Anyone planning a bus trip to Avebury from Sunday 2nd April 2017, they now only run every two hours. Here are the times:
From Swindon Bus Station: 08.15, 10.15, 12.15, 14.15, 16.15, 18.15
Return from Avebury: 09.34, 11.34, 13.34, 15.34, 17.34, 19.34 (leaving Devizes at 11 minutes past the hour - every two hours).

Staffordshire

Detectorists strike gold in Staffordshire field


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/28/detectorists-strike-iron-age-gold-staffordshire-field

"Two metal detecting friends have found a hoard of superb Iron Age gold jewellery after returning to a Staffordshire field where they previously found nothing and became so bored that they gave up the hobby and turned to fishing for 20 years.
The four Iron Age gold torcs – three collars and a bracelet-sized piece, including two made of twisted gold wire, two with trumpet shaped finials and one with beautiful Celtic ornament – are of international importance.
The pieces were made in present-day Germany or France, possibly in the third or fourth century BC and, according to Julia Farley of the British Museum, are some of the oldest examples of Iron Age gold, and of Celtic ornament, ever found in Britain. They could have arrived through trade or on the neck and arms of an extremely wealthy immigrant ...."

Must Farm Logboats

National BA Museum proposed for Peterborough


"A number of organisations, including Peterborough City Council, Vivacity, the British Museum and The University of Cambridge, are in discussions about how best to display the discoveries found at Must Farm and Flag Fen.
Last January the world’s media was amazed by the archeological dig at Must Farm, near Whittlesey, which saw ancient round houses preserved in the clay. The discovery has been described as ‘the Pompei of the Fens’ because of the way the finds had been preserved, and what they told archeologists about life in the Fens 3,000 years ago. Wooden roundhouses, which were destroyed by a fire thousands of years ago, where uncovered, as were tools, bones and even pots still containing food. Journalists and historians from across the world descended on the Must Farm Quarry to see the operation to recover the finds. A report looking at the possibility of creating a National Bronze Age museum for the city had been prepared in 2014, with the discoveries at Flag Fen being at the heart of the plans - but now the report is being looked at again, to take into account the new discoveries. "

Read more at: http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/national-bronze-age-museum-could-be-built-in-city-1-7794984

Stonehenge and its Environs

Salisbury by-pass considered as an alternative to tunnel


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35322444

Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust posted the above news link on FB this morning with the following statement:

"Two years ago today, the government lost its credibility here when, in a moment of pre election spin it pledged that a tunnel should be ploughed through the Stonehenge landscape so that public can no longer slow traffic down to see them, so that people in the West Country will vote for them and reap huge! benefits from saving 30 mins traffic delays on a Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Bank holidays and so that over the coming century arguably one of the most significant Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape in Europe if not the World will be desecrated and our past consigned to the past. Once a concrete structure replaces a cubic kilometre of chalk there is no return, the chalk lands and natural aquifers will be altered, water flows will change and unless maintained for perpetuity, once the tunnel comes to the end of its 125yr life design, it will become the biggest man made headache for future generations to deal with. If by some pure act of vandalism the Government manage to continue to deliver this outrageous ill conceived scheme, they and those who support it will be named, published and go down in history as the vandals who destroyed Stonehenge and Britain's heritage.
The Trust will continue to support a southern bypass reroute that provides a sustainable long term solution for South Wiltshire, the living, as well as the dead. This alternative solution would do what the tunnel won't do and open up fully the Stonehenge Landscape without destroying it. We hope when a public consultation is eventually launched, common sense prevails and credibility is restored."

Iona

Prehistoric village found on Iona


It was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for four centuries and the home of St Columba. But now the site of what is believed to be a prehistoric village has been found on the island of Iona. The “exciting” discovery is close to the site of the isle’s primary school.
Pottery, flints and other prehistoric materials found during the archaeological dig could take its history back more than 2,500 years.
The items unearthed, and believed to be five times older than the settlement of St Columba’s time in 563 AD, were made during excavation works for the building of an extension to the island’s primary school.
The island is best known for its monastery founded by the monk Columba, also known as Colm Cille, who had been exiled from his native Ireland as a result of his involvement in the Battle of Cul Dreimhne. But now a new find on the holy island has excited archaeologists from across Scotland and throughout the world.
An archaeological team have discovered two different periods of building on top of the original village mound of more than 1,000 years, and a previously unknown extension to the medieval vallum, or wall, has all been found in a shallow ditch next to the school.
The extent of the wall may rewrite experts’ understanding of the way in which the community on the island in 600 and 700 AD worked together.
The archaeological work has been carried out by Dr Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology Ltd.
She said: ‘It seems very likely that the turf bank and ditch are early medieval in date, perhaps 7th or 8th century, and may represent the remains of an unknown monastic boundary, while the underlying soils appear likely to date from the late Bronze Age or Iron Age.
‘What is most exciting to me is that the lines of the property that exist now are very similar to the property lines that existed more than 2,000 years ago.”

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1002459/prehistoric-village-found-on-iona/

Wiltshire

Wiltshire's Story in a 100 Objects - Wiltshire Museum, Devizes


http://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/news/index.php?Action=8&id=174&page=0

I visited this exhibition in Devizes Museum yesterday - it wasn't an exhibition in the regular sense as, although the items were numbered, they were interspersed among the museum's excellent permanent collection. There were some surprises - a bowl from West Kennet Long Barrow, the Roundway Down Archer (neither of which I had seen before).

It seems to be a county wide project so worth checking the other museums too.

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

London Stone to go on show in museum


An ancient and obscured piece of limestone has long guarded Cannon Street. It's called simply London Stone (never 'the' London Stone). It might be a Roman milestone or druidic monument. Nobody knows. Very few people ever notice the venerable rock, which has long languished in a woefully unworthy niche opposite the station.
From this Friday, the mysterious artefact will finally get some attention when it goes on show as part of the the Museum of London's War, Plague & Fire gallery.
London Stone was once much larger and more prominently positioned. The monument is mentioned in Shakespeare, and was first referenced in the 12th century. It is undoubtedly much older, and has been incorporated in the foundation myths of our city.
Display at the museum will finally bring London Stone back into public awareness after its long slumber. It will remain at the museum while work is carried out to rebuild its existing home.
The stone is shifting to the museum for temporary display, while its existing home is knocked down and rebuilt.
See London Stone at the Museum of London from Friday 13 May 2016. Entrance is free.

http://londonist.com/2016/05/london-stone-to-go-on-show-at-the-museum-of-london?utm_content=bufferf9f1f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Scotland (Country)

Nan Shepherd to appear on Scottish bank note


Great news! Scientist Mary Somerville too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36111759

Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, welcomed the choice of Ms Shepherd for the £5 note.
He said: "It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way.
"Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today."

Wiltshire

5,000 years of history unearthed on MOD land in Bulford


http://www.insidewiltshire.co.uk/5000-years-of-history-unearthed-at-site-for-new-army-homes/

“The archaeological work that uncovered these exciting remains was undertaken as part of the normal planning process and we are pleased that, as a result, it has been agreed some of the most significant archaeology will be preserved within the planned open space. The remains date from the prehistoric to the modern periods and add new chapters to the story of Bulford. These finds are a great example of the fantastic range of archaeology that lies unseen under our county waiting to be rediscovered, and how sustainable development can help to tell us more about our past.”

A further phase of excavation is planned to examine the two prehistoric monuments beside which the Saxon cemetery was established. These appear to consist of Early Bronze Age round barrows that may have earlier, Neolithic origins. They are likely to be granted scheduled monument protection by Historic England and will be preserved in situ in a part of the site that will remain undeveloped. Neolithic pits outside the monuments contained decorated ‘Grooved Ware’ pottery, stone and flint axes, a finely made disc-shaped flint knife, a chalk bowl, and the bones of red deer, roe deer and aurochs (extinct wild cattle).

Stonehenge and its Environs

Booze banned from summer solstice celebrations


http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/14411283.Booze_banned_from_summer_solstice_at_Stonehenge_and___15_parking_charge_confirmed/?ref=fbshr

BOOZE will be banned from summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, English Heritage has confirmed.
And drivers will have to fork out £15 to park at the Stones, in a bid to reduce the number of cars at the event.
When the plans were unveiled in February it led to a "pay to pray policy" accusation from senior druid King Arthur Pendragon.
Bosses at Stonehenge say the reason behind introducing a £15 parking charge is encourage more people to car share and use public transport.
They also believe that banning alcohol will "reduce the risk to those attending and to the monument itself". Drinking will not be allowed anywhere in the monument field.

Part of the reasons for the changes is the increase in numbers to Stonehenge for the summer solstice. In 2000, approximately 10,000 people attended while in 2014, the figure was close to 40,000. That same year, the stones were vandalised during both the summer and winter solstice celebrations.

Money raised from the new charges would go towards supporting £60,000 a year cost of maintaining the visitor centre car park. Kate Davies, Stonehenge’s General Manager, said: “Over the last 15 years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge. We have limited parking facilities and we believe the parking charge will encourage more people to car share or travel by bus.

“We’ve also seen more drunken and disrespectful behaviour. Something has to be done or we risk losing what makes solstice at Stonehenge so special.
“These changes will help us to better look after both those attending the solstice and the ancient monument itself.
“Since we proposed these changes, we’ve had a lot of support from the public and from across all the different groups who help to organise the solstice celebrations.”

English Heritage also said it was mindful of how alcohol was used by some druids during ceremonial practice and would be consulting with the community on how moderate use of ritual alcohol.

Tintagel (Cliff Fort)

'Merlin' carved into the rocks at Tintagel


English Heritage has commissioned a carving into the rocks at Tintagel. As this is the News Section I will refrain from expressing a personal view.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about-us/search-news/merlin-carving-tintagel

Wiltshire

Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge discovered after being dug up by badger


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35523757

"A Bronze Age cremation burial has been discovered near Stonehenge after being accidentally dug up by a badger. Objects found in a burial mound at Netheravon, Wiltshire, include a bronze saw, an archer's wrist guard, a copper chisel and cremated human remains.
Experts believe the burial may have been that of an archer or a person who made archery equipment.
The artefacts date back to 2,200-2,000BC, senior archaeologist Richard Osgood, of the MOD, said."

These will be displayed in the Wiltshire Museum at Devizes later in the year.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

English Heritage to consider banning alcohol ...


English Heritage look set to ban alcohol and charge for parking at future Summer and Winter Solstice Gatherings.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35500528

Revellers at Stonehenge could face a ban on alcohol and parking charges at this year's solstice celebrations. English Heritage, which manages the ancient site, wants to introduce "significant changes" in response to "repeated and consistent" feedback. Stonehenge manager Kate Davies, said an alcohol ban would "help everyone to have a better experience of solstice".

But senior druid, King Arthur Pendragon, said English Heritage was "looking for confrontation".
In December, large crowds gathered at the ancient monument in Wiltshire to watch the sunrise and mark the winter solstice.

And an estimated 23,000 people descended on the site to celebrate the summer solstice last June.
Despite it being illegal to damage the monument, last year the Heritage Journal wanted revellers banned from getting close to the stones in a bid to prevent the "annual vandalism".

West Kennett (Long Barrow)

West Kennett Long Barrow re-opened.


A beautiful winter's day, the fairground ride of Christmas over - sigh of relief for another year. So today ventured out to Avebury to walk over to West Kennett Long Barrow. Having heard it was open to the public again, wanted to see the improvements. The ground levels inside the barrow have been raised slightly and covered with a sandy gravel. The unsightly sky-light has been sealed and replaced with two port holes in the middle and at the end of the barrow. I bumped into an old friend over there (as you do) who told me the plan was for water to drain out through a small gap in the entrance stones.
Just at the moment the walk up to the barrow is very muddy as a vehicle has churned the rubber meshing.

Hambledon (Hillfort)

Out of control hunt damages hill fort and long barrow


The National Trust has written to the Portman Hunt amid claims its horses and hounds damaged Hambledon Hill, one of the finest examples of an iron age hill fort in Dorset. It is claimed the hunt left the recognised bridleway and came across the hill during a half term hunt last month.

National Trust volunteer Jerry Broadway, who believes this is the second time the hunt has damaged the hill fort, added: "After leaving the bridleway the hunt scattered livestock which were panicked by the hounds who were completely out of control.

"On this occasion extensive damage was done by the horses to the hill generally, and most worryingly the Neolithic Longbarrow which is over 3,000 years old. They have now twice been guilty of blatant and wilful damage to a scheduled ancient monument. What, I wonder will it take to make them actually take real notice?"

Meanwhile, National Trust West & North Dorset general manager Helen Mann confirmed complaints had been received that a hunt crossed Hambledon Hill. She said: "It appears that the hunt, while crossing the hill on a bridleway, left the track to round up some dogs which had got out of control.

"Hambledon Hill is a remarkable and important site for both wildlife and archaeology and we have written to the hunt to remind them that they must stay on the bridleway when crossing the hill. Any horses being ridden off the bridleway risk damage and erosion to the fragile Iron Age ramparts which give the hill its distinctive appearance."

Hambledon Hill was acquired by the National Trust last year. Built over 2,000 years ago, the massive earthwork defences lay over one of the most significant early Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe, dating back almost 6,000 years, and is a place half of British butterfly species call home.

The Portman Hunt was unavailable for comment.

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14021300._Out_of_control__hunt_did__extensive_damage__to_3_000_year_old_hill_fort__says_National_Trust/

West Kennett (Long Barrow)

WKLB closed for conservation work


West Kennett Long Barrow is currently closed for conservation work. The entrance is fenced off while a small team of what looked like three people work on the drainage and 1950s concrete skylight. I was over there earlier today and spoke to someone who said he was an archaeology-engineer. The work, being carried out with care and precision, has been jointly commissioned by NT and EH.
A very strong plastic webbing 'road' has been laid up to the barrow and a portacabin is up there behind the fencing.

Isle of Skye

Mesolithic hazel nut shells found


http://archaeology.org/news/3822-151022-mesolithic-skye-nutshells

Hazelnut shells have been uncovered at a Mesolithic site on the Isle of Skye by archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands, members of the Staffin Community Trust, schoolchildren, and volunteers. “We have found lots of fragments of charred hazelnut shells in the lower soil samples. They are the ideal thing to date as they have a short life span and were a Mesolithic favorite,” archaeologist Dan Lee told BBC News. The team also recovered flints and a piece of bone that may have been used as a toggle or a bead.

Killaclohane (Portal Tomb)

Ancient burial discovered during restoration/excavation work


http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/ancient-burial-site-discovered-in-kerry-697015.html

Excavations of what is thought to be the oldest surviving structure in Kerry have uncovered a burial site which dates back almost 6,000 years.

The dolmen or portal tomb at Killaclohane, Milltown is the oldest such structure still intact anywhere in Kerry according to the county archaeologist, Michael Connolly.
The tomb, on a site between Milltown and Castlemaine, dates from around 3,800 BC and had never been excavated before.

A team of archaeologists recently undertook conservation works to ensure that the capstone on the tomb – which had slipped off its supporting portal stones – would not fall completely and irreparably damage the two upright pillars.

Excavations of what is thought to be the oldest surviving structure in Kerry have uncovered a burial site which dates back almost 6,000 years.

According to archaeologist Michael Connolly "during the excavations, the cremated remains of at least two people were discovered along with a number of arrowheads, scrapers, neolithic pottery and a flint javelin head".

The precise dating of those objects may take several months but they are believed to be from the early Neolithic period. The discovery suggests that one of the earliest settlements in the county was in the Milltown area when people began to farm and develop ties to the land. Connolly has described the discovery as "very important".
Showing 1-20 of 94 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
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Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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