The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Northumberland (County) — Links

Northumberland Rock Art, access to Beckensall archive


This website is the celebration of rock carvings made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people in Northumberland in the north east of England, between 6000 and 3500 years ago. Over 1000 carved panels are known and most of them are still located in the countryside.

The website is also a celebration of the work of Stan Beckensall who has spent 40 years finding and recording this ancient rock art. For many years Beckensall shared his knowledge and recordings of Northumberland rock art through public talks, conference presentations, and richly illustrated publications. Now we have the World Wide Web!

It is our hope that the information and images presented in this website will encourage greater enjoyment of this cultural resource; inspire the creation of new knowledge and insights into Northumberland and British rock art; and set the basis for the effective management and conservation of this ancient resource for future generations.

Wayland's Smithy (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Wandered up the Ridgeway having been and sat on White Horse Hill in the afternoon sun, end of September '97. Nobody else about 'cept for a lone mountain biker and us two. Wayland's Smithy was a very welcome goal after such an enjoyable trudge. Trix did his usual archaeological assessment and took lots of photos...I oohed and aahed at the tranquility, the low golden light of early Autumn and was pleased to be here at last. They say that if you pay the Smith with silver he'll re-shoe your horse. Well, I don't know about that, but I hid a 5p piece amongst the stones and the next week I got bought a new set of tyres!

Avebury (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

First time we approached this place at dusk I nearly drove off the road at the sheer enormity of actually being in the middle of a stone circle...! Found the local pub very accommodating and hospitable then travelled back a few miles to a campsite. Pitched the Vango in the dark then after a good kip returned to Avebury the next day. Trix and I were on our Grand Tour of Wessex et al and found the whole area deeply moving and intense, especially as most of the touristy types were only gawping at the stones near the pub and completely missing out the Avenue..which was great cos then we had it all to ourselves! Next time we'd travelled all night from York and arrived at Avebury very bleary eyed and not all there, at 8am. The sun was just up, the mist was like a very fine, gauzy curtain and (bugger) I left my camera in the van!

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Long and spooky drive up to the site through woods. Guess that's what happens if you go at dusk, but the moonlight made it all look very atmospheric. The shape reminded me a little of Wayland's Smithy with pointier uprights. A place to go and think.

Glenquicken (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

As with so many of these tiny sites, none of the locals we asked had any idea where it was , or even that it was there at all! Managed to locate it eventually, by process of elimination (ie. there aren't that many roads going out of Creetown) but when we found it..WOW! What a beautiful, peaceful place. As already mentioned, it isn't easy to get to, especially as recent problems in the countryside may have made farmers with cloven-hoofed livestock a bit edgy, but we went ages before the outbreak and as far as I know, it didn't get across that far anyway. Ho hum. The picture in Mr Cope's book is quite deceptive, making it look a lot bigger, but the real thing is small and perfectly formed...could have stayed all day...nothing but birds crying above...no traffic noises, being so high up above the village and main road.
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