Some of you might have read in the Guardian last week that this issue was resolved. It was reported that a compromise had been agreed and that the Nine Ladies were safe from quarrying. Unfortunately, this is not true and looks like it will not be resolved until May of this year. So the good people up in Derbyshire that are fighting to ensure the future of this most beautiful site are still in need of your support. Don't forget them!
I am very sad to say that a good Derbyshire woman named Dian Case has passed away. She was passionate about saving the Nine Ladies (and was a long-time campaigner for any endangered Derbyshire countryside). R.I.P.
Thanks again to Kevin for providing us with this update on Sea Henge...
It's official. Norfolk's Sea Henge is to be returned to the waves.
Here is a couple of paragraphs from a recent addition of the local rag "The Lynn News and Advertiser".
Chairman of Lynn and West Norfolk Museums Committee Ted Benefer said: "The mystical quality the timbers had in their beach setting in Holme would just be too difficult to recreate in a museum. The preservation and upkeep of the circle, if displayed off-site, would also be a drain on resources, because it is unlikely the timbers themselves would be a big draw for visitors"
BBC Local radio and regional Television have subsequently been running with the line that early next year the timbers would be buried "as close to their original setting as possible".
The story doesn't seem to have made the national press. I am assuming Time Team wont be
doing a "special" about the sites re burial ( despite the fact that their TV companion book features a picture of Sea Henge, pre desecration, on its cover).
So the timber will be re buried, in the wrong place.
A case of Flawed Genius Loci.
Thanks to Kevin for supplying the following update and thoughts on Sea Henge...
Oh dear.. looks like a black day for the desecration brigade.
It appears that no one wants to give a home to the displaced timbers of Sea Henge.
Strangely such an interesting story has made little impact in the national press but here is a transcript of a recently broadcast BBC Regional TV item.
"Seahenge timber circle may end up back on the beach where it was originally found. Talks are continuing over its future... and siting it on Holme beach is one of the options being considered.
West Norfolk Borough Council has turned down the chance to have it."
It seems some people have noticed that the rotten timbers slumped in a visitor centre somehow lack the enchantment they had when glimpsed rising from the waters once every thirty or so years on a windswept Norfolk beach. What a surprise. I would hazard a guess that if you pulled Stone Henge down and re assembled it in the car park at Heathrow airport it would also lose some of its dignity.
Pulling a sacred site apart may help archaeologists find out HOW it got there but will never reveal WHY it got there. The answer to that is in the question; it is the THERE which is important.
If a hard pressed subsistence culture busted its ass to put stones/timbers/burials in a specific place then they did it for a reason. I think you can only begin to glimpse those reasons if you keep artifacts and site together.
Sea Henge was a local secret. Some of the people of Holme new it appeared every few decades. Grandfathers took their grandchildren to see it when certain rhythms of time and tide permitted it to be seen.
I'm not saying that was the original intention of the builders, but I would argue that it has a certain poetry about it. No one wants to gawp at some dislocated rotten stumps in a museum. No one wants to stand on a beach and say "there USED to be a sacred site out there, somewhere".
Even the most pragmatic amongst us must have that sneaky feeling that a spell has been broken.
Meanwhile 4000 year old bits of wood free to a good home.
New Official Ancient Monument
Thanks to Fiona Young who sent in this article from her local Aberdeenshire newspaper:
"Stone Circle Named As Ancient Monument"
by Audrey Innes
The remains of a group of North-east standing stones, which date back more than 5,000 years, look set to be named as an official ancient monument later this year.
The Neolithic stone circle, which can be found to the west of North Mains of Auchmaliddie, near Longside, is to be scheduled by Historic Scotland.
This will result in the recumbent circle receiving statutory protection and will be monitored by inspectors on a cyclical basis.
The majority of the stones have been stolen and only the recumbent stone and west flanker, which has now fallen, have survived.
The white quartz stones are understood to have been quarried within the area.
A spokesman for Historic Scotland said this type of stone circle was distinctive to the North-east and dates from the later Neolithic period, around 3,000BC.
He said: "The monument is in the process of being scheduled as an ancient monument and the work will be completed within the next three months."
He added that they had still to speak with the monument's owners.
Yesterday, South Buchan councillor Norma Thomson, who represents Auchmaliddie, said: "Buchan is rich in historic sites and monuments such as these, so any moves to protect our heritage in this way are to be welcomed."
Banff and Buchan MSP Alex Salmond said: "The site has not been inspected by the authorities for the last 10 years or so and concerns were expressed to me about the potential implications of this."
He added: "I contacted Historic Scotland and I am pleased that they arranged for an inspection to be carried out and consider the site worthy of inclusion as a scheduled monument."
There are about 100 of these recumbent stone circles within the North-east. They usually comprise of a ring of stones, around 65ft in diameter with the largest stone, the recumbent, lying on its side.
Yes, it's true that a huge hole has appeared at the top of Silbury. I've just come back from checking it out, and the entire area is roped off and the NT is not letting anyone near. The hole has appeared precisely where it was excavated in the late 1700s, and an NT spokesperson believes that it was re-opened as a result of all the recent rain. The NT is treating this as a very serious matter, as they no doubt realise that they cannot patrol the Hill 24 hours a day and that folks will continue to ascend.
Very worrying indeed.
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