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

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Extension To Salisbury Museum opens

A £2.4m extension to Salisbury Museum housing more than 2,500 rare artefacts has opened.
The Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, which was partly funded by a lottery grant, is home to to a large collection of Stonehenge-related pieces.

These include the skeleton of a wealthy and powerful Bronze Age man dubbed the "Amesbury Archer" discovered in 2003.
The gallery also includes the Wardour Hoard containing 4,000-year-old sword fragments, spearheads and chisels.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

A303 upgrade to be fast tracked because of flooding crisis

The prospect of fast-tracking an upgrade of the second artery into the region comes as travel in the West country has been thrown into turmoil as the only mainline into Devon and Cornwall collapsed into the sea at Dawlish.
When questioned in the Commons as the region was effectively cut off by rail, transport minister Robert Goodwill said widening the A303 was a project on which the Government “needs to concentrate”.

Read more:

Northumberland (County)

Northumberland stone circle - 'DIY Stonehenge'

This may be old news by now. I've not come across it before though.

Wayland's Smithy (Long Barrow)

Bus service to be withdrawn

A friend in the Ramblers sent me this earlier today - am a bit gutted as have been known to use this service to walk up to Wayland's Smithy.

"Thamesdown Transport's route 47 between Swindon and Lambourn, via Bishopstone and Ashbury, is to be withdrawn. This will leave several villages without a bus service and make it more difficult to do linear walks along that part of the Ridgeway. At the time of writing it is unclear whether the Ridgeway Explorer bus X47, which runs only on Saturdays, will continue."

I despair!

Ogbourne St Andrew Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Bronze age mound at Ogbourne St Andrew being investigated

Small fry compared to the West Kennet Avenue dig but I found this quite at exciting.

Started a walk today from the church at Ogbourne St Andrew - a couple of archaeologists from Cranfield University were in the church-yard undertaking a geo-phys and mapping exercise of the Bronze Age mound which is in the churchyard. Apparently a small history group in the village had invited them in. I do hope the results will be published.


"Evidence" of a giant hill figure near Swindon

".... it can be revealed that for the best part of 3,000 years a hillside near Swindon was the site of an epic chalk carving of a giant spearman.

The 130ft high hill figure at Foxhill near Wanborough is believed to have been maintained for generations, almost certainly in honour of pagan gods worshipped throughout the centuries."

Tarren Maerdy (Cairn(s))

Stone Age carved wooden post found

Stone Age carved wooden post found at Rhondda Wind Farm ..

Vespasian's Camp (Hillfort)

Settlement near Stonehenge dates back to 7500BC

Bravo! Great work by David Jacques and his team.

Avebury (Stone Circle)

Archaeology walk with Dr Nick Snashall on 8th May

Was over at WK long barrow today when I bumped into a rather large but very well behaved group of people (inside the barrow). Dr Nick Snashall was leading a 'walking through the landscape' guided walk on behalf of the National Trust. The little bit of the talk I caught about WKLB sounded informative and, yes, I did learn something in a few short minutes.

Dr Snashall told me there is another such walk on 8th May (see her blog).


'Prehistoric Wiltshire' - local college course

New College in Swindon is running an eight week course on the prehistoric sites of Wiltshire.

Course starts 30th April, includes three field trips, cost £60.

Highland (Mainland)

Ancient rock art discovered in Evanton

Avebury (Stone Circle)

Avebury in Which? Magazine's Top Ten Heritage sites

Avebury is number two and the only stone circle to make it into Which? Magazine's Top Ten Heritage destinations.

County Meath

Bog body found in Co Meath

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound)

"The Giants of Wessex ..."

Interesting article in December's edition of Antiquity "The Giants of Wessex: the chronology of the three largest mounds in Wiltshire, UK" - by Jim Leary and Peter Marshall

Vespasian's Camp (Hillfort)

Mesolithic camp sheds light on the origins of Stonehenge

This article appeared in last Saturday's edition of The Times under the heading "Discovery of Mesolithic camp sheds light on the origins of Stonehenge". It relates to the exhibition held at Amesbury earlier in the year on the finds and work around Blick Mead.

(Source: "Current Archaeology" No 271:28-33)

Roddenbury Hill (Hillfort)

Wiltshire hillfort to undergo major repairs

Roddenbury hillfort to undergo major work to repair damage caused by off-road biking.

Coate Stone Circle

Fight Over!

This government has a lot to answer for. Flying in the face of strong local feeling and the decision made last year by Swindon Borough Council to finally reject the development at the land surrounding Coate Water Country Park (with all its archaeological and historical associations).

I received this email last night from the Chair of Wiltshire Ramblers Association.

"I had a letter from this morning advising that the Secretary of State had granted planning permission for the development of the land at Commonhead! It says the decision is final unless it is successfully challenged in the High Court and what would that cost?!!!"

PS: Commonhead is the name the developers have given the site to disguise its associations.

County Down

The forgotten Mound of Down

This is interesting - may be prehistoric, possibly not.


Wiltshire Heritage Museum faces ruin!

WILTSHIRE Heritage Museum in Devizes could be"effectively bankrupt" in two to three years unless Wiltshire Council comes to its aid.

The museum, which houses the most significant Bronze Age collection outside London, has been running at a deficit ever since the then Wiltshire County Council cut its grant several years ago and last year the shortfall was £69,000, effectively the cost of running the museum.

It is owned and run by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, a registered charity.

See link for full story:

Central London

London built on the blood of slaves

This very interesting article was posted by Digital Digging on Facebook. The Romans as cruel oppressors seems to be written out of history yet totally believable.
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Passionate about:
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.

My TMA Content: