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Shropshire

Three limestone monoliths mark a path to Shropshire's first long barrow in 5,000 years


They were being laid in the grounds of Soulton Hall, Wem, as part of a wider scheme to create the long barrow next year.

The impressive limestone features, each weighing a couple of tonnes, stand approximately 12 feet high and six feet wide, and are the first step in the building of the Soulton Long Barrow by Sacred Stones Ltd and the Ashton family.

The Soulton Long Barrow was granted planning permission earlier this month and will be made entirely by hand using natural limestone, lime mortar and traditional techniques.

Inspired by those built by our prehistoric ancestors, it will house cremation ashes and will provide a much-needed alternative venue for funerals and commemorative experiences.

It is hoped the barrow will act as a focal point for community to celebrate life, free from the constraints imposed by municipal alternatives. The long barrow will also provide a unique backdrop for educational and creative events.

Managing director of Sacred Stones, Toby Angel, said: "These beautiful standing stones are a precursor to what will be an historic build; the first long barrow in the region for 5,000 years. As well as marking the path to the barrow, these monoliths are our statement of intent and commitment to creating a natural, secular barrow in a rural setting where families can come with no time limitations and celebrate life.

"We established the company in response to our own experience of crematoriums and the frustration of spending longer in the car park than at the service. When we saw the public's reaction to the Wiltshire barrow and their engagement with the structure there, it encouraged us to form Sacred Stones. In death, as in life, choice is hugely important and grief needs time without constraint. We know, through testimony, this is what a barrow provides and we are honoured that a few local people have already reserved a space for their ashes here."

Tim Ashton, of Soulton Hall, added: "This is a special day for my family, and the community we serve. It's hugely exciting to be one of the first farmers to build a long barrow in modern times.

"My family have been stewards of this land for a long time; our passionate connection with Soulton is shared by the many people who live and work around us, and by the many that visit each year.

"By committing to the barrow, we amplify the honour it is to engage with the land, and I passionately believe this important structure will serve the community for generations to come."

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/north-shropshire/wem/2017/09/26/three-limestone-monoliths-mark-a-path-to-shropshires-first-long-barrow-in-5000-years/

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Book your slot now!

http://www.soultonhall.co.uk/page/322/new-barrow.htm

Southern England

Know Your Place!


Know Your Place project puts three more counties on the map

Announcing the launch of Know Your Place in Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset and Gloucestershire

www.kypwest.org.uk

For the first time, historic maps and heritage data of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset are now freely available online in one place, thanks to the latest expansion of Know Your Place West of England.

From Stonehenge to Swindon, Keynsham to the Cotswolds, Salisbury plain to the spa towns of Bath and Cheltenham – you can now discover how these places have transformed over time.

What this means for the West

Now covering more than 4360 square miles, Know Your Place allows you to explore some of the most famous landmarks from the region’s history, from the World Heritage sites at Bath and Avebury, to Wiltshire’s White Horses and the unique landscapes of the Forest of Dean and Severn Estuary that are the focus of other Heritage Lottery Funded projects.

You will also be able to upload and share your own information about the area straight onto Know Your Place helping to build a rich and diverse community map of local heritage for everyone; from school children to family historians, planners to enthusiasts of community heritage.

Don’t just take our word for it

Here is what some of our users in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have said about Know Your Place:

“Be like Doctor Who and travel back in time.”
“If you’re interested in local history you can’t beat this site.”
“I like the thousands of little windows it provides into the past; all based on specific identified places on the map. It is a wonderful tool for local history research.”
“I love the layers of maps; it demonstrates so well how the area has grown and developed.”
“It’s free and infectious once you’re in you become absorbed; brilliant!”
There’s still lots more to do…

But there’s a lot more work to do to publish additional Know Your Place data for these three new counties so watch this space. We are pleased to be collaborating with the following groups:

More than 50 project volunteers are working hard to prepare further historic tithe, enclosure and town maps, which we will add onto Know Your Place over the coming months.

We are also working closely with Historic Environment Record officers to to publish Historic Environment Record (HER) data for Gloucestershire, refine the HER data already available for Wiltshire and B&NES and to share HER data for North Somerset and Somerset in future.

Museums and archives across the region are identifying items from their collections that will begin to be mapped onto Know Your Place once their county is online.

You can now find the following counties on Know Your Place: Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & NE Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. As more people use and contribute to Know Your Place, the website will continue to grow, so do keep coming back to watch it evolve.

Exhibition coming soon!

We are also designing an upcoming touring exhibition that will visit 12 venues across the West of England starting in late October 2016, celebrating our rich heritage and helping to raise awareness of the fabulous new resource of Know Your Place.

Ready to explore?

Simply go to the map and click on the county you want to visit. Please note that the areas mapped contain a large amount of data, so loading data may require a little extra time when you first visit.

Lanhill (Long Barrow)

Lanhill Display


Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, 10 Market Place SN15 3HF, are currently showing a special display on Lanhill Long Barrow, which will run until March 2017.

The display tells the story of the barrow and the many people who have helped shape our understanding of it. The display includes finds, photographs, plus a detailed plan showing the hidden chambers and the extent of quarrying damage.

Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre is free to explore and opens Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region)

The summer solstice 2016 at Avebury


The summer solstice is always very busy at Avebury – this year is likely to be no exception. If you are coming to mark midsummer at Avebury, do plan well in advance. Please consider coming for a shorter time so you don’t need to stay overnight and use public transport if at all possible.

Planning your visit during the solstice - Go online for full details

Solstice this year will be sunrise on Tuesday 21 June.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury/features/the-summer-solstice-at-avebury

Archaeology - from Dig to Lab and Beyond - Free Online Course


Get an introduction to studying archaeology, exploring exciting discoveries in the Vale of Pewsey, near to Stonehenge and Avebury.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/archaeology?utm_source=FL_DB&utm_medium=crm&utm_campaign=13_04_2016_FL_newsletter&utm_content=image

Join now – starts 20 Jun

ABOUT THE COURSE
Join us at the University of Reading as we chart the progress of an archaeological excavation from dig to lab and beyond on this free online course.

Take a virtual field trip to the Vale of Pewsey

We’ll be showing you around our field school – a month-long excavation at the Vale of Pewsey, which is a relatively untouched site compared to its world-famous neighbours, Stonehenge and Avebury.

The Vale of Pewsey is an archaeological treasure chest and the jewel of its crown is Marden. Built around 2,400 BC, Marden is the largest henge in the country and one of Britain’s most important but least understood prehistoric monuments.

Every object has a tale to tell and we’ll investigate how archaeologists paint a vivid picture of what life was like in Neolithic times through the astounding assortment of discoveries made in this beautiful part of England.

Explore every aspect of archaeology

An archaeological excavation isn’t just turning up with a trowel to dig. Drawing on case studies from our field school, you’ll find out about every aspect of archaeology, from deciding where to dig to the collection, recording and storage of artefacts.

We’ll investigate excavation techniques such as topographic surveying and scientific coring. And through distinctive discoveries at the Vale of Pewsey, we’ll take a closer look at what you can do with an artefact once you’ve found it.

Learn how archaeology can study the dead

One of the most intriguing and eye-opening finds of all is a burial site or grave, which provides fascinating insights into the past. In Week 2, we’ll examine the archaeological methods employed in the study of the dead. What can skeletal remains tell us about where someone lived, their occupation and their health?

University of Reading
FREE online course
Duration: 2 weeks
3 hours pw
Certificates available

REQUIREMENTS
No prior experience of archaeology is needed. This course is designed for anyone interested in studying an archaeology degree at university. However, anyone with an enthusiastic interest in archaeology is very welcome to join us too.

Join the conversation on social media

Use the hashtag #FLdigtolab to join and contribute to social media conversations about this

Cantre'r Gwaelod (Mesolithic site)

4,000-year-old red deer skull and antlers found in Borth


The skull and antlers of a deer dating back 4,000 years have been found.
Researchers from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are examining the red deer remains, discovered on a beach in Borth, Ceredigion.
They were first spotted in early April, but were not recovered until Friday due to the tides.
Dr Ros Coard, from the university, said: "The individual was certainly in the prime of his life showing full development of the large antlers."
When the skull was first seen, it was reported to the Royal Commission in Aberystwyth which alerted Dr Martin Bates, of UWTSD's school of school of archaeology, history and anthropology.
The people who found it photographed the area where it was spotted and this was used by the team who manually searched the water at low tide until the skull was found under 1m (3.2ft) of water.
This discovery comes from a channel cut through an area which in the 1960s turned up bones of a large auroch, an extinct form of large wild cattle that once lived in Europe.
The forest and peat deposits either side of this channel date to between about 6,000 and 4,000 years ago - the time of the last hunter gatherers and the earliest farmers in Britain.
Dr Bates said: "This is a wonderful discovery that really brings the forest and its environs to light.
"Although the exact age of the skull has yet to be confirmed, it's probable that the channel within which the find was made is contemporary with the forest and so an age in excess of 4,000 years old is likely."
Dr Coard, a faunal specialist at UWTSD, added: "Although the antlers and partial skull still have to undergo full analysis, the antlers can be said to come from a very large, mature male red deer."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-36157302?SThisFB

News

Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’


Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in Europe following the Stone Age, sweeping away the previous egalitarian Neolithic period and replacing it with hierarchical societies which were ruled by a powerful elite.
It is likely his power stemmed from advances in technology such as metal working and wheeled transport which enabled organised warfare for the first time.
Although it is not known who he was, or where he lived, scientists say he must have existed because of genetic variation in today’s European populations.
Dr Chris Tyler-Smith, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: “One of the most novel and exciting things we have found in the study is the extraordinary explosion in numbers of males at specific times.
“In Europe there was huge population expansion in just a few generations. Genetics can’t tell us why it happened but we know that a tiny number of elite males were controlling reproduction and dominating the population.
“Half of the Western European population is descended from just one man. We can only speculate as to what happened. The best explanation is that they may have resulted from advances in technology that could be controlled by small groups of men.
“Wheeled transport, metal working and organised warfare are all candidate explanations that can now be investigated further.”
The study analysed sequence differences between the Y chromosomes of more than 1200 men from 26 populations around the world using data generated by the 1000 Genomes Project.
The Y chromosome is only passed from father to son and so is wholly linked to male characteristics and behaviours. Mutations reveal which are related to each other and how far apart they are genetically so that researchers can build a family tree.
Dr Yali Xue, lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, explained: “This pattern tells us that there was an explosive increase in the number of men carrying a certain type of Y chromosome, within just a few generations.
“We only observed this phenomenon in males, and only in a few groups of men.”
The team used the data to build a tree of the 1200 Y chromosomes. It shows how they are all related to one another. As expected, they all descend from a single man who lived approximately 190,000 years ago.
The most intriguing and novel finding was that some parts of the tree were more like a bush than a tree, with many branches originating at the same point.
The earliest explosive increases of male numbers occurred 50,000–55,000 years ago, across Asia and Europe, and 15,000 years ago in the Americas.
There were also later expansions in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, South Asia and East Asia, at times between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago. The team believes the earlier population increases resulted from the first peopling by modern humans of vast continents, where plenty of resources were available.
Dr David Poznik, from Stanford University, California, first author on the paper, said: “We identified more than 60,000 positions where one DNA letter was replaced by another in a man with modern descendants, and we discovered thousands of more complex DNA variants.
“These data constitute a rich and publicly available resource for further genealogical, historical and forensic studies.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/25/half-of-british-men-descended-from-one-bronze-age-king/

Sarah Knapton, science editor
25 APRIL 2016 • 6:14PM

The Ridgeway (Ancient Trackway)

NT Crackdown on Ridgeway during Avebury Solstice


Western Daily Press

The National Trust and Wiltshire Police are to crack down on the 'number and behaviour' of people camping on Britain's oldest roads – the ancient Ridgeway near Avebury – for the summer solstice.

A new plan has been drawn up by the Trust, which owns the stone circle in the Wiltshire village, to clamp down on the growing numbers of people staying outside the village and blocking the Ridgeway, which runs along the hillside just to the east of the village.

The crackdown will also see more enforcement of tighter new parking restrictions at Avebury village itself, as the National Trust aims to curb the excesses of the revellers who gather there.

The move follows hugely controversial measures put in place by English Heritage for the summer solstice at Stonehenge, including charging £15 to park cars in the temporary car park, and banning alcohol on the site for the night.

While the crowds can reach 40,000 at Stonehenge to see the sunrise on the longest day in June, the solstice at Avebury is a much smaller affair. Crowds there can reach 5,000, and there already has been one major crackdown on what went on there.

There was absolute chaos in 2005 and 2006 when so many people parked all over the village that they completely blocked the main A361 Swindon to Devizes road, which runs through Avebury. During the 2000s, residents also complained consistently of drunken, loutish behaviour by revellers, including finding people vomiting, sleeping, urinating or defecating in their gardens. Many residents still go away for the two days either side of the solstice to avoid the event.

The National Trust and police clamped down on parking. It is no longer allowed anywhere outside the existing visitors' car park, which fills up almost as soon as it is opened on the eve of the solstice, and camper vans are banned.

But increasing numbers of people are heading to Avebury – anecdotally to avoid increased regulation at Stonehenge – and many camp wild along the Ridgeway, which is a short walk across the fields from Avebury village, and affords amazing views over the stone circle and Silbury Hill.

The Ridgeway there is the start of an ancient road that runs all the way to East Anglia and dates back to at least the creation of the Avebury stone circle more than 5,000 years ago.

The Trust said it wanted to make 'Solstice a more peaceful occasion', and its plan would make the celebrations at Avebury 'safe for everyone and respectful of the World Heritage Site'.

As part of the plan, the Police and Wiltshire Council will increase patrols on the Ridgeway – a byway east of Avebury where the number and behaviour of people gathering during Solstice has become a problem.

The National Trust said regular patrols of the byway 'will ensure safety, keep access along the byway open and prosecute and remove those found to be breaking the law'.

Jan Tomlin, the National Trust's General Manager in Avebury, said: "We want the Solstice at Avebury to continue to be known for being a peaceful, respectful occasion which all those who care most about the henge and the village would want it to be – that is why we are taking this action."

"As landowner we are concerned about the safety of anybody using our land – including the Ridgeway. A robust management plan as proposed and enforced by the council and Police is the right thing," she added.

Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire council's highways boss, said he was 'delighted' action was being taken. "I am delighted we are taking a real partnership approach to tackling the challenges the Summer Solstice brings to Avebury," he said. "It is a real team effort, and I look forward to another successfully managed event."

Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/National-Trust-crackdown-Avebury-solstice/story-29147628-detail/story.html

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

Stonehenge bones buried over a period of 600 years


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-34944768

Stonehenge druid King Arthur resurrects remains battle

A senior druid has vowed to seek a judicial review over a government decision allowing ancient human remains from Stonehenge to be kept in a museum.

King Arthur Pendragon claims the cremated bones, unearthed in 2008, are from members of the royal line and wants them reburied.

A licence allowing them to go on display expired last month, but has since been extended.

Mr Pendragon said the government had "reinterpreted" the law. 'Mobilise supporters'

Since their excavation, the remains have led to new discoveries about Stonehenge.

Prof Mike Parker Pearson from University College London said the bones were buried over a period of 600 years, and include the remains of men, women and children.

His findings will be formally published in the Antiquity Journal next year.

If new scientific advances were made, he added, the licence allowed for future examination of the bone fragments.

King Arthur Pendragon will apply for the judicial review in May 2016

The items will be held in storage until the bones are transferred to Salisbury Museum in April.

Mr Pendragon said he would will apply for the repatriation of the bones when they are moved to the museum, and will then apply for a judicial review.

He added: "We are not going to roll over on this and we are going to mobilise our supporters around the world."
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Every licence application is carefully considered on its merits.

"Having weighed up all the arguments put forward, Ministers found the case made by Professor Parker Pearson to be more persuasive than that put forward by those who opposed the application and have amended the licence as he requested."

Meanwhile, Mr Pendragon also told the BBC he planned to seek a change in the law to better protect pre-Christian human remains.

He will also address the issue at the Stonehenge winter solstice on 22 December.

http://www.warband.org.uk/

Discover the Neolithic at Stonehenge - events & workshops


NEOLITHIC TEXTILE AND CRAFT WORKSHOP
Mon 7 Dec 2015

10:00 - 16:00

SUITABLE FOR Adults

Work with textile experts Sally Pointer and Gareth Riseborough to discover more about the research and processes used to create replica Neolithic and Bronze Age clothing for Stonehenge and get hands-on experience with materials and techniques. Learn to make cordage from natural fibres and deer sinew and experiment with braiding, twining and looping techniques. All materials are supplied, and using flint tools, you will craft a needle from red deer antler to take home along with the resources to continue your project.

Member (Adult) £60
Adult £65

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PREHISTORIC TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP
Mon 2 Nov 2015 10-4

SUITABLE FOR Adults

Join skilled bushcraft and ancient technology experts Guy Hagg and Joe O'Leary at England's most famous Neolithic site for this one day hands on prehistoric technology workshop. Learn how to make your own arrows, atlatl spear throwers or darts. Develop your knowledge and skills through the day and go home with your own handmade piece of ancient technology.

Member (Adult) £80
Adult £85

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PREHISTORIC POTTERY DEMONSTRATION
Sun 10 Jan 2016 10:00-16:00

SUITABLE FOR Everyone

Throughout the day, Graham Taylor will demonstrate how to make a pottery toolkit and decorate replica pots as well as how to fire them using authentic prehistoric methods. Graham will use a handling collection of replica pots, tools and artefacts to bring prehistory to life.

English Heritage members Free
Adult £14.50
Child, 5-15 years £8.70
Concession £13.00
Family £37.70

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PREHISTORIC POTTERY WORKSHOP
Mon 11 Jan 2016 10am-4pm

SUITABLE FOR Adults

Join expert potter Graham Taylor at Stonehenge this winter for our hands-on workshop. You will make your own prehistoric pottery tool kit and learn the basics of ancient pottery skills as well as creating, firing and decorating your own Neolithic and Bronze-Age replica to take home.

Member (Adult) £70
Adult £75

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/events

Stonehenge up for sale again!


http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/sale-of-the-centuries/

SALE OF THE CENTURIES

Mon 26 Oct - Sun 1 Nov 2015 10:00-16:00

Stonehenge visitor centre

SUITABLE FOR Families

Visit Stonehenge in October half term to take part in our two part interactive, theatrical performance which will take you back 100 years to the dramatic auction of 1915 where Stonehenge was put up for sale! Bring the family and take part in the bidding in this centenary year.

English Heritage members Free
Adult £14.50
Child, 5-15 years £8.70
Concession £13.00
Family £37.70

United Kingdom

The 25th Festival of Archaeology will take place between the 11th - 26th July 2015


The Festival is a huge celebration of our incredible history here in the UK, and you don't have to be an archaeologist to join in. It's a chance for everyone to explore and uncover the past, see archaeology in action, and bring the history on your doorstep to life. We look forward to seeing you there.

Find out what's going on near you during the Festival of Archaeology!

http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/whatson

Use the form to search all our events nationwide. Choose from over 1,000 events across the UK hosted by more than 400 organisers. You can sort your search by region, keyword (including county), event period or type.

Avebury (Stone Circle)

Archaeology workshop: Avebury - the Henge years - Tue 14th Jul 2015


Step into the world of the henge builders for the day and explore later Neolithic Avebury with archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall and Museum Curator Dr. Ros Cleal. The day includes a field visit to Avebury Henge and stone circles and draws on finds from the museum collections.
Periods: Prehistory

http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/events/1925

Old Sarum (Hillfort)

Archaeology weekend at Old Sarum - Sat 25th Jul 2015 - Sun 26th Jul 2015


Willing adventurers required to dig deep into Wiltshire’s past. History hunters young and old can discover artefacts from Old Sarum, find out how objects are found and preserved, and get hands-on with a spot of digging. Dirty hands are a must!
Periods: Prehistory, Saxons and Vikings, Romans

http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk/events/2041

Temple of Sulis (Sacred Well)

Sacred spring set to heat up medieval Abbey


In a world heritage fist, the ancient goddess Sulis may be called upon to warm today’s true believers using Bath Abbey.

Although the Abbey was granted planning permission for this unique £18 million scheme two years ago, this month, engineers have begun to explore the ancient Roman drain that runs beside the Abbey. At present, the drain empties 850,000 litres of natural spring water every day into the River Avon. They hope to divert the warm water instead through a network of underground pipes to provide a world-first natural under floor heating system for the abbey. Church leaders believe the plans would provide a unique source of green energy for the abbey and help the 10th century building reconnect with the city's ancient roots.

The Bath springs are the warmest geothermal springs found in the UK. The water which bubbles up from the ground at Bath falls as rain on the nearby Mendip Hills. It percolates down through limestone aquifers to a depth of between 2,700 and 4,300 metres (8,900 and 14,100 ft) where geothermal energy raises the water temperature to between 64 and 96 °C (147.2 and 204.8 °F). Under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. This process is similar to an artificial one known as Enhanced Geothermal System which also makes use of the high pressures and temperatures below the Earth's crust. Hot water at a temperature of 46 °C (114.8 °F) rises here at the rate of 1,170,000 litres (257,364 imp gal) every day, from a geological fault (the Pennyquick fault).

The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by Celts, and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his largely fictional Historia Regum Britanniae describes how in 836 BC the spring was discovered by the British king Bladud who built the first baths. Early in the 18th century Geoffrey's obscure legend was given great prominence as a royal endorsement of the waters' qualities, with the embellishment that the spring had cured Bladud and his herd of pigs of leprosy through wallowing in the warm mud.

In the middle of the 20th century, the city's swimming pool sourced its water directly from the King's Spring through one of three pipelines beneath the River Avon. However, the old municipal hot pools were closed in 1978 after the discovery of an infectious organism in one stratum of the aquifer. After that date, bathing was prohibited. In 1983 a new spa water bore-hole was sunk, providing a clean and safe supply of spa water for drinking in the Pump Room.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3030124/Bath-Abbey-benefit-ancient-Roman-plumbing-Engineers-tap-thermal-springs-provide-underfloor-heating.html

Crickley Hill (Causewayed Enclosure)

Britain's 'oldest battle site' saved from destruction by rabbits


The National Trust says it has saved the site of one of the first battles known about on British soil which was under threat because of rabbits.

The site of the battle of Crickley Hill, near Gloucester, which took place more than 5,000 years ago between rival tribes, was in danger of being destroyed through erosion caused, largely, by rabbits.

The National Trust put up fences to stop erosion and back filled rabbit warrens to preserve the iron age hillfort.

Archaeologists said a major battle took place there in around 3,600BC, and the site was placed on the Heritage At Risk register until this year.

http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Britain-s-oldest-battle-site-saved-destruction/story-23668110-detail/story.html

Avalon Marshes (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Launch that canoe!


http://www.avalonmarshes.org/news?slug=launch-that-canoe-

In the past the reed swamp, bogs and mires of the Avalon Marshes were difficult to cross! Neolithic man overcame this by constructing trackways. However, in the Iron Age the marshes became far wetter and dugout canoes replaced these trackways.

Working under the guidance of Richard Brunning of the South West Heritage Trusts’ Hands on Heritage volunteers have recently completed two sections of replica trackway.

Today saw the literal launch of their next project having completed the construction of a dugout canoe. The canoe was launched at Natural England’s Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve and the volunteers paddled it through the open water between tall reeds as people would have done all those years ago.

The canoe was carved out of a single Beech tree donated by the Forestry Commission. The tree came from the Blackdown Hills near Castle Neroche. Whilst it was not moved across Somerset by manual labour it was hard manual work that carved the canoe from the tree! Replica Iron Age tools and the sheer hard graft of the volunteers were the key to success.

The volunteers are based at the Avalon Marshes Centre and meet up each Wednesday, come rain or shine, grafting away to replicate the techniques used in past times. The Hands on Heritage project is run by the South West Heritage Trust and is part of the Heritage Lottery funded Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership.

THE DUGOUT CANOES

During the three years of the Avalon Marshes Partnership, we aim to construct a different dugout canoe each year, based on archaeological examples from different periods in prehistory.

The first one is an oak example based on later prehistoric vessels. This will be similar to the Shapwick canoe now on display at the Museum of Somerset.
http://www.somerset.gov.uk/museumofsomerset

It is currently under-construction by our Hands on Heritage volunteers, who are using tools familiar and fitting to those used in the Iron Age.

Keep an eye on our blog to stay up to date with our progress:

IN SEARCH OF TIMBER…
https://avalonarchaeology.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/in-search-of-timber/
PADDLING THROUGH PREHISTORY PT. 1…
https://avalonarchaeology.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/paddling-through-prehistory-pt-1/
PADDLING THROUGH PREHISTORY P. 2…
https://avalonarchaeology.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/paddling-through-prehistory-pt-2/

Bratton Castle & Westbury White Horse (Hillfort)

Fears over Westbury waste centre’s chimney


ttp://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/latestheadlines/11557066.Fears_over_Westbury_waste_centre___s_chimney/?ref=rss

First published Friday 24 October 2014 in Latest News by Katie Smith

Questions have been raised over a multi-million pound renewable energy centre which could be built in Westbury.

Councillors attending the highways, planning and development committee meeting on Monday raised factors that will be considered in a consultation requested by Hills Group Ltd, which is behind the project.

The meeting was chaired by Russell Hawker, Wiltshire councillor for Westbury West, who said councillors were still absorbing details of the plans released last week.

Northacre Renewable Energy Limited, part of the Hills Group, wants to build the centre on a 6.6-acre plot between Hills Waste Solutions’ Northacre Resource Recovery Centre and Arla Foods Westbury Dairies.

It will be sited in three buildings up to 20 metres high, but Hills is yet to release figures on the height of the chimney.

Cllr Hawker said: “The height of the chimney needs to cater for the possibility that we could get plume grounding towards the top of the hill running up by Newtown and Studland Park.

“It is something that definitely needs to be examined.

“We would expect the height to be at least higher than the top of the houses [on the hill by Newtown and Studland Park] which means higher than Lafarge.

“This is potentially an enormous chimney.”

The centre will use a process called gasification, which heats converted waste, processed at the existing Northacre Resource Recovery Centre, up to 1,400 degrees centigrade and converts it to gas to drive a turbine.

The second point raised at the meeting was what the exact chemical composition of the emissions would be.

“Technology is much better now,” said Cllr Hawker. “It’s bound to be more filtered than before but we still want to know what is coming out.”

The final key point raised was lorry movement and which routes the lorries would be taking to the proposed centre.

Cllr Hawker added: “I am in no doubt there will be a number of objections to this in due course.”

Cherhill Down and Oldbury (Hillfort)

Cherhill Down protest grows


Cherhill is a village in North Wiltshire and lies nestled beneath the Cherhill Down, well known for its White Horse and views of the Lansdowne Monument. This landscape is of national significance as recognised by its designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Plans are afoot to build a village hall with large car park on the field at the end of Park Lane, Cherhill on the corner of the A4. This is a green field and lies directly opposite the Cherhill Down and White Horse (the photo shown is taken from this field). The field is outside of the village boundary and Park Lane is a Conservation area.

Please sign this petition to stop any development on this field, whether the use is for community or housing. To build here would change the landscape of this area, affecting the Conservation area within Cherhill, the scenery from the A4 and visual approach into the village, as well as being highly visible from the Cherhill Down. The additional noise, traffic, artificial lighting and disruption will detract from the natural beauty of this area and present road traffic safety issues.

https://www.change.org/p/wiltshire-council-stop-any-development-on-park-lane-field-in-cherhill

https://www.facebook.com/savecherhillfield

Avebury & the Marlborough Downs (Region)

New Stone Avenue Discovered at Avebury


A remarkable new Stone Avenue has been located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avebury in Wiltshire.

http://www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info/2015/03/breaking-news-new-stone-avenue.html
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Hail and Welcome

Chance was born in Ratae in the year of the Rat, and grew up in the territory of the Corieltauvi.

Now living days walk west of Wale-dich (Avebury), on the border between the Atrebates, the Durotriges and the Dobunni.

Practical experience of excavation on Neolithic, Bronze-age, Roman sites.

Interested in the various tribes, how they divided their land, their agricultural calendar, common beliefs and ritual systems.

Often attends the tribal meetings held at Avebury and Stonehenge.

Contact - Chippychance on UTube
http://www.youtube.com/chippychance

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