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The English Lake District Stone Circles

A New Perspective

by Robin Heath

THE HISTORY OF THE STORY

The large number of stone circles found in the English Lake District of Northern Britain are among the oldest known, Aubrey Burl suggesting that the construction of Castle Rigg, its most visited ring as being ‘around 3200 BC’ [Burl 1995]. Many of these circles are in fact non-circular and most of the survivors are very large – over 100 feet in diameter. Their design geometry includes many of the ‘flattened circle’ geometries first discovered by Alexander Thom, [Thom, 1967], and which he named Type A and Type B flattened circles.

The Type A’s perimeter shape is based on hexagonal geometry, whereas the Type B is based on the division of a diameter line by three, which can be understood as based on a vesica piscis construction. The two types of flattened circle are fundamentally different, and rarely, a slight change was made to the standard design. One example of this is the Type D flattened circle, whose geometry will be explained later.

Only if one strays outside of the Lake District into the Scottish borders can one find the other familiar geometries. Borrowston Rigg, near Lauder, is the largest Type II ‘egg’ with a perimeter of just under 450 feet. The stones are small, but the geometry aligns very accurately to the egg design also originally discovered by Thom following his customary theodolite surveys. Another design of ring is Allan Water, near Hawick, which, despite its remaining upright stones now being used as scratching posts by cattle, similarly adheres well to the Type I ‘egg’ geometry, the internal back-to back pseudo – Pythagorean triangles dimensioned forming sides of lengths 11-13-17 in units of half megalithic yards. The perimeter of this stone ring is 151.3 feet.

I first began to take an interest in this collection of stone rings in 1992. Family connections in Scotland took me through the Lake District at least twice annually, and for some years I was living near Carnac in southern Brittany. In addition I had an old friend who lived near Ulverston. Each visit up to the family home would include a stop at one or several of the Lake District sites, often with a theodolite, ropes, tapes and pegs. I was particularly drawn to Grey Croft ring, also known as Grey Croft, one of the few Type D flattened rings. In this design, the inner forming triangle cuts the line OC a third of the distance along the line (at point E) rather than a half, as per the ‘classic’ Type A design (see Thom’s original survey plan, below).

Figure One. Seascale stone ring (also known as Grey Croft), a Type D flattened circle. 

Grey Croft also known as Seascale is today positioned on a Golf course adjacent to the Sellafield ex-nuclear power station and present day nuclear processing plant. Burl curtly and accurately describes this juxtaposition of an ancient and a modern power-point in just five words – ‘The stone circle is lovelier.’ [Burl 1995].

Work on this site was made difficult, due to security people hassling me about what my business was in bringing a theodolite into the area. However, Thom’s survey plan was checked over, and this was the first type D flattened circle that I had spent time with, often with the sound of waves breaking on nearby Silecroft beach. I have often since wondered if the conventional anglers that caught and ate mackerel off the beach at Silecroft thereafter glowed in the dark!

This period of my own megalithic ‘angling’ was researching large landscape triangles, particularly the 5-12-13 triangle I had proposed, in 1993, connected Stonehenge with Lundy island, to the monuments west, then up via the right angle to Carn Wen summit in the Preseli Hills, adjacent to the bluestone outcrops. The unit length of this triangle was 20,000 root megalithic yards, a unit minutely smaller than Thom’s 2.72 feet which I later named the astronomical megalithic yard (AMY), a length of 2.7154 ft. This length uniquely links the lunation period of the moon’s phases with the length of the solar year. [See The Measure of Albion, 2004, Robin Heath & John Michell, also available in a US facsimile edition, The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth (AUP, 2006)

THE NORTHERN LINE THROUGH LUNDY ISLAND

The line from Lundy to Carn Wen when extended northwards, leaves the West Wales coastline a mile from Mwnt, just north east of Cardigan, and re-enters the Welsh coast near Aberdaron, (Castell Odo) on the Lleine peninsula. It then exits Wales from Holyhead, as does the present day Irish ferry, then, travelling ever northwards, it cuts the southern shores of the Isle of Man, near Castleton, where there are prehistoric burial grounds almost on the beach, and it leaves just north of Peel, en route for Scotland, where it passes near Ayr, Prestwick, through Troon and thence on and up to leave the British mainland at the tip of Loch Eriboll near Durness (shown below).

Figure Two. The Meridian Line from Lundy – Durness/Loch Eriboll

The British termination of the line is also the end of the recently revived Belinus line, whose modern champions are Gary Biltcliffe and Caroline Hoare. More recent landscape work undertaken by these two researchers and authors, based on Lewis’s work in the 60s, has since suggested that a line from the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight to Loch Eriboll and Durness point, formed what has been named the ‘Belinus Line’. This line has been duly explored extensively by these two authors, The Belinus Line becoming the title of a popular Earth mysteries book (published in 2012) in the style of The Sun and the Serpent (1989), by the late Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst. Both books are essential reading for those who wish to use an earth mysteries approach to understanding both geomantic effects and what humans have done with earth energies, consciously or otherwise.

The north-south meridian line from Lundy to Loch Eriboll passes through a well known site on the Isle of Man, a Neolithic cairn [a major site still referred to as a ‘Celtic Hill Fort’ in many tourist guides] right on the summit of South Barra. What first drew my attention to its possible significance was that a line drawn from the South Barra monument towards the Lake District to east to Burnmoor East (a Type A flattened circle) made an angle of 21.45 degrees degrees with respect to an east-west line, that was little over a degree of being the apex angle within a lunation triangle – 22.619 degrees.

A ‘little over one degree’ is nowhere near accurate enough to be worth pursuing any further in this line of work. But later I calculated that the line from South Barra, when taken up to Castle Rigg, passes right through both Castle Rigg and Long Meg stone rings. Bingo! The angle this line makes with respect to east is much more accurate (within a half degree over 90 miles) and is close to being the ‘Phi-angle’, 26.5651 degrees, the internal angle formed by the diagonals of a double square, a construction used to determine geometrically the value of Phi, via a simple construction involving the square root of 5 – the diagonal length, (the square root of five is numerically 2.236.. an irrational number).

A double-square is two squares that share a common side. A diagonal drawn across the squares from corner to corner has a length equal to the square root of 5 times the length of the square’s side length. Each individual square has a diagonal the square root of 2 times the length of the square’s side length. The diagram below shows this geometry.The geometry of a double-square.

 

[For the mathematically challenged or whose knowledge of such matters may approach homeopathic levels, the physical constant phi equals (1+root 5) / 2 , the irrational constant upon which governs so many processes on earth, and known as the ‘Divine Proportion’ or 1.618033989…..]

 

Figure Three. The line from South Barra summit to Long Meg via Castle Rigg.
Length 90.1 miles. Angle from e-w =  27.25 degrees. Double square angle = 26.565 degrees.

 

WHEN STRAIGHT LINES ARE NOT

Over distances of above 25 miles, the earth’s curvature begins to need addressing in the measured angle using Google Earth. The straight line you see joining the three locations above is actually not straight at all. Due to the curvature of the earth, the start angle from South Barra has to be higher than the double square angle in order to pass through Castle Rigg and Long Meg at the doubles square angle. This can be checked out by drawing the line from Castle Rigg to Long Meg on Google Earth – which is 19.3 miles and gives an angle of 26.88 degrees with respect to an east-west line,. At just under 99% of the angle of a double square and now well worth pursuing).

The problem facing ‘ley hunters’ is that, over long distances, unless they possess a good grasp of spherical geometry as used in geodetic solutions to ‘straight’ lines on the landscape, they lay themselves wide open to announcing ‘ground-breaking’ discoveries that are simply not real. Fortunately for lengths less than twenty miles, this problem of distortion can often be neglected. The book that saved my bacon in this respect was The Astronomical and Mathematical Foundations of Geography by Charles H Cotter (1966, Hollis & Carter). If the very title gives you the hee-bee jeebies, then possibly your leyhunting research would be better confined to the investigation or discovery of shorter leys!

Google Earth was not yet available in 1992/3, it was OS maps that were checked and long hand and hard sums undertaken with a scientific calculator to be sure that the earth’s curvature was corrected for. This work was part of an experiment that was investigating the Lundy-Barra – Eribol line for having been part of a bigger prehistoric ‘National Grid’ of surveying points similar to the more recent trig points set up in Victorian Britain for similar purposes.

This Lake District experiment seemed to clinch the matter. Three major Neolithic sites, including perhaps the two of the best known stone circles in Northern Britain, were connected by a ‘straight’ line. The two large and very old stone rings, Castle Rigg and Long Meg were connected as the opposite corners of a double-square construction, to within 99% accuracy.

The Long Meg site gets its name from the large twelve foot high menhir that has always stood as an outlier to the south-west of the (later) ring . This very attractive red standstone menhir is inscribed with spirals and cup and ring marks. In recent centuries the ring has been known as Long Meg and her Daughters. Long Meg ring comprises the daughters part, no doubt once women turned into stone for dancing on the Sabbath in true anti-pagan Church tradition, while Long Meg herself has been somewhat downgraded to being an ‘outlier’, or, in earlier times, a Witch turned into stone.

The menhir and the ring are not the only surviving megalithic remains at the site. Within half a mile to the north-east of the ring can be found another ruinous circle, some 20 foot diameter and known as Little Meg. A mere shrimp compared to the 360 foot diameter of Long Meg’s daughters, even Little Meg has something to add concerning the geodetic qualities of this entire site. For example, it is interesting to note that the most accurate line (to the double square geometry) that can be drawn between Castle Rigg and the Long Meg site is that taken through the Long Meg menhir and up to Little Meg, as shown previously, (and below, figure seven).

Does all this indicate that prehistoric surveying had been employed in the siting of major megalithic monuments? It took me until 1994 before my work demanded that I revisit these sites to further address this question. I was asked by Helena Frances of the Hermes Centre in Surrey to prepare a week long course for her students that would include this research during three days of hard graft in the Lake District. Helena and I did a ‘reccie’ to prepare more surveys and check aspects such as intervisibility between sites. We surveyed the ruins of Orton ring, a few miles from Tebay services on the M6, and two other smaller circles. During this trip my old Watts theodolite went missing from right under our noses, never to be seen again.

In 1997, I visited all the above stone circles again with my partner, Trish. Ten years later, in 2007, we sailed to the Isle of Man on a 90 foot wooden sailboat, Keewaydin, with a small group of friends, and managed to visit various megalithic sites including S Burra and the Meyall Hill stone tombs above Port Erin. This latter site is the IOMs only stone circle, and is larger but has similarities with the monument Cerrig Y Gof (‘memorial stones’) near Newport in the Preselis.

Both sites have something of a stone circle about them, but mixed with a dash of dolmen, several capstones and rectangular chambers arranged in a symmetrical circular design around a central ‘henge’ or circular field. The Meyall Hill site has a quite splendid panoramic view to Ireland and, for that special apres site visit moment, a really good tea shoppe may be visited on the way down to Port Erin afterwards.

 

Later in 2007 that I was asked by a fellow megalithomaniac called Howard Crowhurst, to give a presentation or two at a gig he was organising in Plouharnel, near Carnac. Howard, a Yorkshireman, has lived in France since the 70s. The meeting with Crowhurst was brokered by my brother Richard, who had taken a group to visit Howard’s excellent megalithic museum and tour centre in Plouharnel some years previously.

The outcome of this necessary preamble is that Howard knew several sites within the major monuments at Carnac and elsewhere that had employed two-squares geometry in their design. This rekindled my interest in the lakes circles and led to further surveying visits to Castle Rigg, Long Meg and Burnmoor each and every summer from 2008 to 2011.

PRESENT RESEARCH

Once one superimposes the line from Castle Rigg to Long Meg onto the geometry of the Long Meg site, it revealed a fractal like similarity on a smaller scale to the double square between Castle Rigg and Long Meg (illustrated below, Figure four. Not shown is that the extension of this line – the diagonal between the menhir and the easternmost stone in the ring – cuts through the Little Meg ring.

Figure Four. A line from Castle Rigg cuts through the Long Meg menhir (Outlier) and then through the stone ring before passing through the centre of Little Meg.

Figure Five. A 2009 survey revealed that the geometric layout of the Long Meg site is  based on a double square, with three corners defines by the three largest stones comprising the monument, and a most interesting property in the light of this present research.

Another serendipidous event took place during a visit to Long Meg in early August 2010. A member of the Cumbrian Archaeological Society flourished a small map at me. This showed the wider extent of a recent archaeological survey of the entire Long Meg site, the details of which I have included here, based on a photograph I took of this somewhat rough map.

The smaller double-square of the previous illustration (figure six, below) now may be a fractal of the larger archaeological plan, where the rectangle has an identified Neolithic fort at top left and Little Meg at top right. Little Meg thus becomes integrated into the design of what one might term the bigger Long Meg landscape. The incoming line from Castle Rigg defines the lower left corner and passes through the menhir ‘outlier of Long Meg. Nothing at all has been identified on the lower right hand corner, just as for the smaller Long Meg rectangle. This point is located on heavily agriculturalised private land.

The top length of the enlarged rectangle is ten times the size of the ‘double square’ rectangle that defines the east-west diameter of Long Meg ring. Overall, these are satisfying results that support the argument for prehistoric surveying in the Lake District. The Long Meg site assumes an even greater significance.

Figure Six. Recent interpretation work by archaeologists of the Cumbian Archeological Societ, suggests the presence of a ‘Neolithic fort’, a prehistoric enclosure and some cursus ditches, a rather similar collection to the  contemporaneous work going on near Stonehenge and Durrington walls at this time.

Figure Seven. The overall ‘fractal’ structure of the wider Long Meg landscape compares with the  previously revealed double-square geometric construction of Long Meg, revealed through the application of  megalithic science.

AN ASTRONOMICAL COMPONENT

During surveys undertaken between 2007 and 2011, I measured the east-west diameter of Long Meg ring with an accurate surveyor’s tape. This diameter is marked at each end by humungous blocks of granite, (see the photograph of the easternmost stone on page 14, at the end of this article) of a size that makes one ask: How could these ever have been moved or lifted through human effort?

The distance between the inside faces of these apparent immoveables measured most interestingly. At, 353.45 feet, and between their outside faces measuring 365.15 feet, to any astronomer this would immediately suggest that these distances represent the lunar and solar year, 354.367 days and 365.2422 days respectively, enshrined in stone such that one foot equals one day.

Here we have two of the most unmoveable, untamperable stones on the site. These two boulders define the geometry of the Long Meg site, which includes the Menhir stone, and they store within their placement, the length of the lunar and solar year, scaled at one day = one foot. The enlarged landscape rectangle depicted on the previous page is ten times larger, and its longer length consequently measures 3652 feet, or ten feet representing one day.

To find a similar connection between the foot and the astronomy of the Sun, Moon Earth system, it is useful to look at a well documented curiosity that occurred in China during the late Stone Age, which leads this inquiry into the area of megalithic science.

ASTRONOMY, GEOMETRY AND METROLOGY COMBINED

At first sight the history of human measure sounds like a dull subject to steer well clear of, which is exactly what the academic world did in the mid nineteenth century. This left a huge source of valuable information unavailable for future historians and archeologists. Having studied this subject for twenty years, I would suggest that dull is not the word, and metrology deserves to be studied by eveyone who wants to better understand prehistoric or ancient history.

The foot provided the root of all ancient systems of measurement. We know this extended back into the Neolithic period partly because Prof Joseph Needham, the Sinologist, without knowing it, found evidence supporting the possible ‘invention’ of the foot in defining the length of the year in Northern China, during the ‘Yellow River’ period, the earliest dynasties.

From 1954 onwards, Needham wrote a series of books entitled Science and Civilisation in China . These books are about the history of science in China and are very well regarded. During his travels, Needham discovered that the ancient Chinese astronomers divided up the equator into 365 and a quarter divisions. This matches the earth’s equatorial circumference to the earth’s orbital period around the sun – the solar year. The Time period became represented by a length, the circular perimeter of the equator. What Needham did not note is that if the equatorial circumference of the earth is taken to be 24,901 miles, the present figure, then this is 365.25 x 360,000 feet (or 365,250 x 360 feet).

Astronomers, navigators and surveyors now get the best of two worlds:

1. The first way of writing down the product of these two numbers, 365.25 x 360,000, enables the division of the equatorial circumference by the solar year. This represents the earth’s orbital period around the sun and it ‘stores’ knowledge of the length of the solar year in days as a length that relates directly to the earth’s principal dimension. This results in one day-degree around the equator being represented as a length of 360,000 feet or 69.177 miles.

2. The second arrangement 365,250 x 360 divides the equatorial circumference into 360 so that each (familiar) degree around the equator is then 69.169 miles or 365,214 feet. This turns out to be an average distance, because of variations to this figure that depend on latitude, due to the earth being flattened or oblate spheroid, but for navigators or surveyors anywhere on the surface of the globe, this figure of 69.169 miles for the length of one degree of travel will always provide accuracy to 2% [Clarke (1880)]

The equator is the only true circle within all the key constants of the geoid, the shape and size of the earth, and our present culture retains 360 degrees as the very convenient and highly factorisable number of degrees in a circle. It is therefore not unreasonable to question whether or not the foot length, which lies at the root of the structure of ancient metrology, was designated and dimensioned to provide this convenient astronomical, geometrical (in the sense of ‘measuring the earth’) and metrological arrangement, through the above relationship between the solar year and the size of the earth.

Whether you agree with this suggestion or not, the geodetic significance of the foot is not in doubt. The two numerical constants were fixed as 365.25 days leaving the remainder as a very nicely convenient and familiar 360,000 feet. This fixed the foot measure as the peculiarly enduring unit of length we still use today. It is hard to understand why until one understands and reckons with its ubiquity throughout all history of measurement.

It is probably why, in 1637, an Oxford professor, John Greaves, on visiting and measuring the Great Pyramid, inscribed a foot measure on the wall directly above the King’s chamber, with the message ‘to be observed by all nations‘. He then signed it, J Gravius. This act was no obscure professor-vandal indulging in some British nationalism via his graffiti message. Greaves’ measurements of ancient monuments throughout the ancient world later fed Sir Isaac Newton with the dimensions that enabled him to rediscover what the ancient world had known all along – the size and shape of the earth. From this came the understanding and laws of gravity.

MEASURING UP THE LAKE DISTRICT

It is now possible to expand on the identified geodetic fact that South Barra, Castle Rigg, Long Meg menhir and Little Meg all lie on or very, very close to a line drawn from South Barra to Little Meg. Some would call this a ley, or a ley-line, but recognition of the line’s angle also identifies that Castle Rigg and Long Meg define the corners of a ‘phi’ double square, which massively enlarges the significance of this geodetic arrangement.

Further work then hurried along apace with visits to other stone circles in the Lakes. Some of this work was usefully undertaken with a lightweight theodolite loaned to me by fellow megalithomaniac Andrew Davies. This instrument made it much easier to obtain rapid (if less accurate) basic data at sites.

THE JOY OF FINDING REPEATABLE DATA

Figure Eight. Three other major stone rings in the Lakes District – Grey Croft (Seascale), Burnmoor East and Swinside (Sunkenkirk) stone circles are located to mark out three corners of a square. The fourth corner (if it ever existed) now lies submerged under the sea off the Cumbrian coast.

The most significant factor in all of this work was that these three sites accurately replicate, in size and same orientation to the cardinal points of the compass, the dimensions of the Castle Rigg – Long Meg squares.

The Castle Rigg-Long Meg rectangle gives an average figure of 8.652 miles for the short side length. The three sites or Seascale, Burnmoor E and Swinside gives a measure of 8.81 miles.

Both geodetic squares possess side lengths that are very closely equal to one eighth of one degree in length, which averages at around 8.647 miles. This is 69.176 miles for the degree, a figure within a cool 99.99% of one degree (see previous paragraphs).

Suddenly, these two networks of massive stone circles become nodes that provide us with a rare commodity in this type of work – repeatable data affirming that a megalithic geodetic project once took place here in the Lake District.
The evidence presented here suggests that some kind of surveying process was being undertaken before 3000 BC, in the English Lake District. We might suggest that this had something to do with identifying the length of one degree across the surface of the Lake District.

If this is the case, then here is a wonder of prehistory, no less than Stonehenge, or Avebury, for it also suggests that our prehistoric forebears were familiar with the size of the earth, complex geometry, and the basis of counting and measuring angles, qualities that are entirely absent from our history books and particularly books on the history of science.

Our modern culture simply states that such things would have been impossible for people in the Stone Age to even comprehend, let along implement. This leaves us surprisingly biassed against the fair assessment of any new evidence that demonstrates just these very capabilities.

However, there have sometimes been high ranking and scientifically trained people who have kicked out at this attitude, by producing data that supports a much higher level of capability and knowledge in the people that built the thousands of monuments that have survived across the landscapes of Europe. Professor Alexander Thom, stated in a 1970 BBC documentary that, “In terms of their thinking abilities I think they (the megalithic builders) were my superiors”.

The same conclusions were also made concerning the abilities of those that originally built Stonehenge, by one of the most respected scientists of the twentieth century, Sir Professor Fred Hoyle (1915 – 2001), a Yorkshireman who had lived in and loved the Lake District. In the preface of his book, On Stonehenge (1977, Freeman), he wrote,

“The remarkable story discussed and developed in this book goes I believe beyond anything the casual visitor might guess, for it requires the men of the new stone age, men living 5,000 years ago, to have been meticulous observers of the night sky, to have calculated with numbers, and to have communicated sophisticated astronomical knowledge among themselves from generation to generation.”

SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS

The belief that only physical objects can survive from prehistory – not the ideas, beliefs or creative inspirations of the culture responsible for those objects – has made it all too easy for the more intangible ‘things’, such as angles and measurements, to become sidelined,neglected or forgotten, which is plainly what has occurred in our culture. However, these ‘other things’ are a type of artefact, other than the physical objects of present day archaeology, and here we see them speaking the universal language of number and science, taking the form of lengths and angles between megalithic monuments or the (latitude dependent) horizon angles of solstice sunrises or sets, and of major moonrises or sets.
A megalithic scientist looks for, works with and can find these ‘other artefacts’ within the landscape, and thereby gains access to the Neolithic mindset, a rich world that is revealing the true capabilities of Neolithic people and to which the conventional archaeologist or historian neither believes in nor has any means of access. This situation could, of course, radically change, and this article, one hopes, must go some way to encouraging such a change.

TABLE ONE : DATA of MEASURED DISTANCES

Castle Rigg to Long Meg = 102,079 ft      Sellafield to Burnmoor E = 46,840 ft
Top rectangle side = 91,078 ft                   Burnmoor E to Swinside = 46,734 ft
LH rectangle side = 45,786 ft                     Swinside to Sellafield      = 65,057 ft
Lower rectangle side = 91,378 ft (measurements from Google earth)

 

Figure Nine. The easternmost stone at Long Meg. Built to endure!

Copyright Bluestone Press 2018.               All rights reserved.               Robin Heath, June 2018

Note to the reader: This article, it is hoped, will be enlarged and expanded on, as time allows, weather permits and access to some other sites is obtained. RH

LAUNCH OF MEGALITH BOOK AT AVEBURY AND STONEHENGE, SUMMER SOLSTICE 2018

Wooden Books new compilation hardback, MEGALITH- Studies in Stone, was duly launched over the summer solstice celebrations at Avebury and at Stonehenge. The sun dutifully arose from a perfect azure sky at 4:52 am ( First Flash). Fabulous!!

So,  the new book’s out, and contains the revised and enlarged version of the earlier title Stonehenge (Wooden Books, 2000) available from the Wooden books website and their distributors (Central Books, and Amazon  plus many book shops, including the Henge Shop at Avebury (see website). Seven Wooden books, plus hard to find original Alexander Thom survey plans of Stone rings, all in enlarged format and within hard covers, priced at only £16.99.

Synchronous with the launch were substantial articles in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail (20th June)  The i,  (21st June) plus interviews with either John Martineau or Robin Heath on eight local radio stations spanning from Radio Scotland to Radio Jersey. These newspaper articles are all available on line, we are told, for a limited period.

Many thanks for all who contributed to make this event a happy and fun occasion. In particular, Hugh Newman, for generously letting us use his home as an brief overnight resting place and watering hole, – almost unique in being within visible range of Stonehenge; Will Gethin, PR whizz of Conscious Frontiers, for stimulating the media to take interest in the event and for organising me and John (like herding cats, I should think).To a dear friend, the Archdruid Rollo Maughfling, for giving the launch proceedings some extra gravitas.  And tor Dominique, Trudy and Jane at the Henge Shop, Avebury for laying on a lecture hall and providing many appreciated facilities within the Avebury ring.

Finally, to my wife Trish, who supplied a superb veggie lasagne late on solstice eve, and a greatly appreciated (and rapidly demolished) fried egg breakfast at 7:00 am on solstice morn.

Here are some photos of the event. No copyright, anyone can send any or all of them to whoever you llke.

I am now about to fall over through lack of sleep and having 400 miles driving under my belt in under 30 hours.

RH zzzz!

NB No-one was harmed in the production of this book launch.

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Earth Light shoots out of Holy well

This photograph was mentioned during one of my presentations at Megalithomania 2018, in Glastonbury.
It is one of about seven photographs I took of a Holy well during a survey trip to Anglesey on 15th May 2011. I filed these and did not pick up on this particular photograph until 2016. Only one had this anomalous light, which appears to be a double or triple light source that is  leaving a diaphanous trail as it rises from the water source.

Make of it what you will, the photo shown here is exactly what emerged from the memory card in the digital camera, a Nikon 4300.

 

MEGALITHOMANI 2018

MEGALITHOMANIA 2018

Fun for all the family!!

One month to go before the annual megalithfest at Glastonbury. It’s my first Megalithomania appearance since 2012. I have also been asked to act as some kind of tour guide on the Stonehenge special access visit on the Monday (14th May), my first since the old road was removed, the new Visitor’s Centre was completed, and I finally found an older, bigger analogue of the Stonehenge site in the Preseli Hills of West Wales. Surely not!?

I’m giving two presentations: the first is Aboriginal Stonehenge in Wales (May 12th) which will be an update on my recent work and will include the recent boisterous new research into the relationship between Woodhenge and Stonehenge, which many readers of this website will already be somewhat familiar with.

My first presentation is on Saturday 12th May, 2018, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Aboriginal Stonehenge in Wales 

Stonehenge as a later imitation.

Here is the official Megalithomania blurb:

In the 1970s, a motley assortment of leyhunters, dowsers and members of RILKO and IGR combed the Preseli hills of West Wales looking for evidence of a Preseli Zodiac. Support for their researches originated from ancient Welsh legends, and they almost found the original Stonehenge. For the past 33 years, Robin Heath has been living and working within this landscape, discovering that the landscape itself, together with the siting of several important megalithic monuments reveals the ‘zodiac’ that also formed the original design for Stonehenge. Robin’s illustrated presentation is the subject of a recently published book, Temple in the Hills.

My second presentation is on Sunday 13th May, 2018, 2:45 – 3:45pm

The 2018 John Michell Memorial Lecture

I have been honoured by being asked if I would give the annual John Michell Memorial Lecture (May 13th), entitled Keeping on the Old Straight Track. John was a very dear friend of me and my wife and we often walked miles of landscapes with John in search of evidence for prehistoric and ancient cultural evidence that supported the megalithic science of our ancestors. My own work was greatly accelerated by John’s energy and generousity.

Here is the official Megalithomania blurb:

 Keeping on the Old Straight Track

Applying John Michell’s legacy to new research.

John’s books and lectures reintroduced two generations to a global prehistoric science whose traces were still visible because they had survived into later Babylonian, Egyptian, Minoan, Greek and Roman times. Although the scientific establishment remains to be convinced of it, this ‘megalithic science’ (which John sometimes referred to as ‘spiritual engineering’) remains recogniseable to modern thought.

In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ancient sciences when correctly understood and then applied, Robin will revisit some of John’s favourite haunts, and pull a few new rabbits out of the hat.

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Many website readers have asked when Part Three of the tryptych article will finally appear, and the answer is between this event and midsummer, during the launch of the new composite Wooden Book ‘Megalith‘. This new tome includes my own contribution to this marque, a rewritten edition of Stonehenge with much new material plus some of Sun, Moon & Earth, within a contents page to satisfy the desires of anyone interested in prehistoric culture and ‘Old Stones’.

MEGALITH Contents

Editor’s Preface                          1

Book I  Stone Circles                7

Hugh Newman

Book II  Carnac                        59

Howard Crowhurst

Book III  Stonehenge               127

Robin Heath

Book IV  Avebury                     181

Evelyn Francis

 

Book V  Stanton Drew          237

Gordon Strong

 

Book VI  Callanish                291

Gerald Ponting

 

Book VII  Ancient British Rock Art   355

Chris Mansell

Book VIII  Surveys of Stone Circles   419

Alexander Thom and Archibald S Thom

Index  487

At the time of writing this, the retail price for this bundle of joy is not available, but the other Wooden Book compilations have been set at around £14.99. Surely a whole lot of bangs for your buck at this price, with each separate WB’s priced at £6.99 this mammoth megalithic book is a hard bound bargain in a sparkly cover.

Go on (the WB website), because you’re worth it!!

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Stonehenge & Woodhenge – PART TWO

PART TWO – A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

Megalithic science claims to be able to provide a skill set whereby it becomes possible to understand the long-forgotten rules or lost prehistoric science needed to fathom out the purpose or function of a megalithic design that has stood there waiting to be understood for thousands of years. This experience can and often does confer an awesome sense of privilege, and it can connect a researcher directly to their far distant roots, seeing directly into the mindset of their ancestors. Once a few and quite simple rules are understood, the design rules, astronomy, units of length and geometry originally applied by the original architect(s) and/or builder(s) of a megalithic monument can be revealed. This methodology is presently and sadly not recognised by mainstream prehistoric archaeologists.

The various techniques and methodologies by which this recovery process is brought about has been described in many of my books and articles, and in many other works by other relevant researchers in this field.  The experiences which led me to be able to write on this subject are perfectly crystallized below, when  investigating the relationship between Stonehenge and Woodhenge.

Measuring the Distance between Stonehenge Centre and Woodhenge Centre

In Part One a single action began the process of investigation. I made a measurement of two physical realities : firstly the length of a line connecting Stonehenge centre to Woodhenge, centre, and, secondly, the angle of orientation that this line makes with respect to an east-west line, termed a co-azimuth angle. This second part of the article shows where that single action can lead a researcher into understanding presently unsuspected purposes within the designs of, in this case, Stonehenge and Woodhenge. A set of functions are revealed, functions or purposes which presently, no other technique being applied by archaeologists can offer.

I had measured the distance between these two henge monuments previously, and even the angle, in 2003, during the writing of The Measure of Albion (Bluestone Press, 2004, co-authored with John Michell (a facsimile is available in the USA under the title The Lost Science of Measuring the World, 2006, AUP). At the time this data became buried with a mass of other material had been gathered at the time. I had derived the length from the OS map coordinates, and this has since become the quaintly old fashioned way! Google Earth arrived soon after 2003, providing an astonishingly useful tool for this kind of work, although it can be fraught with dangers in this work unless backed up with site work on the ground. Google Earth, like the map, is not the territory. (adapted from Alfred Korzybyski, with apologies!). Researchers will need to recognise that the model of the earth (The Geoid) used by the British Ordnance Survey in making maps of Britain is coded OSGB36, whereas Google Earth uses WGS84 (World Geophysical Survey 1984.) Conversions from one system to the other are available on the web.

The 10033 feet measurement shown in the illustration above was taken centre to centre, using Google Earth.  For Stonehenge, the centre was assumed to be that location where the diagonals of the 5:12 station stones rectangle cross each other. The corners of this rectangle were originally occupied by moderately large stones. They were set a few inches inboard of the Aubrey circle perimeter and asynchronous with its hole spacing (see diagram below).

More detail: Stone 91 now lies recumbent next to its original stone hole and stone 93 is a large solitary stump over to southwest of Stonehenge. There are two missing stations, 92 and 94, but fortunately the location of their original holes has been established (Atkinson, et al). The centre of the Aubrey circle, marked as explained above, is depicted below, on a useful diagram that also indicates the principal solar and lunar orientations at Stonehenge and the direction of Woodhenge centre, which remains clearly marked by a solitary drab concrete bollard.

Stonehenge centre to Woodhenge centre = 10033 feet ( ± 3 feet)

It is estimated that this measurement, from centre to centre, is accurate to better than plus or minus three feet of the value given above.

Maxing the Factors

Now look what happens when one discovers the component factors present within this number,

10033 (feet) = 13 x 283.6 x 2.722 

The number 10033 feet can be represented by a tryptych containing three relevant numbers, each familiar to a student of megalithic science.

A).The number thirteen is inherently the numerical signature of the longest side length (hypotenuse) of a 5:12:13 triangle. 

B). The number 283.6 is the mean diameter in feet of the Aubrey circle, established by professors Alexander Thom and Richard Atkinson, during their 1973 survey of Stonehenge. Each Aubrey hole was located by Atkinson by probing and resistivity testing, and its centre established and marked with a survey pin (Thom & Thom, JHA, 1974, op cit, see Part One). 

C). 2.722 is the numerical value of the megalithic yard in feet, a unit that was originally discovered by Alexander Thom following two statistical methodologies prepared by the top Oxbridge statisticians of the time and based on analysis of the diameters of over 150 stone circles. (see Thom, MSIB, 1967, Chapter 5, and Thom & Thom, MRBB, 1978 , Chapter 4)

The point to point measurement of 10033 feet is also associated with an angle so similar to that of the apex angle of a 5:12:13 triangle that it may reasonably be  assumed to have been intentional, part of whatever process of laying out the bearings from Stonehenge took place, prior to Woodhenge’s construction. This tends to support the present archaeological view that Stonehenge was the first of these two henges to be erected.

But did Stonehenge come first? This is an important question that must not be hurried in the answer. The earliest known structures in the immediate Stonehenge landscape are those three massive post holes which incongruously became known as the ‘car-park post holes’ during the 1970s building of the now defunct earlier Visitor’s Centre and tunnel. Their locations were eventually marked with large white painted circles of concrete.

Whether the Woodhenge site may or may not have been later adapted throughout its long history, it remains true that the earliest known building work on this henge site included some very large post holes.The post holes for Woodhenge indicate that the posts would have been extremely massive, requiring similarly large retaining holes, particularly if the assumed wooden posts were long enough to support a roof structure. Evidence exists, for Cunningham’s excavators indeed found that there were ‘deep ramps to all the holes in Ring III‘. Thom also states (Thom, MSIB,1968, p 75) that ‘if the posts were 2.88 ft (in) diameter the inside of the structure would be a perfect fit‘ (to the sequence of perimeter lengths, discussed in Part One).

But what if those sixteen holes in Ring III were originally not intended for wooden posts? It is by no means a done deal that they were, is it? Their diameter is well matched to many of the eighty or so bluestones that remain on the Stonehenge site today. Might Woodhenge have once housed a bluestone circle during the five centuries gap that currently haunts researchers into the origins of the bluestones. Woodhenge has been somewhat neglected over the years, a wooden Cinderella to its stoney sister, Stonehenge. Viewed sideway on, at ground level, it may resemble a load of bollards, but Thom’s surveyed plan (and Part One and the diagrams here) suggest that Woodhenge is far more interesting than that.

The Unit Length of a Triangle

For any size triangle laid out in two dimensional space, the unit length can be found by dividing the measured length of the perimeter, in any chosen unit of length, by the number of ‘units’ in the perimeter. For a known and accurate 5:12:13 Pythagorean triangle, the perimeter units total thirty, the sum of the side lengths [13+12+5]. For the triangle under investigation, the perimeter length totals 23,153 feet and the unit length becomes that value divided by 30, (see below).

Because the apex angle is negligibly different to that of a 5:12:13 triangle, the unit length can also be derived simply by dividing the 13 side length by 13. But this answer assumes that the 5:12:13 triangle is exact, and geodetic triangles laid out on the ground are almost never exact. However, for this  example, on flat territory and over a small area, one would expect the unit length derived from the 13 side alone to be extremely closely matched to that derived from the total sum of all three lengths of this triangle, measured along the ground.

The two side lengths shown in red (on the diagram above) were measured using Google Earth. As an exercise, the reader may like to determine the difference between the unit length derived from the ’13” side alone and that determined from separate measurements taken of all three sides using Google Earth.

There is no substitute for being on site. Walking around this location shows that there is no surface sign that a right angle for this triangle was ever permanently marked, or monumentalised directly, although its location is strongly suggested by the geometry and metrology. A good place to dig, perhaps, but not, not ever, by other than qualified archaeologists who have the required blessings of EH and WHO.

For this example,  the best estimate for the unit length is that derived from the ’13’ side alone. The 13th part of that length separating the centre of Stonehenge from the centre of Woodhenge becomes the unit length of the triangle, in whichever unit of length one chooses to measure it with. In feet it is the product of 283.6  and 2.722 , which is 771.77 (feet).

Unit length of the ’13’ side of the triangle = 771.77 feet

But this is also 283.6 megalithic yards (771.77 feet / 2.722 feet), numerically the mean Aubrey Circle diameter expressed in the larger unit of the megalithic yard, instead of the 283.6 feet (mean diameter) of the Aubrey circle. The three factors revealed above can now reduce to just two, and the length 10035 feet is seen to contain 13 lengths of 283.6 megalithic yards.

The 10035 feet distance connecting Stonehenge (centre) and Woodhenge (centre) is thirteen ‘super-Aubrey’ circles… (if you like)!

10035 feet = 13 x 283.6 megalithic yards

The Perimeter Length  

The perimeter of a 5:12:13 Pythagorean triangle can be estimated by multiplying the length of the 13 side by 30/13, as shown above. This delivered 23,153 feet or 8,505.9 megalithic yards. The perimeter may also be measured using Google Earth for each of its three sides, and this presents an almost identical length, at 23,151.8 feet.

In Part Three, the consequences of this research will make it possible to recover yet more useful information from the designs of Stonehenge and Woodhenge, taken together. And we will then make a journey to the Preseli Hills of West Wales, where interest widens way beyond those outcrops that have proved to be the source of many of the Stonehenge bluestones.


Additional Notes : It is fortunate in this work that the foot and the megalithic yard have remained clearly defined and recogniseable units of length. Thom’s megalithic yard became recognised during modern times in Megalithic Sites in Britain (Oxford, 1967). Metrologist John Neal, in various metrological publications from 2000 onwards, proposed that the megalithic yard should more correctly have been named a megalithic step, being 2.5 times the length of the foot from which it derives within the traditional system of metrology, and not three times that length (a yard).

Neal identified the foot from which the megalithic yard derives to be the Geographical value of the Belgic foot (1.08617 feet). The root value of the root Belgic foot holds a ratio of 15:14 with the ‘root’ value of the English foot.

Similarly, Thom’s megalithic fathom (5.44 feet =  2 megalithic yards) would be better termed a pace, but Thom’s megalithic rod, (6.805 feet = 2.5 megalithic yards) sits comfortably within the canon, because a rod can be a double royal cubit, here based on a royal cubit whose single length is 3.403 feet.

In comparison, the inner and outer diameters of the sarsen circle accurately measure 28 and 30 double royal cubits at geographical value (3.4757485 feet), respectively.


 

 


Robin Heath, December 2017                      StoneAgeSurveys                     skyandlandscape.com

 

 

 

 

Stonehenge & Woodhenge – A Lost Legacy – PART ONE

  • PART ONE  –   A LOST LEGACY

Soon after the distinguished Welsh archaeologist Maude Cunningham and her husband finished work excavating the site we now know as Woodhenge, in 1929, the locations of each of the site’s many revealed postholes were marked with grey concrete bollards. The best that can be said of this action was that it ensured their original exact positions were recorded for posterity (see Alexander Thom’s photograph below, from 1958, courtesy of Eoghann MacColl).

Visually, Woodhenge is neither a pretty nor an impressive site, unlike its nearest neighbour, Stonehenge, some 1.9 miles to the southwest. VIsitors to Woodhenge tend not to linger around this site, and soon slope off to nearby Durrington Walls, to the north, or Stonehenge, to the southwest. This article claims to lift the present Cinderella status afforded to this Neolithic class II henge and timber circle monument, by identifying a previously unrecognised significance in its geodetic placement with respect to Stonehenge.

 The Brief History of Woodhenge’s Discovery

Originally, what became Woodhenge was first discovered in modern times during the first half of the nineteenth century, as ‘earthworks’ thought by some archaeologists of the time to be a disc barrow. It had been named Dough Cover, surely the first reference to the site’s henge shape.  In 1926 Woodhenge’s discovery was amongst the first triumphs of the new science of aerial photography, and the site was first positively identified from an aerial photograph taken by Squadron Leader  (later Group Captain) Gilbert Insall, VC, in 1926, during a survey of Wessex by Alexander Keiller and OGS Crawford.  Keiller later undertook the pioneering restoration work at Avebury, during the 1930s, and Crawford was Archaeology Officer for the Ordnance Survey and later became the editor of Antiquity. Having recognised the importance of the site,  renowned archaeologists Maud and Ben Cunningham immediately began work excavating the site, and by 1929  their survey report confirmed that it was indeed a henge.

In 1958 and again in 1973, Alexander Thom undertook a survey of the Woodhenge ‘bollards’,  a simplified version of his original plan of the site appearing in Megalithic Sites in Britain (Oxford, 1967, p74) site. His original site plan is reproduced below.

Thom wrote that a ‘very careful survey’ of the site, ‘using steel tape and theodolite, was made of the concrete posts which the excavators placed in the post-holes in the chalk’. He then linked the site with Stonehenge astronomically by  pointing out that the axis of the site aligns to ‘the point on the horizon where the midsummer sun first appeared about 1800 BC’.

The calculated ‘first flash’ azimuth is indeed 49.2 degrees when the given figures for the latitude of the site and horizon altitude are entered into the standard formula (see below).

A hawk-eyed reader may spot that on the plan published in MSIB  the solstitial sunrise is given a declination of 24.2 degrees, which corresponds to a date around 4800 BC, far too early for all dating estimates of Woodhenge.  The original plan (above) gave the declination in Thom’s own handwriting,  at 23.9 degrees, and a theodolite measured horizon altitude of 0.5 degrees. 


STONE AGE SURVEYS

QUICKAZ – Finds azimuths in a flash!

1. Determining solstice sunrise at Woodhenge, circa 1800BC (dec 23.9 degrees)

The proposed sunrise is in the NE quadrant.

Epoch 1800BC, Declination = 23.914, Latitude = 51.2, Horizon Altitude = 0.5 degrees

Correction for Earth’s Curvature = 1.37197E-06, Parallax Correction = .002 degrees,

Refraction Correction = 0.55 degrees

                                                          ^         ^         ^

********- horizon -****^****^****^**********

First Flash =                              49.20144 degrees

disc half risen =                                49.61157 degrees

disc on horizon =                                   50.42171 degrees

The same formula run with 24.2 degrees declination (4,800 BC) give the following rise azimuths for the sun:

2. Determining solstice sunrise at Woodhenge, circa 4800BC (Dec 24.2 degrees)

                                                               ^       ^       ^

********- horizon -****^****^****^**********

First Flash =                             48.64856 degrees

disc half risen =                                    49.06212 degrees

disc on horizon =                                             49.8788 degrees

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Program by Robin Heath, Stone Age Surveys, 28th November 2017


The geometry of Woodhenge is shown to be one of a family of designs which mostly occur on the western side of Wales (Castell Mawr and Hirnant), and in Brittany. The various arcs are struck from the points of a triangle, usually of integer side-lengths and Pythagorean (right angle triangles). Sometimes the ‘blunt end’  is semi-elliptical (Castell Mawr) rather than semi-circular (Woodhenge). The plan of Woodhenge given above shows the design to be based around a 12:35:37 Pythagorean triangle, from whose corners the various arcs are struck to define the perimeter. The arcs at the blunt end share a common centre at A, whilst those at the sharp end share a common centre at C. The measured distance between  A and C is 6 megalithic yards (2.72 feet), which makes the triangle 12:35:37 in units of half a megalithic yard.

From point B the flatter arcs are struck to then complete the perimeter.

Woodhenge consists of a set of concentric arcs struck from each point of the triangle, with one gap (see plan). It is the perimeters which reveal the true nature of the design. While the radii are not integral multiples of the megalithic yard, the perimeters turned out to be of lengths close to 160, 140, (gap), 100, 80, 60, 40 megalithic yards. For each ring the radius of the arc at the ‘sharp end’ is 1 megalithic yard smaller than that struck from the ‘blunt end’ (MSIB Table 6.5 shown below, author’s commentary in brackets).

Ring           Perimeter (My)          R1(My0         Major axis    P(actual)

I                      160                            24.02              53.04          161.0

II                     140                            20.84              46.67          138.2

III                    100                            14.47              33.94          104.2

[The same perimeter as the Aubrey circle diameter 283.6 feet = 104.188 feet]

IV                      80                             11.29             27.58            79.9

V                       60                               8.10             21.21            61.3

VI                      40                               4.92            14.84             39.4

Thom noted that there were deep ramps to all the holes of ring III, and that the holes averaged at 2.88 feet diameter (7.839 feet). He concluded that very large posts had been used, ‘carrying perhaps a platform or roof‘ [or maybe a bluestone or two?]. He further noted that the ring was 4 per cent larger than expected, and that holes of the above larger diameter would assure ‘the inside of the structure would be a perfect fit‘.

Neglecting ring III, Thom applied his statistical methodology, designed by mathematician and statistician Dr Simon Broadbent, to find from the values of P(actual), the value of the megalithic yard which best fits Woodhenge. This turned out to be about 2.718, a value so close to his later value for the megalithic yard ( 2.722 feet) as ‘to show that we can be quite certain we are using the identical geometrical construction to that used by the builders‘.

To briefly digress, when I was staying with the Thom family in preparation for writing the biographical account of Thom’s life and work (Alexander Thom: Cracking the Stone Age Code, Bluestone Press 2007) the full nature and extent of the excoriation this pioneering archaeoastronomer had endured from the negative reaction to his work from many mainstream prehistorians and archaeologists was laid bare in front of me. This became known within archaeology as ‘Thom bashing’ and ‘Thomfoolery’. However, some of the leading prehistoric archaeologists of that time (Atkinson, Burl, Case, MacKie) were both amicable and quite accepting of his work and studied the implications of accepting the claims Thom had made concerning the capabilities of Neolithic megalith builders. What was also painfully true was that many of his most vehement critics were neither equipped nor qualified to assess the numerical nature of Thom’s findings. Interested readers can glimpse the nature of this energetic debate – a fascinating vignette of a true pioneer who arrived on the scene during the most turbulent time in the recent history of archaeology – by watching the archived 1970 BBC ‘Chronicle‘ documentary, Cracking the Stone Age Code,  available on the web (search ‘BBC archive Chronicle Thom’). They do not make documentaries like that any more.

What happens when Stonehenge and Woodhenge get together

Thom first surveyed Woodhenge in 1957-8 while he was still professor of Engineering at Brasenose College, Oxford. By the time of the 1973 Stonehenge surveys he had retired and moved back to the family farm (The Hill) in Dunlop, Ayrshire. He enjoyed full assistance during that work from his son, oceanographer Dr Archibald Thom,  professor Richard Atkinson, Stonehenge custodian Major Lance Vatcher and members of the Survey Branch, Royal School of Artillery. His report first appeared in the Journal for the History of Astronomy, Vol 5, part 2, No 13, June 1974), and a version of this paper later appeared in Megalithic Remains in Britain and Brittany (Thom and Thom, Oxford, 1978).

It  dawned on me while working on the relationship between Stonehenge and Woodhenge that Alexander Thom is probably the only individual who has ever undertaken an accurate survey of both monuments. I was particularly aware of this during a trip to the Stonehenge landscape with John Michell in 2003. While setting up a theodolite on an anonymous barrow some 3700 feet from Stonehenge, I noted that all three sites lay on a straight line connecting Stonehenge with Woodhenge. When I returned in 2014 (with a better theodolite) I had more time to study this linearity and its relationship with the sky and landscape.

The centres of the two henge sites are spaced 10033 feet apart. Defining the centre of Stonehenge is rather harder to estimate than for Woodhenge, due to each phase of the former monument having a slightly different centre than the others (Thom, JHA 1974, op cit). I used the crossing point of the two diagonals of the station stone rectangle, as shown below ( lower left). The measurement is from Google earth, and estimated to be accurate  to within two or three feet, based on a normal surveying practice of defining a previously laid out base line, in this case the measured distance between the eponymous Cuckoo stone and Woodhenge centre, some 1350 feet in length, and using Google earth to compare the accuracy of that already known length with the length delivered by GE for the unreachable (out of bounds) centre of Stonehenge!

The azimuth or bearing of this line, looking from Woodhenge to Stonehenge, is 247 degrees and  23 minutes, obtained from a sun-shoot. Looking up the line from Stonehenge, this azimuth angle (the angle between north is 67 degrees and 23 minutes’, and the angle from the white east-west line (illustrated above) is therefore 22 degrees 37 minutes). This is significant, for it is uniquely the acute angle of a Pythagorean 5:12:13 triangle. It means that the two thin white lines above, each aligned to the cardinal points of the compass, for the ’12’ side and the ‘5’ side of the triangle, and have lengths, according to Pythagoras’ theorem, of 9261 feet and 3858 feet respectively. There is no sign of any monument at the point where these lines meet, at the right angle, although a dig there may prove fruitful for anyone up for the task and who has permission from the custodians of this World Heritage site!

Here’s where the application of megalithic science begins to deliver big dividends. There has so far been no digging, no invasion of the site, no massive expense and yet already this investigation is able to change the way we look at these two henge monuments, separately and as a pair. And there has been neither the harming of any archaeologists, nor employment of loony fringe ideas. Just one angle and one length accurately measured using precision instruments up to the task.

There is already an existing 5:12:13 triangle implied within the 5:12  station stone rectangle, once described by Aubrey Burl as ‘near perfect’. The diagonals of this construction are 13 of the same units that make up the known and measured ‘5’ and ’12’ sides, and the three measurements are 108.8 feet  261.2 feet and 283.6 feet, respectively. It is the 13 side of a 5:12:13 triangle that is our measured length from Stonehenge to Woodhenge,  measured as 10033 feet.

As they say on the sport news, look away now if you don’t want to see the result.

Now for the good bit –  10035.47 feet = 283.6 x 13 x 2.722 feet.

Alternatively 13 x The Aubrey circle diameter (expressed in megalithic yards) = 3686 megalithic yards

[99.98% of the measured value, using the later value for the megalithic yard determined by Thom during the 1973 Stonehenge survey (Thom, JHA,1974, op cit) and confirmed by the Avebury survey of 1975 – 6, (Thom & Thom, MRBB 1978, op cit, pp 36-43)].

Thus it appears, based on this first step in investigating the relationship between Stonehenge and Woodhenge, that these two henges relate to each other, through a fundamental measurement of the Aubrey circle, namely its mean diameter (Thom, 1974, JHA, op cit), which is fundamentally and intelligently incorporated into the distance that separates their two centres.

That is enough for the first part of this article. Result.

 

Robin Heath                                           StoneAgeSurveys                                       3rd December 2017


 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon Book Review – Probably the Most Important Stonehenge Mystery Revealed

Below is a review of Temple in the Hills, given a five star rating by the reviewer. It’s better than any Easter egg. Half the print run has gone after five months and the book section lets you know how you may acquire a copy. An early chapter from this book is blogged earlier on this site.

I am currently working on a second site in southern Britain, and it appears that the ground rules given in Temple in the Hills concerning the relationship between Stonehenge and the (earlier) ritual landscape of the Preseli Hills (bluestones, remember?)  are applicable elsewhere within the major megalithic sites of Britain and Brittany.

To slightly adapt the quote from Mike P-P, “There has never been a better time to be an archaeoastronomer.”

 

Equinoctial Stone row alignment (photo)

Three yonking great stones that mark to the Equinoctial (west – 270*)) sunset, part of a section of the Dinas Cross to Pontfaen road in the Preselis, near Russia (’tis true!), where the road markedly changes direction and follows the alignment for about 470ft (170m). Two of remaining three upright stones are those stand in front of the sun’s disc in the distance. All other stones are now recumbent, and lie buried in the bank, just as one finds at the minor standstill moonset ‘detector’ (301.4*) at Parc y Meirw (Field of the Dead) on the Llanychaer road, about a mile away. Prehistoric precision astronomy at its best in Preseli!

For nearly ten years I have had to wait in order to capture the sun’s disc located at the end of this alignment during its setting moments on the day of the spring equinox. For more details, avail yourself of a copy of Bluestone Magic, a Guide to the Prehistoric Monuments of West Wales – as these sheep clearly did – page 56 and elsewhere, which contains colour photos and explanatory text about these two robust alignment sites.

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