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The most important discovery at Stonehenge for a generation could be destroyed by David Cameron’s plan to build a tunnel at the World Heritage Site
Archaeologists have discovered the earliest settlement at Stonehenge – but the Mesolithic camp could be destroyed if government plans for a new tunnel go ahead.
Charcoal dug up from the ‘Blick Mead’ encampment, a mile and a half from Stonehenge, dates from around 4,000BC. It is thought the site was originally occupied by hunter gatherers returning to Britain after the Ice Age, when the country was still connected to the continent.
Experts say the discovery could re-write history in prehistoric Britain.
There is also evidence of feasting – burnt flints and remains of giant bulls – aurochs – as well…
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A detailed plan of a medieval city has been produced by experts without any digging at the site.
The latest scanning techniques were used to uncover a network of buildings at the 11th Century Old Sarum near Salisbury in Wiltshire.
The results include a series of large structures, possibly defences, with open areas of ground behind possibly for mustering resources or people.
Old Sarum was the original site of Salisbury, which is two miles away
WHAT IS OLD SARUM?
- It was the location of the original Salisbury
- It combines a royal castle and cathedral within an Iron Age fortification
- The Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark there
- For 150 years it was a major centre of government
Source: English Heritage
It was originally an Iron Age fort, established around 400 BC, and occupied by the Romans after the conquest of Britain in AD 43.
This latest survey of the site was carried out by the University of Southampton and concentrated on the inner and outer baileys of what would have been the fort.
Modern techniques used to survey the land included magnetometry, earth resistance, ground penetrating radar and electric resistivity tomography, which uses electrodes to probe underground.
The university’s director of archaeological prospection services, Kristian Strutt, said: “Archaeologists and historians have known for centuries that there was a medieval city at Old Sarum, but until now there has been no proper plan of the site.
“Our survey shows where individual buildings are located and from this we can piece together a detailed picture of the urban plan within the city walls.”
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
It’s that time of year again. With just 3 months to go before the Current Archaeology Live! conference in London, the nominations for the Current Archaeology Awards have been released.
The awards are designed to celebrate some of the stories and people featured in the magazine throughout the course of the year. There is no panel of judges, the only votes that count are those from the readership in the public vote via the website, so it really is just down to you (collectively) as to who the winners are.
As in previous years, there are four main categories to vote for:
- Research Project of the Year
- Archaeologist of the Year
- Rescue Dig of the Year
- Book of the Year
The nominees in each category are as follows:
Research Project of the Year
- How to build a dolmen: exploring Neolithic construction at Garn Turne
- Maryport’s mystery monuments: investigating gigantic timber…
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The city, established as New Sarum in the 13th century, is a common jumping off point for visitors to Stonehenge. It is also famous for its original copy of the Magna Carta; the historic document is one of four original copies in existence.
“We are delighted Lonely Planet has recognised Salisbury as one of the Top 10 Cities in the World to visit,” VisitWiltshire’s CEO David Andrews said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of Salisbury’s history and heritage such as Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta, as well as our arts and culture, shopping, food and drink and nightlife. Salisbury is also a great base for visitors to experience popular attractions further afield such as Stonehenge, Avebury and our White Horses.”
Salisbury ranked No. 7 on the list, while Washington, D.C. took the top spot. Milan, Italy, and Vienna, Austria, also ranked on Lonely Planet’s top 10 list.
Salisbury, Stonehenge and South Wiltshire is a truly unique destination. Set among some of the most beautiful countryside and with a 5,000 year old history the area is steeped in history but with its eye firmly fixed on the future.
The Stonehenge Travel Company provide expert guided tours of Salisbury, Stonehenge, Avebury and Wiltshire, these depart from Salisbury or Bath. Coach tours of Salisbury departing from London are also available
Another attempt is to be made to solve the mystery of how the largest stones used to build Stonehenge were moved.
In 1996, a BBC TV programme aimed to find out how the stones for the largest trilithon were put into place, and how the lintel was placed on top.
Since then the concrete replicas have remained untouched and forgotten about at an army base on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.
They have now been rediscovered and the experiment will be repeated.
Archaeologist Julian Richards is teaming up with farmer Tim Daw see if modern techniques are any more efficient.
Mr Daw, who farms at All Cannings, near Devizes, and who created the first “Neolithic” long barrow to be built in the UK for 5,500 years, also works part-time at Stonehenge.
He said one of the most popular…
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Click here for Membership benefitsMembership gives you a whole year of unlimited entry to Stonehenge, castles and gardens, historic houses and abbeys, and kids go free!
Special Exhibitions at Stonehenge
The new Stonehenge Visitor Centre has a changing programme of special exhibitions so membership means you can visit as often as you wish for free.
English Heritage Members’ Events
They have an exciting new programme of events throughout the year, exclusively for members.
Events include behind the scenes and underground tours, hands-on workshops and guided tours and historical walks.
Make the most of your membership this season and enjoy our events, designed just for you.
Bringing History to Life: Enjoy free or discounted entry with your Membership
If you fancy hearing roaring tales of battle from a Viking warrior, sussing out some spy skills, becoming a top hobby horse knight or just embarking on a fun-filled trail or quest – you’ve come to the right place! With child-friendly tea rooms and hands-on exhibits, we have everything you need for a day out with the family.
- Some of the English Heritage attractions in the Wiltshire area:Stonehenge
Old Wardour Castle
Bratton Camp and White Horse
Farleigh Hungerford Castle
West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury
Silbury Hill, Avebury
Hatfield Earthworks (Marden Henge)
Visit only three of the possibilities and the pass will pay for itself!
Stonehenge now has a transformed visitor experience, with a new world-class visitor centre, housing museum-quality permanent and special exhibitions, plus a spacious shop and café.
To be assured of entering Stonehenge you must reserve tickets in advance. If you have an English Heritage pass or are a National Trust or English Heritage member and are entitled to free entry you still need to obtain (free) tickets in advance.
The true meaning of this ancient, awe-inspiring creation has been lost in the mists of time. Was Stonehenge a temple for sun worship, a healing centre, a burial site or perhaps a huge calendar? How did our ancestors manage to carry the mighty stones from so far away and then, using only the most primitive of tools, build this amazing structure? Surrounded by mystery, Stonehenge never fails to impress.
Includes complimentary audio tour and learn more about the mysteries surrounding Stonehenge.
The superb shop for souvenirs of your visit and unusual gifts.
A walk in the prehistoric landscape around Stonehenge to see some of the other monuments in the World Heritage Site.
Join now and save money……….
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
If you have membership we will reduce the entrance fees from the cost of any guided tours you book with us- a significant saving!
When you think about the great cities across the country, it is always the big ones that spring to mind.
While the streets of London may be paved with gold and Liverpool may have been European Capital of Culture, there is one UK city that has overtaken them all to be in the top ten cities to visit in the world in 2015.
Salisbury may be thought as somewhere to stop for lunch after visiting Stonehenge but it is so much more than that. Historically, it is one of the most important places in the country and probably the best city in the UK for a tourist to visit.
And here’s why …
1. It’s the home of the Magna Carta
In 2015 the Magna Carta will be 800 years old and Salisbury is preparing to give it a grand birthday party. One of only four surviving copies can be found in the city and it is one of the most important documents in English history.
The Magna Carta formed the basis of our country’s law for centuries and was signed by King John at the behest of barons around the land.
2. There’s the world’s oldest mechanical clock
It may not be at the top of most people’s bucket lists but Salisbury does boast a mechanical clock from the middle ages that dates from 1386, which is housed in the 13th century cathedral.
It has been hailed as one of the UK’s forgotten jewels, though I expect the person whose job it is to wind it up everyday is very much aware of it.
3. The majesty of Salisbury cathedral
Built in the 13th century, the cathedral has the tallest spire in Britain. At 404 feet high, it is also the tallest masonry structure and was completed a whole century after the cathedral was finished.
The cathedral took 36 years to build and used over 70,000 tons of local stone which was back breaking work for some poor individuals.
4. See how a prime minister lived
When he wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of running the country, Sir Edward Heath would retire to Arundells, his sanctuary in Salisbury.
Whilst here he would enjoy his grand collection of paintings, with an eclectic mix of originals from the likes of Winston Churchill to LS Lowry and now it is preserved for everyone to enjoy.
5. You can get a decent pint
With over 80 pubs in a relatively small town, there is plenty of choice if you fancy a couple of swift ones. The good news for the discerning ale drinker is that local brewery, Hop Back, own a number of the pubs and a great pint is guaranteed.
6. It is full of literary references
The Salisbury International Arts Festival is renowned worldwide and brings together some of the biggest names. The city is also the backdrop for Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.
Less obscure is the fact that William Golding, who was a teacher in the city, used his spare time to write Lord of the Flies and thus become the bane of English Literature students for years to come.
7. Sir Christopher Wren inspired the architecture
He was born 382 years ago and was celebrated in a Google doodlerecently and he was born not that far away from Salisbury.
Whilst Christopher Wren may forever be linked with redesigning London after the Great Fire, he also had a hand in the architecture of his home city too.
He pointed out that the cathedral spire needed straightening (and strengthening), which probably went down a treat with the proud engineers who were involved with maintaining it.
8. Independent shops have flourished
With most town centres having a familiar look to them, Salisbury has become a whole lot more independent. All the usual big names can still be found, but it is individuality that is at the fore and boutique shopping should be your expectation.
Daily guided coach tours from London visiting Salisbury Cathedral and Medieval City.
Private guided tours of Stonehenge and Salisbury for and small groups
The Stonehenge Travel Company,
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours