Jewellery from the mysterious ‘queen’ of Stonehenge goes on display: Stunning pieces were found in the grave of a high-status woman 200 years ago
- Woman’s remains were found in 1808 in a grave overlooking Stonehenge
- Collection includes amber earrings, buttons from a cloak and pendants that indicate the woman had social status
- Her identity is unknown it is unclear why she was given such a lavish burial
- Objects are going on display for first time at Stonehenge Visitors Centre
In the early 19th century, William Cunnington discovered a burial site near Stonehenge.
In one of the barrows he excavated at Normanton Down, the remains of a woman were found alongside some of the most well-preserved jewellery historians have ever seen.
Now, more than 200 years later, these artefacts are going on display for the first time.
Mysterious jewellery and belongings (pictured) of a woman so important she was buried at a prime spot overlooking Stonehenge are going on display for the first time. Archaeologists are still baffled by some of the items found alongside…
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The Stonehenge landscape has the richest concentration of Bronze Age burial mounds in Britain. If you cannot afford to visit Stonehenge itself, do not worry; most of the exciting landscape is managed by the National Trust and is free for you to explore.
After a recent early morning visit to Stonehenge, I walked back over the surrounding landscape to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre via the ‘Cursus barrows’ and Fargo Plantation.
Aerial photograph of the Cursus Barrows from one of the heritage boards
The Cursus barrow group are a striking linear arrangement of Early Bronze Age burial mounds prominently situated on the north-western skyline when viewed from Stonehenge. They run for c. 1200m along the roughly W-E ridge located south of the west end of the Stonehenge…
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A RARE Saxon coin found in a field near Pewsey has just gone on show at Wiltshire Museum in Devizes after a public appeal raised the cash to buy it.
The tiny gold coin which was bought for £18,000 at an auction in London in December is now displayed under a magnifying glass so visitors can see its full splendour.
Members of the museum celebrated the return of the coin to Wiltshire with a reception last Thursday complete with Mark Routledge dressed as a Saxon warrior.
Museum director David Dawson this week spoke of the anxious moment he spent on the phone bidding for the coin that was found in a field at East Grafton.
He said: “It was incredibly nerve wracking. I was very pleased to get it for £18,000. To be honest we would have paid a bit more. But you never know if there is going to be a private collector who is willing to pay whatever they have to get something they really want.
“I was shut away in my office during the bidding but the whole museum must have heard my whoops after I made the final bid and secured it. We are delighted to now have the coin on show.”
The coin which dates from AD 675 was originally thought to have been French but it has now been confirmed that it was minted in Kent.
At the time of the auction at Spinks in London Mr Dawson said: “We are delighted to have secured this important coin to be displayed at the Wiltshire Museum. It is a powerful demonstration of the importance of the Vale of Pewsey and the Kingdom of Wessex.
“We are very grateful to the almost 50 people from Wiltshire and across the world who have supported the purchase of this important coin, along with the help of our grant funders.”
The museum was awarded grants towards the purchase by the Arts Council England, the Victoria and Albert Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund.
In addition, donations and pledges were given through a fundraising appeal launched by the museum.
The coin dates to the time of the beginnings of Christianity in Wiltshire and just after the burial of King Raedwald at Sutton Hoo.
Mr Dawson said the remarkable find shed new light on the Vale of Pewsey in the Saxon period. East Grafton was part of the parish of Bedwyn until medieval times.
There are a number of pagan Saxon cemeteries nearby and there was an early Saxon Royal manor at the Iron Age hill fort at Chisbury, just to the north of Great Bedwyn.
Later in the Saxon period, the focus moved to Great Bedwyn where there was a Royal Manor and an important Minster church. Bedwyn was held by King Alfred and it also had a Saxon mint in the time of King Edward the Confessor soon after 1,000 AD.
Bedwyn was very important and it was only with the building of its Norman castle that the focus moved to Marlborough.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: “We are delighted that Wiltshire Museum was successful in acquiring at auction such an important coin.
He said: “Very few coins of such quality exist, and we are pleased to have played a role in ensuring that this beautiful example can remain forever in the very locality in which it was found.
“It’s a wonderful addition to the museum’s collection.”
The Stonehenge Travel Company
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
While Stonehenge is by far and away the superstar of southern England, and no visit to Wiltshire is complete without touring it, Stonehenge is in fact just one of many ancient sites in the area. Indeed, the surrounds of Stonehenge contain the most densely-grouped collection of neolithic sites and monuments within England – and more are being discovered all the time. It’s thought that the nearby settlement of Amesbury (believed to be the oldest in Britain) was a major cultural centre during the island’s ancient days. If you’ve got some time to spare during your Stonehenge trip, and want to take in some of the area’s other sights, here are a few suggestions:
Within Walking/Cycling Distance Of Stonehenge – Woodhenge, Durrington Walls, The Cuckoo Stone
In all fairness, you can strike out in pretty much any direction from Stonehenge and hit archeological gold – although you may not…
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