SQUARING THE CIRCLE: Archaeological detectives discover ‘secret square’ beneath world-famous Avebury stone circle

FragmeNTs

New archaeological surveys reveal unique square megalithic monument at the heart of the World Heritage Site.

Archaeologists have found a striking and apparently unique square monument beneath the world famous Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, cared for by the National Trust, was built over several hundred years in the 3rd millennium BC and contains three stone circles – including the largest stone circle in Europe which is 330m across and originally comprised around 100 huge standing stones.

A research team led by the University of Leicester and University of Southampton used a combination of soil resistance survey and Ground-Penetrating Radar to investigate the stone circle.

Their work was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supported by the National Trust, as well as archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and Allen Environmental Archaeology.

Dr Mark Gillings, Academic Director and Reader in…

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#MuseumWeek 2017 – Food for Thought

Parish News August 1972 Clifford Brown

Parish News August 1972

Clifford Brown and ‘the best fish and chips for miles’, with thanks to John and Paul Brown for sharing their family photos and for many entertaining chats via email and the Aldbourne Net Forum

2008.7028 Clifford Brown Home Guard 1944

Clifford Brown – centre front row with the drill trophy currently on display at Aldbourne Heritage Centre

Bells at Bridport

We’ve just returned from a holiday in Dorset, where I discovered the newly refurbished Bridport Museum With a friendly welcome from the volunteers in reception and the opportunity to browse the light, bright and informative displays, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.  Spotting two rumbler bells of a very familiar design was a bonus!

Bridport Museum June 2017

Aldbourne Community Heritage Group

ACHG Scarecrow 2017

Here’s the amazing ACHG Scarecrow that guarded the Heritage Centre during the Aldbourne Scarecrow Trail last weekend – an ‘Ugly’ bird joining in with the “Fairy Tales & Musicals” theme. A mixed weekend weatherwise, but as ever a fabulous family event organised by the hardworking team at Aldbourne Churches Together – I think there may still be people out there hoping to solve just one more clue!

Link to the Aldbourne page on the Whitton Team Website If you want to see more about the 2017 Scarecrows visit Aldbourne Scarecrow Trail on Facebook

In 2016, the Scarecrow Trail featured “Award Winners” and the ACHG paid homage to this brave Dabchick whose portrait still graces the Officers’ Mess at RAF Odiham.  Do you know her name?   Find out more about the Aldbourne Community Heritage Group and the Aldbourne Heritage Centre:  www.aldbourneheritage.org.uk and on Facebook ACHG Scarecrow Trail 2016

Life of the Poor

Wiltshire Local History Forum

WLHF Spring Conference 2017

Claire Skinner, Principal Archivist at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre began the day by setting the scene with life under the poor law legislation pre 1834. Legislation was covered from the medieval period, touching on vagrancy and the role of the church. Then there were the Tudor poor laws and the effect of the Dissolution of the monasteries. Claire focused on the 1601 Act of Relief for the Poor, the 1536 Vagabonds and Beggars Act and the 1662 Poor Relief Act (The Settlement Act). She also considered the role of Overseers of the Poor. Topics also covered were bastardy and settlement issues, and apprentices. The 18th century acts were explained, including 1722 Knatchbull’s General Welfare Act and the 1782 Gilbert’s Act before moving on to the 19th century with the Sturges-Bourne Act of 1818. It was a very clear and concise guide to the poor…

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New Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Read the latest news about this project, including the appointment of an interim Director.   Keep up to date with the exciting exhibitions and news from the existing Swindon Museum & Art Gallery including The Bomford Gift (until 1 July 2017):

Between 1943 and 1976, local art collector and landowner HJP (or ‘Jimmy’) Bomford gave 21 works of art to Swindon. These were instrumental in encouraging Swindon to establish a modern art collection for the town. Bomford’s gift included drawings and paintings by some of Britain’s best known artists, including Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson, LS Lowry and Henry Moore. This exhibition brings together many of the works Bomford gave to Swindon to celebrate his generosity and vision.

Find out about the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust

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Test Pitting in the Avebury Landscape

News from Avebury – FragmeNTs
Test Pitting in the Avebury Landscape

FragmeNTs

Last week, the Living with Monuments team started test pitting* in Avebury, in fields to the north west and the south west of Avebury Henge, in order to gather information about what the landscape might have looked like in the past and how it has been transformed over the millennia.

_DSC8369v2 Archaeologists from the National Trust and the University of Leicester test pitting in the shadow of Silbury Hill ©Mike Robinson

Before the work began, it was assumed that the test pits would essentially show the same thing; however, what they showed instead was how diverse and different the landscape was in the past.

_DSC8427 Archaeologist, Mike, from the University of Southampton recording one of the southern test pits ©Mike Robinson 

Previous understanding of past landscapes in Avebury was based upon John Evans’ work in the 1980s, which has been taken as the general model for the area, but we are now realising that it’s much…

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