STONEHENGEOLOGY....The astronomy, geometry, mensuration, biology, and purpose, of Britain’s most famous monument.
Sunrise from my window on Tuesday morning the 7th of September 2021, was a real eye-opener. Forecasters had warned of a heatwave on that day, and they were not wrong. There was not the faintest trace of a cloud in a crystal-clear sky, and the newly risen, rosy-red-sun, shone through the earth's atmosphere with a rare clarity. 10-minutes later and the situation changed dramatically. The sun shone a brilliant white and was dangerous to look at.
The thing is, whilst our parents warn us from children not to look directly at the sun; given a sun sitting on a level horizon, does, with caution, make it safe to do so.
You can tell from the solstice photograph above, that the newly risen sun, at an altitude of only half-a-degree, is relatively safe to look at. Thousands do so every year. However, the picture also shows that Stonehenge was aimed some 10 minutes later than the actual solstice itself.
So, by catching sunlight at its most brilliant, Stonehenge was meant to operate on LASER principles.
STONEHENGE BLUEPRINT seen above: With two axes only 14.7 inches apart, Stonehenge was never finished because it was too technical to build. More on this, later.
First, a short story of mankind's relationship with the sun.... 5,500 years short years from global warming to global warming.
It was a bright sunny morning when Brennos and his family were to be seen busily working the land in preparation for the harvest they hoped to get. It was hard but pleasant work controlling the plough being drawn along by a pair of powerful oxen, when the leather twine, which bound the contrivance together, suddenly broke, and the whole thing fell apart. Brennos had repaired the device many times before, so he patiently bound its components together again, and continued with his work.
This is good soil Brennos thought, as he recalled the bumper crop of wheat he had grown the year before; it was worth the effort of reclaiming the land from the trees that once grew there. Following along behind him was his wife, son, and daughter, who were equally busy sowing barley seeds for the harvest they hoped they might get.
This was the year 3900BC: The place? - The Kennet valley, in what would later be known as the Kingdom of Wessex.
Brennos's friends preferred the more traditional methods of hunting and trapping of prey to feed their families, and this was no bad thing; for combined with Brennos's ability to grow wheat and barley, as well as beans and peas, the group always managed to maintain a reasonably balanced diet. Nonetheless, they still marvelled over the efforts Brennos and his family had to put in to grow them. Brennos understood only too well what they meant. Some years, if the weather was cold, his crops would hardly grow at all. And if the weather was wet at harvest time, his produce would rot in the ground. Nor was he saved from the constant worry of having to keep some seed in good condition for the following year's crop. Were it not for the sun that went away every winter, he would not have had this problem; ripe seed would be ready and available for immediate sowing.
Of the 10,000 people who lived in the immediate area, approximately half were employed on food production, either by farming cereals or by looking after livestock, whilst others would hunt game or catch fish. Many were engaged in manufacturing such items as clothes, pottery, and ropes.
Brennos felt the heat of the sun upon his back. Summertime was good in the Kennet valley, and he allowed the heat to penetrate through to his very bones. Most of Brennos’s friends suffered from swollen painful joints before they reached 30 years of age, and that is if they reached that age at all. Many did not. He too was beginning to feel the start of such debilitating affects himself, especially during the winter. But on this day, the sun was high in the sky as he tended his land, and the summertime was good.
Brennos and family looked back at the work they had done that day. The oxen had helped them to plough the field into regimented lines of shallow furrows, his wife had sown seeds upon the bottom, and his son and daughter had covered them over with fine soil. Together they had covered about an acre during the day. Not a bad day's work, Brennos thought, and he hoped the sun would be kind to him and his family by bringing them a rich and a bountiful harvest.
At the end of the day, Brennos unhitched the plough and returned the oxen to their respective pens. The light was fading now, and he took a moment to give each beast a grateful pat upon their heads. How, he wondered, could the simple act of castration make such large and powerful animals become so placid and helpful?
The light had all but faded by the time the small group set off to make their way home to Windmill Hill and finding their way in the dark was fraught with difficulties. At times like this, Brennos’s family kept together in a tightly knit group, and his boy, who took up the rear, carried fiery torches in case any wild animal might mount an attack upon them. Thankfully, some people on the hill had lit a fire which helped guide them safely through the gaps between the ditches and banks of the causewayed enclosure that surrounded the hilltop.
Sometimes the moon would help a little, but on this night, there was no moon, and there was an eerie silence all around. Finally, having trudged their weary way back to camp, they huddled around a fire with friends who offered them bread and cheese, washed down with warm goats’ milk.
As Brennos sat looking into the flames, he became more than a little sad as he recalled so many of his friends who had passed away the previous winter. That winter had been no worse than any other, but it showed no-one any sympathy, and when some dreadful illness had swept up through the whole country, many of his weaker friends had succumbed to it.
On nights such as these, people would tell a story or two, sometimes cheer themselves with a joke, and sometimes recall stories of their own folklore. Later, when the moon began to rise, the group where able to see for miles around from the considerable amount of light that she provided. As was usual, they tried to explain what the moon was. There she sat, high in the sky, looking down on the group huddled around the fire below her.
Having similar monthly cycles as his wife, Brennos felt sure the moon was female: he had watched both as they passed through their cycles, month after month, year after year. The whole group watched the moon now as they often did and noticed how she waxed and waned and changed her shape, night after night, from a ‘C’ to a ‘D’ to an ‘O’ and back again. To Brennos, the moon was a real, live person; she clearly had a face, although she never seemed to smile. Strange, Brennos thought, how she always avoided the sun. When the sun went down, so she would rise, only to disappear again before he could rise the following day. Sometimes she too would appear during the day, but not until she had made herself almost completely invisible to him, for she was so utterly shy. It seemed that she wanted to keep herself as far away from the him as she possibly could. If only I could bring the sun and moon together, Brennos thought. They might get to like one another. If Brennos could find some way of bringing them together, they might conceive a child, perhaps to have a baby sun.
Brennos was brought back to reality by one of his friends who noticed him looking up at the sky, as he often did. This friend suggested they might build a long mound with an open-ended chamber at one end to catch sunlight and moonlight, and also somewhere to place their deceased colleagues. Who knows what might happen?
They knew of a pleasant place on the other side of the Kennet valley with a commanding view, and everyone agreed to build the chamber there. They all agreed it would be better to build the chamber using the very largest of stones of which there were many, if only they could find some way of moving them. Brennos doubted if the stones could be moved at all, they were so large, but everyone decided to try. First, they gained some experience by moving the medium-sized ones around by turning them into rollers clad in wood. This effectively turned them into giant wheels.
Others made their way to the strangely named hilltops of Overton and Fyfield Downs where these large stones could be found. Milling around some of the largest, they looked under and around them. Many of these stones exceeded 20 tonnes in weight, and the transportation of just one; first crossing a river, and then climbing a hill, presented them with the most enormous of tasks.
A few members of Brennos’s group began chopping down the trees, and by stripping them of their branches and bark, turned them into long wooden posts. Then, using these posts as levers, with small stones for fulcrums, began to lever away at some of the largest, eventually managing to drag them to the site.
First, they built the walls to make five small rooms, each room leading off from a central entrance passage. Next, they excavated the chalk soil from a pair of ditches that straddled the mound and used the chalk to bank it up still higher, before laying large capping stones across the top to form the roof. Further soil was added from the ditches until the structure was completely covered in white and appeared from above like a 330-foot-long trapezium set against a pea-green landscape.
Brennos held a lighted brand against the walls of the rooms to demonstrate to his friends how sarsen stones reflect light. "Imagine, he said, what the sun and moon could do. And, being aimed east towards the Pleiades - - Prof John North - - what the stars might do to."
He and his friends were justifiably proud of the Long Barrow they had built and oversaw the building of several more in the area.
Many years later, the portal of this long barrow was deliberately blocked after receiving a murdered beaker man, together with his fashionable lozenge-decorated Beaker. This accurately dates the event to around 2500 BC. Monuments such as this mound or tumulus, known as ‘The West Kennet Long Barrow,’ were decommissioned by command. Perhaps the murdered beaker man, found with an arrow in his back, disagreed!
Brennos and family continued to plough and sow the land to ensure the success of their crops. How well everything grows, Brennos thought, when the sun is shining, life is so much better in summertime. How he wished he could have two harvests a year, then he could provide for his family the whole year round and not have to worry about storing seeds and taking the risk of them rotting away every winter. He so wished the sun could be with him all year round.
Brennos held a few seeds of barley in the palm of his hand. Within these seeds, Brennos knew, was the very essence of life itself, and he realised why he had chosen to be a farmer. Brennos also knew that he only had to bury these seeds a little below the surface of the soil, where they were kept warm and sheltered for a short while, and the spark of life would begin.
Later, Brennos would watch how the tiny seedlings fought and struggled their way through the soil to greet the sun, and he hoped against hope that the sun and rain would bring his crops to fruition.
Brennos wondered where the sun came from. It obviously emerged from out of the ground in various places, stony ground too, but no one had ever discovered any holes from where it could possibly have emerged. Obviously, the sun didn't need a hole to emerge from; he was - without doubt - capable of passing through anything. Equally clear too, was that the sun travelled underground during the night, and probably stayed beneath the knolls of Britain, of which Brennos knew several. The rain also puzzled Brennos because it fell from the sky in a similar way to sunlight. This made him wonder if it also emerged from the ground in a similar way. He knew some folks who had dug deep pits in the ground, hoping to find the sun, but had discovered a source of water instead. Others had found choice-flint and were in the process of mining it.
Brennos reflected upon the folklore that told of the time when his ancestors had tried to build their own sun. It was said that they had first cut down every tree in the area and made them into wooden posts, and stood them vertical to describe a succession of ever-increasing circles. This giant structure, consisting of around 450 timber posts, was said to have been more than 300 feet in diameter by some by six men high. According to this legend they had infilled the gaps between the posts with lots of combustible material and set the whole thing alight.
This legend is based on fact. About 6,000 years ago, a large assembly of almost 500 tree trunks that radiated outwards in ever-increasing circles, was built at Stanton Drew. - See report, later. Magnetrometry readings taken a few years ago proved this circle of tree trunks was subsequently burnt to the ground. Sometime later, this massive fire was superseded by a henge and Britain's second largest stone circle.
Brennos looked up at the sun and wondered if any of the legend was true. Each post must have weighed about the same as thirty-five men and would have stood in a hole deeper than the height of a man.
Brennos held up his thumb, with arm outstretched, and tried to gauge the sun for size. His thumbnail completely covered its disc, and was about six times larger, so he thought that the sun wasn't very big. He realised too, that the sun could not be reached from the top of Waden Hill and so he knew that it had to be larger than this. Brennos could also see that the sun was higher than its smoke that hung around in the sky. After considering the problem at length, Brennos decided that the sun was a disc or sphere of about 1500 megalithic yards in diameter (about 4,083 feet) and it had somehow become self-sustaining. To be continued...
Figure 1: A STONEHENGE BLUEPRINT: based on John Woods 1740 survey. The Stonehenger's did not make blueprints, but if they had, one such blueprint would appear as above.
Elsewhere on this site you will find that contrary to popular opinion, Neolithic folk were a tidy-minded lot, who, being dissatisfied with astronomy as they found it, tidied things up by dividing the horizon into 36 lots of 10-degrees. So, Stonehenge is not aligned directly on the summer solstice as many people seem to think.
In fact, Stonehenge aims exactly 50-degrees clockwise from north and the sarsen circle is cast around this 50-degree (primary) axis.. so, Stone 10 of the sarsen circle can be ignored as misplaced. This is important because it proves that the stones of the sarsen circle were placed upon a 36 megalithic yard diameter circle. Furthermore, most modern surveys agree.
Proving Stonehenge asymmetrical. The blueprint, produced on CAD, compares actual stone positions, shown yellow, against a symmetrical plot in white-dashed lines. Fallen stones are not shown.
The blueprint proves that several internal settings are placed on a separate axis. AND the tiny 3:4:5 Pythagorean triangle seen in the centre, separates those axes by 18 megalithic inches. (14.7 imperial inches)
Stones placed on the secondary axis are. 1: The six-megalithic-yard-long Altar Stone (Stone 80) that never did stand upright. Furthermore, the Altar stone is twisted round 10-degrees with the intention of reflecting sunlight onto the male-type Bluestone 49. This pronounces Stonehenge to be male gender. (Congrats, it's a boy!)
Also not on the primary axis are 2: The Great Trilithon. 3: The fourth Trilithon. 4: The bluestone oval of 24 stones (Still called a horseshoe of 19 stones for convenience). 5: A VIP inhumation.
No one in their right mind would try to build something so complex just for burying their dead!
MY PICTURE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2002. A view looking down the primary axis of Stonehenge. Photo taken while standing centrally between Stones 1 and 30.
Britain’s first farmers, living in the south of England, treated Wiltshire’s extensive Chalk Massive like a vast whiteboard on which to scribe their designs. That is how Stonehenge started, just three circles of pure white chalk appearing through lush green grass. The circles were complete except for two causeways, the largest pointing northeast towards the most northerly risings of the sun and moon.
The centre-point of those circles was chosen for two main reasons. The first reason has been known about for a long time, and several authors have already written of it. Stonehenge stands on latitude 51, the one place where the sun and moon make an angle of 90-degrees. So, being placed where it is, Stonehenge started out by obeying the Stone Age 10-degree rule.
The second reason for why Stonehenge is where it is. Half-a-mile to the north, and built 500 years before Stonehenge, the Great Cursus was trained on Codford Down to the west and, perhaps more importantly, Beacon Hill to its east. Stonehenge chose a hill in the same range as Beacon Hill but one a little further to the north, called Sidbury.
From Stonehenge, the summer sun rises from out of Sidbury hill in the middle of June at an azimuth of around 49-degrees (clockwise from north).
There was a time when archaeologists and astronomers considered this to be carelessness on the part of Stonehenge's builders. They thought that Stonehenge ought to point at the 48.5-degree azimuth of the Neolithic solstice. Even allowing for a sun risen to full orb, Stonehenge still points too far to the south.
The answer to this conundrum lies many years before Stonehenge was built, and to when some folks had determined north and south to a high degree of accuracy and set up the 10-degree rule.’
Bearing in mind that nobody has ever proved, what if anything, stood in the Aubrey Holes, including a recent excavation to remove the cremated bones from Aubrey hole 7.... It seems more likely that two massive timber post were stood in Aubrey holes 28 and 56 to fix a 50-degree azimuth. These two posts, whatever they were, decided the Stonehenge axis for all time.
Having a 50-degree axis aimed towards a 48.5-degree solstice causes the sun to come into line with Stonehenge some 10 or 15 minutes late, and at a greater altitude. It is also far brighter. And since Stonehenge was built like a ‘Hall of mirrors’ for capturing and amplifying sunlight, that was exactly what the Stonehenger’s wanted.
But where does the moon fit in with all this? With a half orb, 40-degree azimuth in Wiltshire, the Major Standstill of the moon already obeys the 10-degree rule. Witness Avebury’s West Kennet and Beckhampton’s avenues, which obey it too.
So, a piece of high ground, a mile or so to the northeast of Stonehenge, to what is known today as Larkhill, was recognised as a suitable place for several more timber posts with which to track the moon and further establish its northernmost position. This turning point, not unlike a terminus, occurs every 18.61-years. However, whilst this 18.61-year event is near enough, it is not dead accurate, and the Stonehenger’s knew it.
Hence, a further 54 posts were added to the Aubrey Circle to represent the 56-year frequency of the moon - the time it takes for the moon to return to the same place from where it started. Even this is not dead accurate, but never mind! Because we now have a fabulous piece of theatre designed to bring the sun, the moon, and the top-most star of the Southern Cross - the red Gamma Crucis - which was still visible from Wiltshire 5,000 years ago - together in one place.
Quote: "I set up my eight-millimetre movie camera with telephoto lens trained down the axis line so as to include in its field the sarsen circle archway through which the distant heel stone showed darker than the dark background. We waited. Purple-tinged mist drifted across the valley, and we were apprehensive lest it creep up Larkhill and obstruct the sun. Then suddenly, in the band of brightness to the north-east we saw it - the first red flash of the sun, rising just over the tip of the heel stone!" Gerald S Hawkins, Stonehenge Decoded, P 93.
Two points to be made here are. Hawkins mistakenly believed that Stonehenge's primary axis passes centrally through the gap of the Great Trilithon. It does not. Consequently, his camera was not placed on Stonehenge's primary axis. Furthermore, the sun does not rise "just over the tip of the Heel stone" on the morning of the summer solstice.
Quote: "We had deliberately planned our visit for June 12, nine days before the solstice, because we feared that on the day itself the crowd would make it impossible to set up a camera on the correct alignment and have an unobstructed view." Stonehenge Decoded, Page 92. The same problem of crowds getting in the way, making it impossible to place a camera on Stonehenge's axis, still applies today!
The sun does rise 'just over the tip' of the Heel stone twice in June... not on solstice morning, though, but 5 days before the solstice and 5 days after!
Well, so much for Hawkins.
Here we will hope to convince you that Stonehenge was built by people who believed the sun to be male, the moon to be female, and stars to be potential children. This alone should tell you what Stonehenge was meant to be.
This site deals with just about everything that our ancestors got up to that made them think they might have a way of guaranteeing them the three essentials of life - Food, water, and heat.
Food, in the form of staples they could grow, water was plentiful. All they needed was a second sun to keep them warm in winter and to grow out-of-season crops. It was not that difficult, surely? Or so they thought. Some folks had already built a sun-simulator from 450 tree-trucks set in nine ever-increasing circles at Stanton Drew. But having set it alight it proved nowhere near hot enough. Clearly, the sun must be made of stone. But how to get stone to burn. That was the problem!
As mentioned above, Picture 2 was taken while standing in the middle of Stonehenge’s solstice doorway between pillars 1 and 30 - "The Grand Entrance" - as William Stukeley called it. The photo shows how the sun has surpassed Stonehenge's axes by some distance to the north.
According to the astronomer, the late Professor John North, first flash of the sun in 2,500 BC was 48.5-degrees clockwise from north - a full 1.5-degrees past Stonehenge's axis. It was further north still in 3,000 BC when Stonehenge was started!
I could not understand why the sun in Picture 2 appears so far to the left of the Heel stone, so I wrote to Wessex Archaeology and asked if they could explain why the sun is not quite where it ought to be. Well, that was at least 10 years ago, and I now know why. Stonehenge is not perfectly aligned on the solstices - not the summer or the winter.
As a proven internal device with best faces of stones dressed and pointing inward, the sarsen and bluestone building was designed to arrest and trap sunlight inside it. People hoped to light-up the whole of Stonehenge in the same way as the sun lights up the Backstone (Stone 2) of Avebury's Cove - see photo later. This leaves us wondering - did they know they were adopting modern-day LASER techniques?
Picture 2 also shows how the moon travels about 10-degrees further north than the sun.
So, the sun goes nowhere where the moon hasn't already been.
Forget "The Man in the Moon" rubbish - it is a red herring. Stonehenge used the Larkhill causewayed enclosure to track the moon's northerly progress to her most northerly position.
Bearing in mind that no one knows what, if anything, stood in the Aubrey holes, they most likely held timber posts at first use. Those posts were plucked out of the ground to be replaced by cremated human bones fetched from pyres lit alongside the exit of Durrington Walls' timber-built Southern Circle - The Southern Circle being composed of several eggs.
The Stonehenger's believed that cremation released the spirits of the dead. And, by burying those spirits inside Durrington Walls' 'Midden,' yet transporting the bones to Stonehenge - those spirits would have to travel the Avon umbilical to join them!
The Stonehenge we know of today was not necessarily the original; Stonehenge Mark 1 was found alongside the River Avon in 2005. We might, however, more accurately call them, Stonehenge A and Stonehenge B.
Stonehenge A goes under the name of Bluestonehenge. It marks the start of the avenue that leads from the Avon to Stonehenge B.
A recent report in the 'Guardian' states that the stone circle of bluestonehenge measured 10 metres in diameter. Well, 10 metres is very nearly equal to 12 megalithic yards.
So, Stonehenge A was one third the size of Stonehenge B. This, together with the increasing radii of the large curve in the 'Stonehenge Avenue,' is further proof of a wish for something to grow!
3. Arminghall Henge 3,150 BC. One of the monuments that set the prehistoric 10-degree standard.
Less than two miles southeast of Norwich city centre in Norfolk, this henge set prehistoric standards that others had to follow. Its principles were adopted at Avebury, Stonehenge, Woodhenge, and, as we shall see, a whole host of others.
Having discovered Woodhenge, near Stonehenge while flying over it, Flight lieutenant Insall went looking for similar monuments and found the Arminghall henge in 1928. It was another five years before it was excavated, and then only partially by some G. Clark who, incidentally, found no sign of a burial.
Whilst pretty much flattened these days, the inner ditch of the henge is plain to see by the ring of nettles growing upon it. What a pity, though, a shame in fact, that a garden hedge blocks the view south to where the southernmost sun and moon set behind the spur known as Chapel Hill. I have lost count of the vistas that were available to Stone Age man which have become blocked off. Some of them must be deliberate!
Professor Wainwright made great mention of the Arminghall Henge in his book 'Durrington Walls 1971,' because he could not understand the discovery of Rustication-Ware-type-pottery in such an old monument. This would not matter so much were it not for the fact that Wainwright also found rusticated pottery - some of it Beaker - when excavating the Durrington Walls Henge - a much later monument.
Charcoal found together with Beaker sherds, and tested twice by C14 to make sure, the western bank of the Durrington Walls henge was built by Beaker Folk in 2,650 BC. (This date would become pushed back nearer to 3,000 BC if tested today). Clearly then, Stonehenge, Durrington Walls, and the Arminghall Henge, were designed by technologists who were of the same mind.
So, whilst archaeologists today might date a monument by the pottery they dig up - be it Beaker, Peterborough Ware, Grooved Ware, or whatever... what really binds Britain's monuments together are the technologies of mechanics, astronomy, geometry, mathematics, mensuration, and human biology. Reproduction, that is!
4. Professionals have made several attempts to establish an axis of symmetry based on Arminghall's eight timber posts in the shape of a horseshoe, oval, or open-ended egg. Yet even though there is no axis of symmetry to be found, they got together and agreed on an azimuth of 223-degrees. (Azimuth = clockwise from north.)
Here we will propose an alternative solution.
Chapel Hill is the northern spur of a greater hill that runs south from it. A careful study of this hill and its southerly terrain has shown that three peaks manage to appear above and to the sides of the spur when viewed from the henge. Two of these peaks produce a pair of notches in the horizon through which the southernmost sun and moon come to ground when viewed from the henge. A third notch forms a 40-degree west-of-south alignment (Azimuth 220) with the henge.
This monument raises further the likelihood that a German tribe, possibly the Michaelsburger’s - those inventors of long-necked beakers - entered the country via Yarmouth and the river Yare. The Michaelsburger's went missing when the Rhine changed its course and left their mountain retreat exposed and separated from their land. This made it difficult to tend their crops.
I would have to call the Arminghall Henge - the Woodhenge of Norwich - after Woodhenge near Stonehenge. However, one does wonder what the original builders called it, especially since the archaeological term ‘henge’ converts to Womb – believe it!
The Arminghall Henge (we still must call it that) is of course famous for its eight massive posts in the shape of a horseshoe placed at its centre and is somewhat similar in style to Stonehenge's trilithons. Probably standing at least 3 metres high, the near one-megalithic-yard-diameter posts of the Arminghall henge were so heavy they required long tapering ramps to help in their erection. Once erected, those posts were likely topped with lintels to stabilise them, again, like Stonehenge.
As previously stated, much work has been done to figure out what this arrangement of posts points at, especially since the setting winter solstice sun could once be seen to slide down the side of Chapel Hill as if to take a drink from the river Yare.
Timber posts apart - the central area was found to be clean of debris with no trace of a grave. Not so the ditch, which contained copious amounts of charcoal, broken pottery, and lots of flint.
5. Arminghall Henge post positions shown together with a pair of upright’s (coloured brown) to demonstrate how those alignments were made. And it is every bit as accurate as the sights of a rifle.
At ground level, alignments between pairs of posts are tangential to their diameters, and that is what mattered. But due to the natural taper of tree trunks, a narrow gap also appears higher up which made sightings easier.
Since Arminghall's posts divide the points of the compass into 10-degree lots, it is logical to assume that the main alignment of the henge follows suite with this order of 10's as well. Furthermore, the terrain proves it does!
So, our early geometers had found that no matter where they lived, from Scotland to Lands end, the angle made between north and east always presented an angle of 90-degrees, as did the angle between east and south, south and west, west and north. The problem they had was that the sun and moon refused to conform to these precise angles.
There was only one place in England, north to south, that came anywhere near to giving them a 90-degree angle, and that was at the latitude of Stonehenge. This then, is the primary reason for Stonehenge being built where it is, and why those early folk were prepared to drag the massive sarsens 20-miles south to build it.
The choice of longitude was simply to follow suit with the Great cursus built half a mile to the north of Stonehenge and some 500 years earlier. The Great cursus was built to challenge the six-mile-long Dorset cursus - see report later.
The Great cursus was built to take in far more countryside, east to west, than simply the limit of its earthworks - photos to come later. The cursus is trained on the massive ridge of hills some three miles to its east. Stonehenge did likewise by aiming at the north end of the ridge - Sidbury Hill.
Hot off the press 23 June 2020. 20 pits found by archaeologists to surround the Durrington Walls' Henge at great distance, and announced in the media on the 21st, can be shown to be placed to respect the cardinal points north, south, east, and west as at Arminghall. - Image shown elsewhere on this site. Those 20 posts also divide the horizon into 10-degree lots. Whether its setting started out egg-shaped or not, is anyone's guess.
6. Chapel Hill Spur. Thanks to the offending garden hedge to the south of the Arminghall henge, this photograph had to be taken further south and is unfortunately off a little way to one side of the monument’s axis. Nevertheless, it does tell us all we need to know.
A railway cutting passes right through the middle of the spur these days, and as this cutting is approached from the west, an embankment matches it in height. The embankment, seen on the right and below a distant roof-top through a gap in the trees, prevents the sun from reaching ground level and the river Yare these days. (Have they no respect?)
Of greater importance is a distant landmass that just manages to appear over the top and to the left of the peak of Chapel hill that the 40-degree alignment of the monument points at. This landmass can be seen beyond the row of telegraph poles and through another gap in the treeline.
It is hard to make out in this photograph, but the busy A47 passes over the third landmass to the left of the Chapel Hill spur, and this is where the southernmost setting of the moon will come to ground in 2024/5.
Stop press. This is something I wrote and forgot about in my 2007 book 'Stonehenge Secrets'. (Sorry but it is out of print): - Far bigger than Arminghall, a setting of timber posts, 24 in all, and designed on similar principles, was found not far from Norwich at a place called Godmanchester. Presumably discovered because of gravel extraction, Godmanchester and its cursus has been dated to 3,800BC. I would like to do a follow-up on Godmanchester, especially if I can wrest its co-ordinates from the authorities.
8. Stonehenge's Heel Stone. 3rd July 2016
A brass plaque, fitted by English Heritage, embedded in the grass, marks Stonehenge's primary axis. The aqua line marks the secondary axis. Axes are 18 megalithic inches apart (14.7 imperial inches).
Standing like an antenna or satellite dish facing the moon, the main face of the Heel Stone points some 11-degrees more northerly than Stonehenge's axes, and therefore aims at where the northernmost moon rises out of the Larkhill Causewayed Enclosure. The proof of the Heel Stone's alignment is to be gleaned from John Wood's highly accurate 1740 survey of Stonehenge. No wonder the Heel Stone has its own circular ditch, rich in deposited bluestones.
The last time the moon visited her northernmost position - named 'The Major Standstill' by Alexander Thom, was way back in 2005/2006, and was an opportunity missed. The next Major Standstill will therefore take place in late 2024. The good news is that, when the time comes, the moon will stick around for a year or more and, weather permitting, should put in a showing or two.
Hopefully, photographers will be allowed to enter Stonehenge during the many unsociable hours needed to get those pictures of the northernmost moon. But I doubt it. If not, you photographers get yourselves off to some other monument instead - there are plenty more good targets in these pages.
In our search for further proofs for the hypothesis of Stonehenge, we will be looking for more ways of bringing the sun, the moon, and a star or stars, together in one place.
9. Stonehenge’s Heel Stone.
Note how the Heel Stone's axis - the axis normal to its front face - crosses Stonehenge's primary axis and the 49-degree solstice of the Neolithic. What better way could there be for bringing the sun and moon together? We find the same principle in operation at Durrington Walls where the incoming solstice crosses the axes of several timber-built eggs that the Southern Circle is composed of.
Furthermore, whilst the Heel stone faces the northernmost rising moon, a view across its face, aims at the setting summer solstice in one direction, and the rising winter solstice in the other.
7. The real axes of Stonehenge. There are two of them. Both aim 50-degrees clockwise from north. The Heel Stone is just visible behind Stone 1.
This image, or something similar, was first used on the front cover of my 2013 book "Stonehenge 1740 AD.
At the time of writing that book, I believed that the axes were separated by half-a-megalithic-yard (20 megalithic inches). I changed my mind since then, and for good reason.
The book was reviewed by only one person, who criticised it for being too accurate! Nonetheless, the book must have helped English Heritage to decide on the correct placement of their brass plaque.
There is more about Stonehenge and its complex design to follow. But first let's consider its mother....Durrington Walls.
10. Durrington Walls, the mother of Stonehenge, seen with the geometric moon-egg, Woodhenge.
Before English Heritage got round to placing its vastly over-exaggerated and false information boards alongside Woodhenge and Durrington Walls, visitors to the more obvious Woodhenge site, would often ask, “Where is the massive henge known as Durrington Walls?” Well, both monuments are pictured above. With concrete posts representing what were once massive tree trunks several feet tall, Woodhenge is seen entering the picture from the right. The snow-covered horizon marks Durrington Walls’s far bank. Durrington Walls's north-western bank, which Beaker Folk built in 2,650 BC, can be seen on the left, but it’s not snow-covered.
Durrington Walls's considerable downhill slope is obvious. People were attracted to this valley, or combe, by the elevated north-western bank which delays the summer solstice sunset and gives a totally different azimuth than that on the flat, see photo later.
The snow was left behind by the ‘Beast-from-the-East’ - a cold snap that came across from Siberia in 2018.
Durrington Walls’s near bank, or what is left of it, thanks to many years under the plough, is just beyond the line of parked cars. This too is marked with snow.
Beyond the trees to the right of the picture can be seen another section of Durrington Walls's bank. This too is highlighted with snow. Cutting through those trees is the Countess Road, built in 1965. This new highway is elevated several feet above the pan-shaped valley, which early folk cordoned off to build Britain’s largest henge.
Note the blue farm vehicle parked beneath the embankment of the new road, because that vehicle very nearly marks the centre of the timber egg known as the “Southern Circle.”
Professor Wainwright uncovered the Southern Circle in 1966/67 when conducting excavations in advance of the Countess road which replaced the old one, due to several accidents. Unfortunately, Wainwright's partial excavation of the Southern Circle, two-thirds of it only, is now lost to us beneath the embankment of the new road.
Note the red vehicle on the extreme right of the above picture, because the next photo was taken from alongside it.
11. Durrington Walls henge. The old road, little more than a track, can been seen to pass over a denuded bank, before taking a dip through the centre of the henge.
Much of Durrington Walls has been completely flattened due to many years under the plough. This was fortunate in some ways because loosened chalk and hill-wash colluvium has covered the monuments lower down and protected them - especially so the Southern Circle of timber. Prehistoric remains at the top of the combe which lost much of this protective cover, were not so lucky.
Imagine for a moment what the above landscape would have looked like when Durrington Walls was new. A ten-feet-high bank, made of gleaming white chalk, taken from an 18-foot-deep internal ditch, blanked out most of the sky in the above picture.
Now note the footpath in the right foreground, because a little further along it is where the next photograph was taken from.
12. The henge and the Southern Circle of timber was connected to the river Avon via an avenue of hard-packed chalk and flints. The river can be seen behind the van and through the trees that grow on its banks. My impression of the Avenue is superimposed on top of the photograph and should give you the idea that something was meant to exit the henge by sliding down and into the river.
The Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2003, found five houses alongside this avenue, all of them were found buried beneath Durrington Walls' bank. These houses were small affairs measuring approximately 6 by 6 megalithic yards. Their positions are marked in the above picture with small splodges of snow, which can be seen behind row of trees.
Hoping to solve the age-old mystery of when folk had gathered to celebrate at Durrington Walls - i.e. was it summertime or winter - Britain’s top archaeoastronomer Professor Clive Ruggles of Leicester University, was invited to take sightings to find out exactly what the Avenue points at. Clive proved the Avenue's axis to aim at where the sun sets in June beneath Durrington’s north-western bank. This also agrees with that found by the astronomer, Professor John North, sometime previous to 1996.
About 50% of the pigs found at Durrington Walls arrived as carcasses of meat intended for feasting and celebrations and were destined to be slaughtered as the sun set beneath Durrington Walls' western bank at the close of summer solstice day. These pigs were sacrificed to the sun and moon because their age being equivalent to the human female gestation period of nine months.
If you want a job doing right, do it yourself. So, on solstice day 21st June 2018, you might have seen me standing close to the blue tractor which very nearly marks the position of the Southern Circle - actually, its a drain which goes under the Countess road and prevents the valley from flooding - while I waited for the summer sun to set.
It came as a bit of a shock to find that the sunset can no longer be seen from the position of the Southern Circle because of bushes growing alongside the old road. So, a hurried leaping of a few fences was made to get into a better position.
I did manage to get a beautifully clear picture of the sun going down beneath the north-western bank, but this alone was not enough to help determine the azimuth of the Avenue. The final determination was achieved by superimposing the sun's position onto both Professor Wainwright's original plans and satellite images from on-line Bing.
Watching the sun go down from inside the Durrington Walls henge is an experience not to be missed. Especially so for the feeling you get when climbing out of the henge to find its still daytime!
13. My photograph of the setting summer solstice sun seen from inside the Durrington Walls Henge. 21 June 2018. A beaker burial, dated to 2,650BC was found to the left of the sun seen here. In true archaeological anti-beaker person bias, Professor Stuart Piggott put the hex on this early date.
Beaker people had no interest in making history or impressing us modern folk with what they were doing, and that is why most don't enter the records until late on. The beaker man, identified by his rounded skull (brachiocephalic), discovered buried in the long barrow of Belas Knap was perhaps one of the very first to arrive in say, 3,300 BC. He was found, guardian-like, protecting several children of increasing ages, which in one book I have described them as like 'Ovaltine's.
This is interesting, because the cremated bones recovered from Stonehenge's Aubrey holes also expressed a wish for something to grow, and in a similar way. These were as follows... a foetus, an infant, a young child, an old child, a teenager and, 21 adults. Osteoarchaeologist Christie Willis.
The Real Stonehenge Hypothesis.
Permit me to tell you what I think happened to the Stonehenge dead. Apart, that is, from an inhumation placed on Stonehenge’s secondary axis.
The Stonehenge elite were cremated inside the Durrington Walls Henge on funeral pyres placed alongside the timber egg known as the Southern Circle. When cool, the bones were separated from the ashes and taken the 1.8-miles to Stonehenge, whilst the ashes and beaker sherds were placed inside a so-called ‘Midden’ attached to the northeast side of the outer egg - the shell.
Professor Wainwright believed the Midden to be ceremonial. He also stated it as too large (6.7m by 12m) to have been roofed. Especially since it lacked a central post to support one. So it was not a house. The midden was full of black ash a third of a metre thick and held almost 50% of the total beaker pottery sherds found on the site. The people who built the midden clearly felt that it held the spirits of the dead. The ash was carbon dated but the late date is here dismissed on grounds that archaeologists proved corrupt around the time or slightly before Durrington was excavated.
Having placed the spirit-rich ashes of the dead in the midden, it was hoped those spirits would search for the whereabouts of their bodily remains, and in so doing, travel to Stonehenge and invest it with life.
After helping to fertilise the timber egg, those spirits left the Durrington Walls Henge via the avenue that leads down to the River Avon, first passing over a Sex-Pit containing a female pelvis of natural flint, several pairs of balls and erect penis of flint like the type found at Stonehenge. Then, guided along by the Avon, those spirits picked up the start of the Stonehenge Avenue by locating ‘Stonehenge A’ - otherwise known as Bluestonehenge. Then, following the Stonehenge Avenue, which, by its very shape, is proven to represent growth - those spirits finally arrived at Stonehenge B – the monument that causes all the arguments!
Meanwhile, the last rays of the setting summer solstice sun also served to fertilise the eggs by slicing right through them, continued on down the avenue, crossing over the Sex Pit and turning the river red. Meanwhile, the Midden’s spiritual contents were poured through a break in the shell of the egg. All at the same time as people were chomping on nine -month-old piglets brought in from all over the country!
Like Avebury’s West Kennet Avenue of stone, the River Avon, to prehistoric folk, was an umbilical cord.
Is this just supposition I don’t think so!
One final thought: On the problem of broken pottery. Imagine smashing a beaker pot and placing one sherd in the midden and transporting the matching sherd to Stonehenge. Neolithic folk are famous for shifting stuff around.
14. Durrington Walls' Southern Circle is a collection of eggs. The axis of those eggs, and their approximate direction, (it’s impossible to be precise) are represented by coloured arrows.
Having the same alignment are: The summer solstice - The over-sized exit posts of the Southern Circle’s eggs - The Avenue. But this alignment does pass through the centre of the eggs. The whole point was for the solstice to cut right through the eggs and fertilise them.
The so-called ‘Sex-Pit’ found in the middle of the Avenue held a female pelvis of natural flint together with a male phalli and a pair of flint balls. As far as I am aware, an in-situ picture showing these male and female artefacts together has never been published. And for obvious reasons!
It could be argued by many, me included, that the avenue leading to the river has long been expected to exist. Professor John North for another, when in 1996 he wrote - ‘The distance between the centre of the Southern Circle and the river is 200 megalithic yards.’
15. The is a view looking down on Durrington Walls from the river Avon. We have already mentioned that the sun rose approximately 48.5-degrees clockwise and set 48.5-degrees anticlockwise from north at Stonehenge, and that's because Stonehenge overlooks a relatively level horizon. (Altitude less than half a degree.)
However, the summer sun sets much earlier when viewed from the Southern Circle at Durrington Walls for having to look uphill at it by some 4-degrees. Seen from the 'Avenue,' the sun, obeying the 10-degree rule, sets 60-Degrees anticlockwise from north, and the moon sets at 50. It's almost as if the sun and moon have swopped places.
17. An early picture of mine. Importantly, this image proves the posts of the Southern Circle to be placed in families of three. And that's what makes it so very difficult to determine the underlying geometry and astronomy of the eggs that Durrington Wall's Southern Circle/Oval was based on.
A vital discovery is the finding of a clear break in the outer circuit to the north-east. That break is at the very point where a midden, replete with beaker and other pottery sherds, plus numerous animal bones, axes and flints, were found together in a mass of burnt ashes and charcoal a third of a metre thick.
This midden, packed with stone age ingredients appears like an eye dropper that patiently waits to dispense its fertile contents into the circle at the time of the setting summer sun.
Archaeologists accept that the Southern Circle is connected to Stonehenge; first by the avenue that links it to the river Avon, then along the river until it reached a circle of stones situated on its north bank, near to the town of Amesbury.
This circle of stones, known as the 'West Amesbury Henge or Bluestonehenge' was the original Stonehenge. Stonehenge MK1.
18. This ground-plan-view of Durrington Walls' Southern Circle of timber, produced in CAD, is bang up to date and is as good as I can make it. Note how the solstice axis, being central to the Avenue and exit posts, causes it to slice through the axes of all three eggs.
Posthole 139 was cut into when the massive exit post next to it was erected. Post 139 was therefore the older of the two. A beaker sherd was found buried in the posthole of139.
Once again we are reminded of archaeological resistance to the very idea that beaker folk might have designed Stonehenge, when Wainwright suggested that this sherd probably fell into 139's hole when the post had rotted away.
19. Durrington Walls, Southern Circle of Timber, Outer Ring A.
We can be fairly certain of the geometry of Durrington's Southern Circle Ring A, because, like its neighbour, Woodhenge, its design is very similar. Above we see a pair of 46 MY circles with centres spread apart by one-megalithic yard. Woodhenge Ring A is similar, but there a pair of 47 MY circles have a spread of two-megalithic yards.
Note also how this ring and the next splits the 10-degree rule in two!
20. Durrington Walls' Southern Circle consists of at least three eggs, all pointing in slightly different directions, and every one of the axes of those eggs are crossed by the solstice. But let's leave Durrington for a while and return to Stonehenge. Please press the Continued Button.