You are currently browsing the daily archive for 01/07/2010.


Seeing this little family last week we thought we’d just make a brief reference to “squatters in West Kennet Long Barrow” or something similar but then we came across this, written three years ago by our much missed friend Rebecca van der Putt – “Treaclechops” in her wonderful style:

It was thrilling to touch the stones again after so long, wonderful to stand in the small forecourt before walking once more into the dark, imposing chambers. Again, the structure of the place struck me through new eyes; the size of the rocks, the creation of this space, the awesome nature of the whole. It occurred to me that the stones appeared very much like the bones of the earth. Once again, memories of times past drifted through my mind, especially the last visit, which was strange and dark. I didn’t want that memory to stay with me, but it persistently floated back, until a sudden trilling chirr and resonant, urgent wing beat broke the dark chambers’ air. More squeaks, more wing beats, a dart of movement, and a swallow swooped out of the entrance, up the face of the forecourt stones, and into the night. A few moments later a rush of air signalled its return – they were nesting inside one of the chambers!

I hid behind a large stone …… to watch their unerring, acrobatic passage back and to the nest. We were the only people there, immersed in the magic of the muted night’s colour and smells, the timelessness and atmosphere of the long barrow and its stones, the sounds of wind through grasses and swallows’ wing beats and chirrs. The feeling of re-birth, renewal, regeneration and life filled the place, and any dark memories were chased away, to be replaced by light and airy vibes of positivity.

Interesting to note, and take heed, is the following conference held in September 2010 of the sometime controversial siting of wind turbines in the environment.  Much is said by local opposition to the fact that turbines spoil views, but of course we need alternative  clean energies if we are to combat climate change.  Archaeology also has a strong case to offer in the siting of turbines, as is the case of the Scottish Isle of Lewis turbines which are being put up in a  very rich and sensitive archeaological  area

Wessex Archaeology is sponsoring a major conference on Wind Farms and the Historic Environment.

The event is being organised by Northumberland County Council and is being hosted by Newcastle University.

The one day conference will take place on 6th September 2010 at Newcastle University.

The conference will include contributions from national and local government representatives and heritage advisors, representatives of the renewable energy industry, cultural heritage professionals, barristers specialising in renewable energy casework and other professionals working in the sector. It will include a paper given by Dr Antony Firth, head of our Coastal and Marine archaeology section.

View the Wind Farms and the Historic Environment conference website to secure your booking.


July 2010

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