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In the final part of our review of the past year here on the Heritage Journal, we look at some of the stories we covered  from September through to December this year.



We continued our ‘Fascinating Facts’ series throughout the month, looking at dog kennels, four-posters, the folklore of the Stanton Drew area and asked “what is a henge?”  One of our members also wrote about the Modern Megaliths of North Wales, following his recent trip there.

The plight of Oswestry was further discussed as we asked, “why build there?“, and published a guest blog from a local campaigner. Further south, Stonehenge continued to be in the news as the building of the Visitor Centre gathered pace toward the December opening.

In Heritage Crime news, we started another short series of ‘Embarrassing Inconsistencies‘ and highlighted a statement from Rescue about the ongoing cuts in service.

Our campaign against unethical metal-detecting continued unabated, despite all attempts to discredit us.


Much the same stories continued throughout October. On the planning front, Owen Patterson displayed a remarkable amount of ‘front’, by suggesting a kind of ‘Heritage Offset‘ scheme for builders and planners. This prompted a guest article from another of our readers. Even the Chairman of the National Trust got into the act! And this in a month when hundreds of ancient sites were rediscovered, thanks to LIDAR. Of course, we couldn’t mention planning without returning to the Oswestry Hillfort story once again.

The Stonehenge plans moved forward, and we gave some first impressions, reported on the closure of the A344 and reminded people what might have been.

In terms of Community involvement, statistics showed the true impact of the budget cuts, and we commented on English Heritage’s volunteer recruitment plans and the HLF award to the CBA for Community Archaeology Training Placements.

meanwhile, on one of our regular trips to Cornwall, we reported on three ‘on the ground’ projects there. Firstly, the work being done to reinstate a fallen monument at Carwynnen, then attempts by volunteers to clear up a lesser known site, the Mulfra Courtyard Houses. Finally, we drew attention to some serious neglect issues at the Men an Tol and nearby sites, which are being tracked in detail by the Save Penwith Moors group.

With the (food) harvest safely gathered, it was time for another harvest to begin in earnest, with metal detectorists out in force. We pointed out another ‘Embarrassing Inconsistency‘, showed that our own Artefact Erosion Counter is wrong, and pointed out why we think artefact hunting is so wrong.


The month started off with our most read post ever. Indeed, on the day it was briefly the most read posting in Britain, which apparently upset one of our webmaster colleagues. We can’t think why!

Over in Wales, we returned again to the Mynydd y Betws story, and whilst a lot of media fuss was made of a new Archwilio Android App, we pointed out some deficiencies which should really have been addressed before its release.

In Planning news, we continued asking questions about the situation at Oswestry, and there were questions about Stonehenge too.

We also attended a very good Community Archaeology Open Day in Cambridgeshire, and celebrated Dr William Stukeley‘s birthday.


And so to December. The  Oswestry planning issue was still looming large so a local author took to our pages with an important question to start the month, and our own Sue Brooke gave an indication of what the future may hold for Oswestry. We could only await the outcome with bated breath.

With English Heritage’s fate seemingly sealed by a  new funding deal, we tried to summarise and  interpret what those closest to the deal were saying.

The Stonehenge opening went well by all accounts, though the impending ‘advance booking’ requirements drew some adverse comments. We were concerned for some regular inhabitants of the stones, and also about the ongoing suggestion that EH want to continue to press for a tunnel.

An archaeological ‘blogging carnival’ started in November, and we published our responses to the first two questions. More to come, maybe?

Celebrating the birthday of Sir Richard Colt-Hoare, we moved into the festive period, and in a first for us, published a short Christmas Eve Quiz (answers to come very shortly, stay tuned!)

In an attempt to look forward rather than back as the year draws to it’s final end, as far as metal detecting is concerned, there appears to be a faint chink of light in the far distance.  What will the future bring I wonder, for those of us with an interest in,  and concern for, the distant past?

Old Father Time

That’s it for another year. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the variety of news that we’ve covered during the year, and that you’ll stick with us for another year of news and views on heritage matters. If there’s a particular subject you’d like to see covered, or if you’d like to contribute to the Heritage Journal in any way, please feel free to get in touch with us – the link is there on the menu bar. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you’re out celebrating tonight, enjoy yourself but stay safe: don’t drink and drive!

Swinside, Cumbria



Image Copyright George Hopkins and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


December 2013

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