The wheel continues to turn, a major festival has once again passed, and all too soon it’s time for another review of the previous twelve months here on the Heritage Journal.
Well, what a year! There has been an absolute dearth of good news as far as heritage protection is concerned, and sadly the future doesn’t look too bright either from where we’re standing at the moment. On a personal note, events transpired to restrict my own visits out to sites around the country and so the customary ‘Bank Holiday Drive’ posts were largely omitted this year. If necessary, they’ll return, albeit possibly in ‘virtual’ form, in the new year.
We began the year full of Wishes, Hopes and Dreams, but looking back it seems that that is all they were. We instigated a monthly picture quiz this year, and pointed out what would be become a major campaign throughout the year – the lies that lie behind the ‘Stonehenge Short Tunnel’. In fact, we made a plea in our #blogarch article for archaeologists to come forward and speak out against the tunnel. We said:
It would be great if 2016 saw a rising tide of archaeologists, lawyers and others saying hang on a moment, have you actually read what the (World Heritage) Convention says? The Stonehenge Alliance has already done so and the CBA and others – notably ICOMOS UK, have indicated that they are very troubled about how building a short tunnel can be reconciled with our Convention commitments.
For those that may not be aware of what actually happens as part of an archaeological investigation, we began a short series outlining the various processes involved. We continued our ‘Neolithic M1‘ series this month, describing the northern end of the Icknield Way (and yes, we’re aware there’s still a lot to cover in the series!) The Oswestry Hillfort campaign continued, with another ‘Hillfort Hug’ and associated events in the middle of the month.
A sad event saw the departure from this world of Lord Avebury, Eric Lubbock, who will be sadly missed. And further southwest in Tintagel, English Heritage were doing their level best to desecrate and monetise a major heritage site that is of great importance to the Cornish.
Hansard provided what appeared to be incontrovertible proof of the government’s intentions regarding a tunnel at Stonehenge.
Also in March, we announced the go-live of our sister site, The Stone Rows of Great Britain, which hosts a gazetteer and research papers on these enigmatic monuments and has gone from strength to strength in the last nine months. In time it will, we are sure, become an acknowledged resource for those interested in the subject. Our ‘Inside the Mind of…’ series returned with an entry from Neil Holbrook – if you’ve not checked it out the series has comprised an impressive lineup of subjects over the years we’ve been running it.
In ongoing campaigns, we pointed out how both the National Trust and Shropshire Council know they’re on the wrong side of right, and continued to point out inconsistencies in the Government’s White Paper when talking about World Heritage Sites.
And we haven’t forgotten our detectorist ‘friends’. As part of our weekly reminder of the continual robbing out of the archaeological resource, we re-iterated our own ‘Finding a Hoard‘ guidelines.
Another sad loss occurred this month for the world of archaeology, with the passing of Professor Charles Thomas, probably best known for his tireless work in Cornwall’s archaeological landscape, and as a co-founder of Rescue, the British Archaeological Trust.
Come back tomorrow as we continue our look back at 2016 in the second part of our annual review! And as always, feel free to explore our archives via the link on the left hand menu.