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A pro-tunnel archaeologist has just publicly said:
“Michael Smith may be a great historian for all I know, but his ideas about Stonehenge are unalloyed bollocks. Are we really to believe the best ever view of Stonehenge is from the A303?”

Well, we’re not qualified to say, but it’s certainly the best ever view of Stonehenge and its World Heritage Site in the eyes of the millions of travellers who experience it, and it alone, with total delight every year and who might soon be unable to. No unalloyed bollocks in stating that! Also, we suspect that the rather more famous archaeologist, Jaquetta Hawkes, would have agreed with us:

“The traveller who wishes to approach Stonehenge most fittingly should keep along this road, crossing the little river Till at Winterbourne Stoke. As he reaches the quiet crossroads on the summit, he will be on the edge of one of the greatest, and certainly the richest, congregation of burial mounds in all Britain. Here was a kind of vast scattered cemetery on ground hallowed by its proximity to the renowned sanctuary. Barrows cluster round Stonehenge on all sides – three hundred of them – but here to the west is the greatest concentration and the area most sequestered from the blighting military activities of Amesbury. Close within the north-eastern angle of the crossroads is a well preserved longbarrow and its spine acts as a pointer to a line of round barrows starting just beyond the small wood. These in their range of forms make a typologist’s heaven. First there are two striking bell barrows and on their left two disks – one of normal type, the other with twin tumps. Just beyond them is perhaps the best known example of that rare variety – the pond barrow – which consists of a circular depression with a low bank on the lip. Back on the line of bells are four bowl barrows, and there are many more of this type beside the left-hand road as it leads very happily northwards to nowhere.”



November 2020

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