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The Wittenham Clumps by Paul Nash
“Throughout his career as an artist, Paul Nash (1889-1946) had a special affinity for the wooded hills in South Oxfordshire called The Wittenham Clumps. First encountering them in his late teenage years, he was immediately caught by their atmospheric shapes and mystical associations. The Clumps became a rich source of inspiration for him and he returned to paint them many times during his life. 2011 marks ONE HUNDRED YEARS since Nash wrote of his discovery of the Clumps, calling it ‘a beautiful legendary country

“2012 will mark the Centenary of Nash’s first paintings of Wittenham Clumps. We* are marking this important event by exploring Nash’s unique connection with the landscape, looking at some of his work that originated here and showing how the area has changed since his lifetime.”

* produced by Christopher Baines & Anna Dillon. and supported by The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All Paul Nash artwork © Tate, London, 2011.

More here –

News in brief from Wessex Archaeology Blog

Wessex Archaeology is pleased to announce that we are co-ordinating the revision and updating of the Avebury and Stonehenge resource assessments, and will also be writing a single revised research framework uniting both parts of the World Heritage Site into a harmonised volume with a five year currency.

The revised  research agenda will be available for public consultation in September 2011, and again in February and March of 2012 with the publication online of the research framework for public consultation.  The report will finally be published in 2017 in both hard copy and online.

Ed O’Grady has been a freelance cartoonist for several years, and is now in the third year publishing his brilliant Mikka Bouzu Web Cartoon series based on the Japanese martial arts (Ed has been practicing martial arts off and on since he was 11 but for the last 15 years has been studying Aikido).

Our feature The spaces between… is the inspiration for his latest cartoon.

Avebury by John Aubrey

“Today, [7 January] we must celebrate John Aubrey’s dramatic rediscovery of Avebury – the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle – whilst out hunting with fellow royalists during the English Civil War, exactly three hundred and sixty-two years ago. For Aubrey’s heroic retrieval of this vast but (by then) long forgotten Stone Age temple confronted the then-accepted notion that only the coming of the Romans had forced a degree of culture upon the barbaric Ancient British, and also confounded the then-popular 17th-century belief – propounded by the highly influential Scandinavian antiquaries Olaus Magnus and Ole Worm – that all such megalithic culture had its archaic origins in Europe’s far north. Indeed, so rich were the cultural implications of John Aubrey’s re-discovery that – come the fall of Oliver Cromwell’s 11-year-long Commonwealth and the subsequent Restoration of the Monarchy – even the returned King Charles II would himself insist on taking one of Aubrey’s celebrated tours of the Avebury area. But how could the world’s largest stone circle have suffered such a total cultural extinction in the first place? “

Julian Cope
More here –

Image credit Littlestone

History, prehistory, christianity and paganism are often entwined like celtic knotwork one religion meshes into another, but did the Romans really worship at Stonehenge?

“The traditional view of Romans and British standing stones such as at Stonehenge is that there is nothing more than a most casual association. Even Roman archaeology at Stonehenge was dismissed: at Stonehenge, Roman pottery, coins, and various small metal items as well as what are likely to be contemporary secondary burials were found.”

The web is full of fascinating articles, each and every day something else to read, so every now and then the Journal  picks one out in this instance History Hunters International  the article is called Romans at Stonehenge: from standing stones to cosmic pillars .


This interesting blog – Pagan Claims on Human Remains, though it was written at an earlier date by Dr. Tiffany Jenkins came up as a Google alert on the issue of reburial and the role of the museums in displaying  ancient remains.  She gives a secular viewpoint, and some might argue with her interpretation of the multi-faceted Pagan religions that now exist, but the question asked ‘did English Heritage and the National Trust’ spend too much time and money on the consultation of  the reburial of the skeleton at Avebury Museum is a valid one, given the minority viewpoint of the Druid organisation who petitioned for reburial.


September 2021

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