Another old Avebury excavation

The wonderful HEIR Project in Oxford has prompted me to follow up my previous post about Avebury. I showed two images there, said to be dated 1895 (a photo) and November 15–18, 1895 (a painting). HEIR helpfully pointed out in a tweet that Underhill dated the painting August 23 1895, which makes more sense than … Continue reading Another old Avebury excavation

A surprising and charming Avebury discovery

Long ago when I was curator of the museum in Avebury, I came across a pencil sketch in the museum in Devizes that showed a section through the great henge bank around Avebury’s stone circle. It’s an extraordinary document of an excavation in 1894, that was never published at the time. Something quite unexpected has … Continue reading A surprising and charming Avebury discovery

Paul Nash at Tate: archaeology and trauma

I went to see the Tate Gallery’s previous big show in London about Paul Nash in 1975, with my friend Diana Hale, then a student at Goldsmiths College, who died in November. Nash, along with an ever-growing club of artist and writers, stayed with me ever since. At first it was his landscapes. Working and … Continue reading Paul Nash at Tate: archaeology and trauma

Paul Nash: A Private World

Abbott and Holder are selling some terrific Paul Nash photographic prints. They were shot by Nash in the 1930s and 40s, and include well-known images of dead trees, a lovely ploughed field and archaeological sites. They are asking £9,250 for 25 prints, from an edition published in 1978 by Fischer Fine Art, as A Private World: … Continue reading Paul Nash: A Private World

Silbury Hill flooded

Will Silbury Hill wash away? I think the radio presenter who asked me that was probably joking. It rained a lot a decade ago, and the top of the hill collapsed inwards when poorly backfilled old excavation tunnels slumped. English Heritage fixed it, and really it’s pretty stable now. It’s been raining a lot again, … Continue reading Silbury Hill flooded

Children of the Stones

Stewart Lee presented an entertaining programme on Radio 4 last week about the old TV series that featured strange goings on in a village with a big stone circle. A lot of people are coming here from the link that the BBC kindly provided, so for anyone nostalgic about Avebury, here are a few recent … Continue reading Children of the Stones

And look what happened in Avebury

So it's not just Stonehenge that people were writing about in the 1870s, but other linked stuff as well, such as Avebury and barrows – as The Englishman suggested. Here is the Ngram for those three words. As well as emphasising the peak in the 1870s, the Atkinson/Hawkins effect on Stonehenge in the 60s is … Continue reading And look what happened in Avebury