Valedictory





There is a certain sense of relief, not untinged with reluctance, on

laying down the pen after dealing seriously with so solemn a subject

as Stonehenge. The feeling of relief is akin to that of the schoolboy

whose task is done, and who is free to give vent to his animal spirits

unchecked by the hand of his master. The feeling of reluctance is that

which this same master must feel when he finally takes off his cap and

gown and becomes as other men, his brief authority gone with them. Cap

and gown are laid aside, and the present writer can now speak with his

readers freely, and offer perhaps some few words of practical advice.

The foremost question will surely be How shall I get to Stonehenge?



The answer largely depends upon the constitution and habits of the

querist. For the motorist, the way is clear: he will choose the best

road, or his chauffeur will do it for him; but it is possible even

with a motor to secure a little variety on the road. An excellent

route is to follow the main road from Salisbury to Amesbury, passing

Old Sarum, a very considerable earthwork of Roman if not earlier

origin. This road will give the motorist a fine idea of what the

Plain once was, with its wide expanses of undulating land. Military

requirements have broken up what the farmer had spared, but even

to-day the Plain has a character of its own, and forms a fitting

prelude to a visit to the Stones. Passing through Amesbury, the

circle is soon within sight. Unluckily the Stones do not appear to

advantage from this approach. The best view of them is from Lake Down,

which may be obtained if the return journey is made along the Avon

Valley by Normanton and Wilsford, Woodford, and Durnford. In any case

barrows will be seen on every side, particularly in the neighbourhood

of Normanton and Wilsford.



Those who can walk, and who are able to be afoot for about ten miles,

should follow the road up the valley from Stratford-sub-Castle,

crossing the river either at Stratford or Upper Woodford, visiting

Stonehenge and then Amesbury, thence by train to Salisbury. Allowance

should be made for the fact that the railway station is some distance

from the town.



Is there anything else to see? Plenty. As already stated there is Old

Sarum, which is perhaps rather too big an undertaking to be crowded

into the same day as Stonehenge. All the churches along the valley are

interesting. Stratford has its quaint hour-glass stand in the village

pulpit. Heale House, where Charles II. lay in the hiding-hole some

four or five days. Great Durnford Church, with its fine Norman doors.

Amesbury, home of the adorable Kitty Bellairs, Duchess of Queensbury,

and patron of Gay, who wrote the Beggar's Opera under her roof, and

the church (early English) all make pleasant breaks in the journey.



The bulk of the objects found at Stonehenge, and in the Barrows on the

Plain, belong to the Wiltshire Archæological Society, and are

preserved in their collection at Devizes. Visitors to Salisbury will

find the journey by train somewhat lengthy, but it should not be

neglected by the antiquary.



Some very fine cinerary urns and Barrow pottery from the Plain,

together with models, and a reconstruction of Stonehenge after

Stukeley, are to be found in the Salisbury, South Wilts, and Blackmore

Collections, at Salisbury.



It is seldom that the eye of the artist, as well as that of the

archæologist is to be found in one and the same individual. Mr.

Heywood Sumner, F.S.A., to whom I am indebted for far more assistance

in this volume than his beautiful and characteristic penwork, has

seldom been so happy in his choice of illustration, for Stonehenge is

one of those subjects which belongs to him of right, by virtue of that

understanding draughtsmanship which he has applied with such valuable

results to the Earthworks of Cranbourne Chase and elsewhere.

Readers are specially asked to give his plans kindly attention. They

are based upon the Ordnance Survey Maps, with the sanction of the

Controller of H.M. Stationery Office. They are far more interesting,

and less fatiguing, than the usual guide book production. The

bibliography of Stonehenge is frankly too heavy a subject to attempt

even briefly. A complete bibliography arranged under authors' names

alphabetically by W. Jerome Harrison, F.G.S. (1901, Devizes), will be

found quite solid reading in itself. Readers anxious to extend their

information, would do well to study Mr. Gowland's Report in

Archæologia, 1902, side by side with Sir Norman Lockyer's Report to

the Royal Society, of the same date. The two leading schools of

thought can thus be contrasted at first hand. The Wilts Archæological

Magazine passim, and particularly 1883 and 1876 should be consulted,

the latter article by Mr. W. Long has stood the test of publicity for

forty years, without appreciable damage. A curious writer to whom Mr.

Sumner is specially indebted is Mr. H. Browne of Amesbury; whose

conclusions must not be taken seriously, but who has lovingly

illustrated his work with restorations and sketches: it is all the

more pleasant therefore to render thanks to a painstaking but not

always appreciated worker. Last of all--greatest of all--Sir Richard

Colt Hoare, whose Ancient History of South Wilts, 1812, remains

to-day a classic. These grand volumes mark the dawn of the new era of

the field archæologist. The foregoing names are few, but they are as

old and tried friends, to whom reference can be safely made, and

seldom in vain. When Hoare and Long have been digested, few authors

have much else to offer, including the writer of the present lines.



A most pleasant debt of obligation is to the new owner of Stonehenge,

Mr. C.H.E. Chubb, who has rendered great assistance in the compilation

of this little handbook. Himself a citizen of New Sarum, and a

Wiltshireman by birthright, he can well be trusted faithfully to

discharge his duty to the grand old Cromlech. A constant visitor to

Stonehenge, he has already given a foretaste of his policy in revising

the rates of admission to the military; a very gracious act, based on

a common-sense appreciation of the usual condition of the pockets of

H.M. forces. Landlords are not always as liberal.



Last of all, my sincere thanks to Dr. H.P. Blackmore, Honorary

Director of the Salisbury and Blackmore Museums, for reading and

revising my manuscript.





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