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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Altar Stone 1867

I found this splendid old picture (from 1867) of a couple of tidy fellows enjoying a day out at Stonehenge.  The Altar Stone is the one flat on the ground, beneath the two fallen sarsens.


The Stonehenge Enigma said...


Interesting photo!

The large megalithic laying on the small bluestone is therefore stone 56 - but on the modern map the smaller stone 68 is over 6 foot away from the larger stone - so one would imagine that the larger stone would lean over more?

But stone 68 looks different from the stone in view as stone 68 has a much greater tapper at the top - the one in the picture is squarish and the only squarish topped bluestone is 62 or 69.

Could it be souvenir hunters at work or massive inaccurate reconstruction ?


heavenshenge said...

Here's a new theory:

The only thing that the book does not cover is the altar stone.

The Stonehenge Enigma said...

For hevensake!

If I wanted a bright fiery object swinging around a monument on a pole - I'll light a fire in a wooden cradle, would look even better at night.

Astronomy gone mad.


heavenshenge said...

Why not join in here:

And say why the ideas are wrong? Some good knowledgeable reasons would be much appreciated.

Geo Cur said...

RJL ,that is stone 68 ,it's under 6 feet from stone 56 today post the Gowland straightening in 1901 .

The Stonehenge Enigma said...

Geo Cur

On my map from 'stonehenge in its landscape' cleal et al its 5' on this 1901 picture at: (fig 11) its about 2'.

So they have moved it back and then raised the stone - we will never know if that was the true position now!!

I'm sure that they believed the hole was for the stone but what on earth could LIFT a 40-50 tonne stone out of its post hole 3' before falling over?


heavenshenge said...

"JL ,that is stone 68 ,it's under 6 feet from stone 56 today post the Gowland straightening in 1901 ."

And Anthony Johnson suggests that this straightening had the effect of repositioning 56 to a location South West of its original position.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, the big sarsens have been moved about a bit -- but what interests me here is the Altar Stone. Atkinson thought it had been shaped at both ends -- so he must have dug around it so as to identify its dimensions. But how convincing is his evidence of shaping? And has anybody actually looked UNDER it? No socket ever seems to have been identified for it.... so where is the evidence that it actually stood vertically at some stage?

The Stonehenge Enigma said...


There is a good chance that it sank due to the weight on top of it?

Stone 67 is also under stone 156 and seems to also be embedded and the alter stone has two stones on it, although its much bigger.

Atkinson suggest stonehole WA3639 (next to stone 15) but that seems like nonsense to me as its too far away.

The main problem with the suggestion is the original Phase I site (without any Sarsens) are post holes Q & R and this doesn't seem to have any relationship to the alter stone.

If Q&R are found to be contemporary or later than the Sarsens you may have a point.


heavenshenge said...

"so where is the evidence that it actually stood vertically at some stage?"

I looked into this (through most of the ordinarily available material such as Cleal et al) because it would have been useful; for me to have verified, or otherwise, a specific position: But I could find no direct evidence one way or the other. Sorry, not much of a help.

If you do come across evidence of its exact location, I would be exceptionally interested in your findings.