Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Hunt for the Carn Meini Bardic Chair Factory

 This is the Wet Withens Chair -- not on Preseli at all.  But no doubt there is a cultural link with the megalithic bardic chairs made in Preseli about 5,000 years ago.

 I am sure that the Salisbury Journal is a very fine newspaper, but I must admit that I almost fell off my chair when Mr Google contacted me this morning through some digital miracle,  and informed me that I'd better check out a certain URL.  So here it is:

Soldiers to march for Amesbury artefact

 30th April 2012 

By Jill Harding

MEMBERS of the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery have set themselves the task of obtaining the first artefact for the new Amesbury Museum.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer, commanding officer of the regiment, has set off to march the 250 miles from Amesbury to Presili in Pembrokeshire, where the inner stones of Stonehenge originally came from, to pick up a Bluestone Bardic Chair. Lt Col Palmer made the announcement to a civic service for the mayor and mayoress of Amesbury, Andy and Rebecca Rhind-Tutt at The Abbey Church of St Mary and St Melor at the weekend.
 In his mayoral address Cllr Rhind-Tutt said: “I have always believed that Amesbury was one of Britain’s best kept secrets – a treasure trove just waiting to be unlocked.
“My theme for the year was all about bringing our community together during the build-up to the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee in events and activities and encouraging everyone to think about Amesbury.”
Cllr Rhind-Tutt’s mayoral year has seen a number of community events in the town.
Amesbury Museum opened for the first time during the Easter holidays after the town council bought the former Melor Hall for the purpose.
There are hopes the hall will one day be replaced by a purpose-built visitor centre where the Bluestone Bardic Chair will be given pride of place.

This is all very wonderful, but I can't help thinking that there are health and safety issues here, not to mention human rights.  This poor soldier has obviously been encouraged to start trudging all the way off to the wilds of West Wales on some wild goose chase.  What equipment does he have with him?  Has he packed his winter woollies, in view of the unseasonably cold weather we are having?  Has he remembered his hot water bottle and his pen knife?  Is he prepared for the hazards that lie ahead -- roaring rivers, dense woodlands, hostile natives, wild animals lurking in the undergrowth?  As we speak, he is probably swimming across the Severn Estuary, with the port of Cardiff up ahead.  At least, he can pop in to one of those nice restaurants on Cardiff Bay, dry himself off and get a warming cup of Costa Coffee.

But what happens, in due course, if he survives the journey, when he staggers up onto those windswept slopes of the Eastern Preseli Hills and hopes to find bardic chairs lying about all over the place?    He will be utterly distraught, poor fellow, when he discovers that there is not a single one to be had, let alone a selection.  The distress that he will feel hardly bears thinking about. 

But hang on -- does he know something that the rest of us do not know?  Ah yes, he must have had words with Profs GW and TD, who have given him the grid coordinates to a secret bardic chair factory that is as yet unreported in the literature.

So that's it then.  We look forward to reading progress reports in future editions of the Salisbury Journal, and trust that the intrepid Lt Col Palmer will return home safe and sound, after his tour on active service.


Anonymous said...

wonderful!!Do let us know if the venerable profs ever give you the co ordiates and I will take tours to this hidden latter day miracle chair factory

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree -- I am very excited myself. This opens up all sorts of new possibilities -- a new Chair of Megalithic Furniture-Making at Lampeter University, for starters..... sponsored by the British Army and the Amesbury Chamber of Trade?

By the way, are they planning to hold an eisteddfod in Amesbury? That would seem to be the implication....

BRIAN JOHN said...

PS -- if there are grid coordinates available, I will be the last one to find out.

Mary Hopkins said...

I understand 'from very reliable sources', that The Army will be proposing an eisteddfod at Tidworth Camp, near Amesbury and that Thomas Woodward Jones will be CARRIED on the bardic chair into a specially created arena (aligned with the Stonehenge Cursus) before singing a specially commissioned re-working of his old standard, renamed "the Green Green Grass of Wiltshire".

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian
Long time no see. Your friends in the hills (you know which hills)have been busy bees.
Some cave deposits that we initially identified as ORS Old Red Sandstone (renamed in a fit of stratigraphic frenzy at the BGS as "The Portishead Formation") Contain fossils of ordovician age, the most probable source outcrop. being in West Wales. Although this is currently a tentative identification. It could well mean that the yolks on the supporters of the Human Transport theory; or all over their face at the least.

Will keep you informed

Kind Regards
Bilbo and Frodo

Anonymous said...

One can only hope that Lt Colonel Facepalm returns from his quiotic mission safe and well.

But one also fears that he could become trapped for millenia in a neolithic version of IKEA.


Mr A.L. Key

Anonymous said...

I hate to disillusion Mayor and Mayoress Zinc-Trumpet-Harris of their ciic minded zeal, but feel obliged to remind them that Amesbury, is one of the seven arseholes of the universe, identified by Professor Stephen Hawking.

Whilst I find his concern for his men's welfare most touching, Why Lt Col Facepalm thinks that he will find squaddies from his regiment face down in a gutter in Prescelli is beyond me. Amesbury on a Friday or Saturday night is a much better bet.

I fail to understand also, why Mayor and Mayoress Incubator-Jones consider a kebab wrapper to be a valuable artifact???

Major Smith-Smythe-Social-climber-Smith, RHA Retarded; I mean retired.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Bilbo and Frodo -- Thanks for getting in touch. I appreciate that you have found a moment in the midst of all that filming. I am intrigued -- please tell us more......

Fossils of Ordovician age -- now that's something I'm interested in, having gazed at them in awe when I was young.

Constantinos Ragazas said...


You have repeatedly asked me to provide sound scientific evidence for my 'working hypothesis' :

“Stones could have been moved to Stonehenge on the surface of a local ice cover by natural forces”.

I have prepared a preliminary study based on sound Physics showing 'rational plausibility' for just that. Here is the link to that short note:

But the strongest evidence for a local ice cover are all the explanations this hypothesis provides for all the 'facts on the ground' in a simple, sensible and consistent theory.

Help lead us out of the darkness the 'eminent archeologists' have put on us where anything can be imagined as 'real'. Apply your expertise as a geomorphologist to explain the Salisbury landscape in light of my hypothesis.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Can't be fairer than this. You are in voluntary exile, Kostas, and I am NOT going to re-enter any debate on this. Those who want to look at Kostas's mathematics can do so here:

NB You need to put the "WWW" in for the hyperlink to work.

No matter how wonderful the mathematics may be (I leave that to others to decide) -- but since it all seems to be based on the idea of a flat ice surface sloping from Preseli to Stonehenge with a gradient of 0.0572etc etc degrees, which is entirely implausible, we do not need to pursue the matter any further. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Bucky Edgett said...

You guys had me going! It's a nice charity effort. I hope the marchers earn a lot of money for the hospital.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Well, good for our splendid military fellows! I wonder how they are getting on? Have they reached Llanelli yet, I wonder? Let's hope they raise lots of dosh for a good cause...

Bucky Edgett said...

Wonderful! The regiment's volunteers made the march and had a group picture taken on my birthday! What a marvelous coincidence.

And they are going to get a Bluestone Bardic Chair. But it's not ready yet.