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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lawrenny and the Altar Stone

 
 
Another re-telling of the old story.  I found this on the Lawrenny web site. Obviously the writers of this narrative have not come across the Ixer / Turner paper which argued forcefully for the Cosheston Beds having nothing to do with either the Altar Stone or with any other sandstones at Stonehenge.  They said that Altar Stone had come from the Senni Beds,  some way to the east on the other side of Carmarthen Bay.  

I'm interested also that the authors here are still going on about the "lost bluestone."  Ah well, it makes for a good story......

But hang on -- I was talking to a senior geologist the other day who suggested that the "Cosheston Beds" theory is back on again, following some more petrography..... not sure if this is published yet.  Ah, the joy of science!!  When I know more, all will be revealed.

By 1700 B.C. Milford Haven was well known as a seaway, for it was about that time that the famous bluestones were moved from the Prescelly Mountains to Canaston Bridge and down the Milford Haven to Stonehenge. Altogether some eighty stones weighing up to four tons each were transported overland to Milford Haven where they were lashed to rafts for the next stage of the journey to Stonehenge. The distance as the crow files was 135 miles and the operation must have involved at least 5,000 men.
 
Further up stream the huge altar stone 16' x 3' x 13' was being hewn out of the Cosheston beds at Langwm, while just around the corner from Lawrenny Ferry another gang was at work on the bed of micacious sandstone at Mill Bay. Somewhere in the Haven between Lawrenny and Coedcanlas is supposed to be one of the huge stones having sunk on is way from Prescelly.
 

We do not know the purpose of this Herculean task. Certainly it had religious significance. The Beaker people of Wessex, in their trade with Ireland, then the principal source of metal in N.W. Europe, no doubt came to hear of the spotted dolerite which was to be found in abundance on the Prescelly Mountains. Here was the material for their primitive tools and axe-heads which contributed to their economic and military strength. This part of Wales abounds with cromlechs of that period testifying to the existence of an earlier civilisation here. But the beaker tribes of Wessex were the dominating force and transferred the religious centre of power to Stonehenge and Wiltshire.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where oh where does one begin? J.Clarkson aka Keyser Söze is not all wrong- a little extreme - but these are extreme times.

Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.

I like the idea of the Rhos material being dragged up the Preslli Hills and then down again and that raft has always been good for a smile.
Has anyone taken the dimensions of the raft- assume the paddlers are 5ft 5ins tall and calculated if the raft would even float? Assume density of the dolerite is 2.6.
Myris

Anonymous said...

Where is this 'Lawrenny website'? Haven't tracked it down, Holmes.

Watson

BRIAN JOHN said...

Sorry Watson. Here is the URL:

http://www.lawrennyyachtstation.co.uk/faq/faq.htm

Not an archaeological site -- just a funny little site put together by one of the locals, I suspect...

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree, Myris -- that raft is the least seaworthy craft I have ever seen. Not even any ropes to control the sail. Totally useless, these Neolithic argonauts...

Anonymous said...

But this is essentially why they were intrepid. Total lunatics.


Frankie Drake

chris johnson said...

Look forward to hearing more about this.

Would entrained stones be more likely to follow the course of rivers?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Chris -- in short, no.