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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Monday, 11 August 2014

Flat Holm erratics

The pink granite erratic in West Bay.  Where has it come from?  There are others too......  I think some investigations are called for.  Now that glacial deposits and far-travelled erratics have been described on Lundy, Flat Holm and Steep Holm (deep into the Bristol Channel, between Cardiff and Weston-super-Mare) come into the firing line.  Some years ago there was a bit of a fuss about a spotted dolerite bluestone having been found there -- or not.  But just for fun, let's call the pink granite a bluestone boulder..... (Photo credit:  thanks to Sarah Williams)

Where there are beaches, there tend to be erratics.

And there are several nice beaches.


Myris said...

No lets not!!!!!!!!!!!
Lets call it a possible glacial erratic.

From Mr Stan Rendell

Sir: Aubrey Burl refers to Preseli bluestone erratics on the Bristol Channel islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holme. As Archaeological Advisor to the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust which owns and manages Steep Holme, I have to say that the fragments of `bluestone' announced in 1996 by the Trust's (then) Warden were nothing to do with Preseli.

Aside from serious doubts about how the sharp-edged fragments actually reached Steep Holme, the former Warden's confident assertion that these were of the same type of rock as the bluestones of Stonehenge was very quickly shown to be incorrect following hand specimen and thin section petrography by Dr Robert Ixer of Birmingham University.

Regarding Flat Holm, neither the Flat Holm Project Director nor I are aware of any fragments of Preseli bluestone on that island, although many other erratics have been identified on its pebble beaches.

Yours sincerely,
22 June


BRIAN JOHN said...

Oh come on, Myris! Be a sport -- I rather like the idea of a pink bluestone. Most of the bluestones aren't blue anyway -- a lot of them are greyish, brownish and even whitish. You know it makes sense......

Yes, very familiar with that letter and with the fact that the samples looked at were not from Preseli. But there appear from the records to be lots of erratics on the island -- it would be good to know where they have come from.

Myris of Alexandria said...

I agree I think Drs I and B have recently talked about the erratics and islands including Lundy.
Certainly a worthwhile and timely project.
There appears to be an article by Jacques in Current Archaology that may be fun. Not reached Alexandria yet.

TonyH said...

I think we would all do well to always remember Mr Max Bygraves' fine offering from the,50's, "You're a Pink Toothbrush, I'm a Blue Toothbrush, Won't you marry me?" when considering Bristol Channel erratics. Mr Bygraves had a great ability to communicate vividly complicated ideas to the masses in the days long before ITV, advertisements, BBC2 and colour television.