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Stukeley began his archaological observations in , and for a period of 15 years he made summer expeditions on horseback around the British countryside. Trained in the medical profession, he had an eye for detailed observation and he accurately described and sketched all that he found of interest on these trips. Always concerned to preserve as much as possible before monuments and other historical structures were destroyed by the ravages of time and the advances of civilization , particularly the agricultural and industrial revolutions , he published the results of his travels in Itinerarium Curiosum with the appropriate subtitle "An Account of the Antiquities, and Remarkable Curiosities in Nature or Art, Observed in Travels through Great Britain.
William Stukeley - Wikipedia
He was not only a keen observer and accurate portrayer of details in his sketches, Stukeley also had a gift for writing that gave the reader an exciting vision of the structures. Reflecting on Hadrian's Wall , he wrote:. This mighty wall of four score miles in length is only exceeded by the Chinese wall , which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned at the moon. Stukeley's principal works, elaborate accounts of Stonehenge and Avebury , appeared in and These were supposed to be the first of a multi-volume universal history.
Excited by John Aubrey's discoveries at Avebury in , and his proposal that they were connected to Druids , Stukeley elaborated the idea that Stonehenge and Avebury were the religious products of an early Celtic Druid culture:. Our predecessors, the Druids of Britain, tho' left in the extremest west to the improvement of their own thoughts, yet advanc'd their inquiries, under all disadvantages, to such heights, as should make our moderns asham'd, to wink in the sunshine of learning and religion.
His writings were so persuasive that the connection between these monuments and the Druids has been irrevocably forged in the minds of the public.
He wrote copiously on other supposed Druid remains, becoming familiarly known as the "Arch-Druid. Stukeley's ideas, while in some cases fanciful, were nonetheless based on serious inquiry and a substantial scientific background.
He was also the first to recognize that alignment of Stonehenge on the solstices. Stukeley's work on Stonehenge was one of the first to attempt to date the monument. Stukeley used some incomplete data about the variation of the North Magnetic Pole; he extrapolated that it oscillated in a regular pattern. Today it is known that the North Magnetic Pole wanders in an irregular fashion. However, Stukeley inferred that Stonehenge was completed in B. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join.
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Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! William Stukeley, p. All Rights Reserved. For the first time, many of Stukeley's detailed drawings, hitherto incredibly difficult to get hold of, are put together in an easy to use format.
Published by Green Magic, the book is a must for anyone interested in the prehistoric sites of Britain and well worth the price. William Stukeley was the first man to chronicle the greatest prehistoric stone circles in the world, Stonehenge and Avebury. One of the 18th century's most remarkable characters, he was friend and colleague to some of the most gifted men of his time, including Sir Isaac Newton.
Stukeley's work laid the foundations for the modern study of prehistoric monuments, influenced the Druidic Revival and inspired some of William Blake's most celebrated paintings. The book shows how this meticulous and inspired draughtsman changed the way we look at ancient sites.
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It is a tribute to an increasingly relevant figure, and is useful to anyone interested in the sacred sites and landscapes of the British Isles. Neil Mortimer was formerly editor of the journal 3rd Stone. He is the author of Stukeley illustrated. Convert currency. Add to Basket.
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