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Doug's 'wider' History Spot. 1066, the Bayeux Tapestry, Stonehenge, and the Heir Project.

The mission of Chard Museum is 'uncovering yesterday’s heritage, history and hidden stories’ of Chard and District. However and given that travel, even locally, is restricted we thought that we might cast our net wider with a new Newsletter section called Doug's 'wider History Spot.

Every month Doug Hislop, our Maps archivist and archaelogist sends, to friends and colleagues, a list of links to interesting archaeological pieces in the news. He's agreed to share some of these with a wider audience. Let's get excited about history.

Over to you Doug ...

Welcome to 'my wider History Spot'. Each month I will offer people links to different and wider perspectives of history, provide a little background and let you get on with chasing your interests.

Let us start with one of the best known dates in English history, 1066. There have been many TV programmes, books and articles on this topic. A recent National Georgraphic article gives an insight to the pro-Norman view with provides good illustrations of the Bayeux Tapestry, (which technically speaking is an embroidery).

You can see another perspective of the tapestry by watching the Time Team special about King Harold. The Museum are not travel agents, but if you have never seen the Bayeux Tapestry maybe plan a trip across the channel once we understand the new normal. The tapestry can be seen in Bayeux (unsurprisingly !!!) after a short ferry crossing then a drive from Caen or Cherbourg. Just a tip, it is worth booking your visit to the Tapestry in advance.

Next, somewhere nearer home Stonehenge. Again, there have been many TV programmes, books, myths and articles produced.

Over the last ten years there has been a great many excavations and work done, not only on or at Stonehenge, but also on its relationship to other prehistoric monuments in the surrounding landscape.

Archaeologists are beginning to piece together the complex relationships between Stonehenge and other Neothlithic sites on Salisbuty Plan. Stonehenge was part of a multi-monument complex. This National Geographic article describes how scientists now think it all fitted together.

Stonehenge is one of the few archaeological sites in Britain that has previously been assessed for its sound quality – with varying success. One past project examined the acoustics of the monument as it stands today. Many of the stones are missing or have fallen and the current conditions are very different to those in prehistory.

On a slightly different tack, this photo of Stonehenge being held up by pit props in the late 19th century comes from a site now available from the Oxford University School of Archaeology, called the Historic Environment Image Resource (HEIR).

They have developed a database of over 32,000 high resolution pictures and images they hold from lectures and donations dating back to the 1860s. These portray famous buildings, monuments and archaeological sites. Although more than 40% of the images relate to sites in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, the rest refer to other parts of the world. The site is free to search simply click on the link we have provided above. This might be a useful resourcce if you have children or grand children working on school projects.

I hope you have enjoyed and found 'my wider History Spot' interesting. If you any reflections, insights or knowledge that will increase our learning please share them via the Chard and District Museum Facebook page. I look forward to sharing some more links in the future.

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