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"As I remember there is a great stone that lies in the water at Fighelden as left by the way to Stonehenge: another is somewhere on the Downes which rests on three low stones as a Suffulciment as in order to be carried away, weh Dr. Charleton shewed his Majestie and R. Highnesse as we wayted on them from Aubury: 'twas on the Downes between Rockley and Marleborough.
"Mr. Conyers Apothecary at the White Lyon in Fleet Street hath an old manuscript Roll of the time of Henry VI., which confirms that Aurelius Ambrosius was buried at Stoneheng, weh, see.
"These times were troublesome, and by that meanes there might not be erected for him any magnificent Regal monument: but had there been one of marble or free-stone, the country people would have converted it to their use: and had not this Antiquity of Stonehenge consisted of such an extreme hard and ill coloured stone, that it is hardly fit for any use, without much trouble, this venerable Temple had long since been erased and forgotten. Though this Work might probably be built long before the Romans were masters of Britaine, yet they being delighted with the stateliness and grandure of it, and considering the drie situation of it (which they affected for Urne-buriall) 'tis not unlikely but that they might bury here and hereabout, e.g., the Seaven Barrows. So when the Christian religion was settled, the temples dedicated to the heathen gods (were converted) to their owne use and worship.
"At Stonehenge one may count, round about it fourty five Barrowes. I am not of the opinion, that all these were made for burying the dead that were slayne herabout in Battels: it would require a great deale of time and leisure to collect so many thousand loades of earth: and soldiers have something els to doe flagrante bello to pursue their victorie, or preserve themselves pursued: the cadavera remained a feast for the Kites and Foxes. So that I presume they were the Mausolea or Burying places for the great Persons and Rulers of those times.
"Lawrence Washington, Esq., owner of this place, told me (1666)
Note by Aubrey.-'Tis most likely that they might have Ceremonies, Prayers, and Sacrifices, at these Burial places: so we, the Christians, have Masses. Note by Aubrey.-See a passage in St. Hierome's epistle to this purpose.
that in one of the Seaven Barrowes, was lately digged up Coales and pieces of Goates hornes or Stagges-hornes.
"In one of these barrows was found (by the Duke of Buckingham's digging) a Bugle-horne tip't with silver at both ends, wch Mrs. Trotman told me his grace kept in his closet as a great Relique.
"Neer to the farme-house of West-Amesbury is a great Ditch where have been found Rowells of Spurres and other thinges: and, Mrs. Trotman. neer to the Penning is Normanton-ditch, but why so called no tradition. In the field thereby, about 1635 was found by ploughing as much Pewter as was sold for five pounds: it was, they sayd, very pure Pewter, which the Shephards had pitched through in many places when they pitched for their Folds. She told me, no Coines were found there.
"Within this Farme is a place called Pitt-poole, wherein a King upon his escape riding hastily downe the steep Shoot, was drowned. She told me his name was mentioned in the Chronicle, but I doubt it.
"Dr. Walter Charlton, Physitian to King Charles II. wrote a Booke entitled Stoneheng restored to the Danes, wherein he hath shewed a greet deale of Learning in very good Stile.: but as to his Hypothesis, that it was a work of the Danes, it is a gross mistake for Matthew Paris pag: expressly affirmes, that Stoneheng was the place where the Saxons treacherously massacred the Britons which was hundred years before the Conquest of the Danes. (I think Symon of Durham and Hen: Huntingdon say the same. vide.)
'Sir R. C. Hoare (Ancient Wilts, i., p. 198), says: “In vain I searched for all these matters, for the remembrance of them exists not even by tradition. I was enabled, however, to ascertain the position of West Amesbury Penning, which lies in a little vale between tumuli 134 and 137. The King's grave was a large solitary barrow on the hill above the river, on which a clump of trees has been planted, and is called King Barrow by Dr. Stukeley. Though all traces of the name of Pitt Poole are lost, its situation is clearly pointed out by the steepe shoot above the river. I could find no vestiges whatever of any ditch answering Mr. Aubrey's description, on Normanton Farm."
At the back of the last page of the "Templa Druidum" is the following note: "Mr. Paschal's Letter to
"The Author of the Bolt soon shott, was one Mr. of Nettlecomb lyeing in the Western parts of Somersetshire, deceased (I thinke) 14 or 16 years since. Wells, April 7, 1690. Your &c., A. P.”
Mr. Herbert ascribes the "Fools Bolt" to Mr. John Gibbons who flourished, according to Mr. Herbert, " circa 1670." This curious paper, which is printed in Langtoft's Chronicle, vol. ii., is amusing enough and worth reading, but space does not admit of much being said about it. It begins thus: "A wander witt of Wiltshire, rambling to Rome to gaze at antiquities, and there skrewing himself into the company of Antiquaries, they entreated him to illustrate unto them, that famous monument in his country, called Stonage. His answer was that he had never seen, scarce ever heard of it. Whereupon they kicked him out of doors, and bad him goe home, and see Stonage; and I wish all such Æsopicall cocks, as slight these admired stones, and other our domestick monuments (by which they might be admonished to eschew some evil, or doe some good), and scrape for barley cornes of vanity out forreigne dunghills might be handled, or rather footed, as he was." He considers "Stonage to be a 'British Monument' of a bloody battel foughten there and won by the Giant Cangi under the command of the famous Stanenges of Honnicott over King Divitiacus and the Belga; that this Temple, made of factitious stones, was consecrated to the Goddess of Victorie and that in it the Victors sacrificed their Captives and spoiles to their said Idoll of Victorie."
Richard Burton, in his "Wonderful [or admirable] Curiosities, Rarities, and Wonders in England, Scotland, and Ireland” (1682— 1684), thus alludes to Stonehenge (edition 1811, p. 137): "About six miles from Salisbury, upon the plain, is to be seen a huge and monstrous piece of work, for within the circuit of a pit or ditch there are erected in the manner of a crown, certain mighty and unwrought stones, some whereof are 20 feet high, and seven feet broad, upon the heads whereof others like overthwart pieces do bear and rest
crossways with tenons and mortoises, so that the whole frame seemeth to hang, whereof it is called Stone Henge."
In Plot's Staffordshire, 1686, chap. x., § 11, p, 398, is the following account of Stonehenge: "The Britons usually erecting such monuments as these upon a civil as well as religious account. Witness Kit's Coty House in Kent, Rollwright in Oxfordshire, and Stonehenge in Wiltshire. The latter was most probably [set up] as some British Forum or Temple and not of any Roman Pagan Deity, as Inigo Jones would have it, the Romans of the time being skilfull in architecture and most other arts, and therefore no question had they built it, would have made a much more artificial structure than this appears to have been; nor should it have wanted an inscription, or being someway or other transmitted in their writings down to posterity. Nor is it less unlikely, that it should ever be erected for a Danish forum for inauguration of their kings, as Dr. Charleton would persuade us; for then certainly all the Kings of the Danish race had been crowned either there, or else at Rollwright or some other such cirque of stones elsewhere. Whereas we find Canutus crowned at London, Harold Harefoot at Oxford, and Hardi-Canute likewise at London. Not to mention the Danish transactions in England are of so late a date that our historians have given us a tolerable account of them [the Danes] from their very first entrance, and would not certainly have been silent of so considerable structure, had they been the authors of it, either as a Forum or upon any other account."
Keysler, in his "Antiquitates selectæ Septentrionales et Celticæ," (1720) adopts Inigo Jones' ground-plan, and ascribes the erection of Stonehenge to the Danes or Anglo-Saxons.
Stukeley, in his account of Stonehenge (published 1740, page 66), says that Stonehenge was a work of the Druids, who founded it, B.C. 460. "About 100 years before our Saviour's birth, Divitiacus made the Wansdike north of Stonehenge, and drove the possessors of this fine country of the Wiltshire Downs, northwards. So that the Druids enjoyed their magnificent work of Stonehenge, but about 360 years. And the very great number of barrows about it, requires that we should not much shorten the time. Sir Issac Newton, in his
chronology, reckons 19 years for a medium of a King's reign. So that in that space there were about 19 Kings in this country. And there seems to be about that number of royal barrows (in my way of conjecturing) about the place. I observe this time we have assign'd for the building of Stonehenge, is not long after Cambyses' invasion of Egypt. When he committed such horrid outrages there, and made such dismal bavock, with the priests and inhabitants in general, they fled the country to all parts of the world. Some went as far as the East Indies, and there taught many of the ancient Egyptian customs; as is taken notice of by the learned. It is not to be doubted that some of them fled as far westward, into the island of Britain, and introduced some of their learning, arts and religion, among the Druids; and perhaps had a hand in this very work of Stonehenge: the only one that I know of, where the stones are chizel'd. All other works of theirs are of rude stones, untouch'd of tool, exactly after the patriarchal and Jewish mode; therefore older. This was at a time when the Phænician trade was at height, the readier a conveyance to Britain: it was before the second temple at Jerusalem was built: before the Grecians had any history."
The celebrated engraver, George Vertue, (1684-1756,) appears to have paid considerable attention to Stonehenge, and says in his Diary: After having seen these stones, and taken draughts of them, and more than once reviewed them, read mostly all that has been published concerning them, and if I may venture to advance my conjecture in an affair so distant to my understanding and profession. In my opinion I think they were erected by the first heathen Saxons, whom our historians generally allow to have come into England soon, or immediately after, the Roman legions were called away. The people conquered and overcame the Britons, and made the kingdom subject to their power. As Salisbury plain is so extensive, large, and likely then the seat of war between those Saxons and Britons, and this place so nearly the great central part of England, they, the Saxons, might therefore choose to erect a monument of such strength and power, by the hands of an army, that could not easily be moved nor defaced. Such a monument