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J. Browne, that the hole into which the upright was to be dropt was prepared with a bed of concrete: "It has been a matter of surprise to observant persons, that the now wholly prostrate trilithon at Stonehenge should, considering the extreme smallness of its base, ever have stood for ages immemorial. On the 22nd ult., Sir Edmund Antrobus' under-gamekeeper, Mr. Eli Vockins, of Seven Barrows, when digging deeply for rabbits, proved that the upright had been embedded in a rough strong concrete, the great quantity and tenacious quality of which fully account for their long and otherwise inexplicable stability.-Joseph Browne, eye-witness."
And now that our stone is prepared, and the hole for its reception has deen dug out and lined with concrete, how is it to be raised, and set up in its place? Mr. R. W. Emerson, who visited Stonehenge with Mr. T. Carlyle, could not see much difficulty in handling and carrying stones of this size: "The like is done in all cities, every day, with no other aid than horse-power. I chanced to see a year ago men at work on the substructure of a house, in Bodmin Square, in Boston, swinging a block of granite of the size of the largest of the Stonehenge columns, with an ordinary derrick. The men were common masons, with Paddies to help, nor did they think they were doing anything remarkable. I suppose there were as good men a thousand years ago." ] years ago." It is probable that there were as good men a thousand or two thousand years ago, but it is very improbable that the latter had derricks.
Mr. Rickman, in the twenty-eighth volume of the "Archæologia," gives a plate embodying his ideas of the manner in which the uprights were raised into their positions. He has assumed, however, that the people of that day had ropes. The Rev. Richard Warner, the historian of Bath, in his "Walk through some of the Western counties of England," p. 216, (1800,) says: "What is there in these Celtic temples that should so greatly excite our admiration? Even in Stonehenge, the most stupendous of them, we see nothing that might not readily be effected by the united efforts of tumultuary numbers. The wondrous stones which compose it would be found
“English Traits,” 1856.
in the neighbourhood of Marlborough, amongst that assemblage of rocky fragments called the Grey Wethers; would be floated down the Lesser Avon to Amesbury; conveyed to the spot where they now stand with the assistance of rollers; and lifted to their present situation by the inclined plane; operations which seem to include no particular sagacity in their designation, or difficulty in their execution; particularly when it is recollected that the whole strength of the nation was directed to accomplish the work by the irresistable impulse of superstition." Mr. Max Müller, in his interesting paper on "Cornish Antiquities," in the third volume of "Chips from a German Workshop," thus treats this question: "Marvellous as are the remains of that primitive style of architectural art, the only real problem they offer is how such large stones could have been brought together from a distance, and how such enormous weights could have been lifted up. The first question is answered by ropes and rollers, and the mural sculptures of Nineveh show us what can be done by such simple machinery. We there see the whole picture of how these colossal blocks of stone were moved from the quarry on to the place where they were wanted. Given plenty of time, and plenty of men and oxen, and there is no block which could not be brought to its right place by means of ropes and rollers. And that our forefathers did not stint themselves either in time, or in men, or other cattle, when engaged in erecting such monuments, we know even from comparatively modern times. Under Harold Harfagr, two kings spent three whole years in erecting one single tumulus ; and Harold Blatand is said to have employed the whole of his army and a vast number of oxen in transporting a large stone which he wished to place on his mother's tomb. (Saxo Grammaticus, 'Historia Danica,' lib. x., p. 167, ed. Francfurt, 1576.) As to the second question, we can readily understand how, after the supporters had once been fixed in the ground, an artificial mound might be raised, which, when the heavy slab had been rolled up on an inclined plane, might be removed again, and thus leave the heavy stone poised in its startling elevation."
The writer is indebted to Weaver's "Monumenta Antiqua" (Nichols 1840), for the following quotation: "Bray, in his work on the part
of Devonshire bordering on the Tamar and the Tavy, observing that in India, on the tops of some of the pagodas, there are amazing masses of rock, adds, that to place them in such elevated situations they had recourse to aggeration. They took the laborious method by accumulated earth of forming an easy ascent or inclined plane to the top, by means of levers rolled them to the summit, and then removed the mound (Bray, vol. i., p. 228)."
Mr. Tom Smith, sometime master, successively, of the Craven and Hambledon packs of hounds, a good artist and a clever man, had a theory about the manner in which the stones were set up, which is worth giving in the words of his biographer: "Being shortly after on a visit to the Bishop [Denison, his brother-in-law], a party was made up to go to Stonehenge. On their return there was a discussion on that wonderful structure, in which Mr. Smith did not take part. This caused the Bishop to ask if he did not agree with the rest as to the almost superhuman character of the pile, and the inadequacy of any known means for raising it: he replied that he saw nothing so marvellous about it, and that he thought he could point out a way in which it might have been constructed. Pen, ink, and paper were forthwith placed before him, and he was desired to put his ideas in a tangible shape. He at once made a sketch, and the matter furnished conversation for the evening. The Bishop, looking at the sketch, allowed that there might be something in the supposition, and next asked where the huge stones of Stonehenge could have come from. Mr. Smith then gave an account of a fox having been run to earth at the Grey Wethers, and explained that these stones are just of the same character; some of them being twenty feet long, seven or eight wide, and three or four thick. He allowed that it would require a great number of men to transport such stones for ten miles over Salisbury Plain: but anyone who looks at the Wansdyke, which traverses the same district for thirty or forty miles, will
1 One would like to know how the roof of the Mausoleum of Theodoric, at Ravenna, which is formed from a single block of limestone, 36 feet in its internal diameter, and estimated to weigh above 200 tons, was raised to its place.
2 "Sporting Incidents in the Life of another Tom Smith," 1867.
see that there is no real objection. Whoever they were that dug that wide dyke, and threw up that high bank, must have had abundance of labour at command; and though Mr. Goodman's fourteen horses could not move one of the Grey Wethers, long levers very probably could. As Dr. Johnson says in Rasselas, 'The master of mechanics laughs at strength;' and Archimedes had said long before him, 'Give me a place to stand on, and a lever, and I will move the world.' Trunks of oaks bound with iron, and pierced with holes for levers would furnish rollers to propel the stones to very near their ultimate destination. It is also necessary to suppose the site of Stonehenge occupied by a mound, either natural or artificial; the ascent being by an easy incline from the quarter whence these stones were brought. On the top of the mound we must suppose as many holes dug as there were upright stones to be placed. On the arrival of each stone, it would be dropped into its hole; and when all were thus placed, there would only remain the more easy task of laying on the imposts, each end of which evidently has been mortised on to the perpendiculars. The earth would then be dug away, leaving the structure complete; and if this earth must be accounted for, we may think it probable that we see it in the numerous barrows near, that still exist on Salisbury Plain.”
For what purpose were these Stones set up?
O the writer, who believes in the pre-Christian erection of Stonehenge, it does not appear impossible to arrive at something like a rational conception of the objects of the founders of Stonehenge. Man, even the most savage and degraded, must have his god or gods. The religious instinct implanted in man, and fostered by the constant realization of his own weakness, and of the existence of powers above him, around him, and independent of him, by which his welfare is more or less affected, must have an outcome. And if he knows not the Creator he will worship the creature. And which of God's creatures would he be so likely to make the object of his simple-minded adoration, as that great body, which, by its light and heat, would appear to him to exercise the most potent influence over his material good? As the sun simply, or as the sun in connection with the moon and stars, it would be regarded by him as the natural object of his daily worship. "In the East," says Dr. Döllinger, "where the stars shine brightly in an ever-cloudless sky, and men more readily receive the influences of these heavenly bodies, astrolatry, or the worship of the stars that illume the earth, developed itself. Above all, it was the sun, the great quickener of nature, adored as the centre and lordly power of the visible universe, as the common source of light and life, by which men felt themselves irresistably attracted. For their high, ever-increasing susceptibility of natural impressions, and of the properties of the universe, led them to give themselves up with longing and passion to the sidereal powers, and they felt themselves governed by them as if by magic. The cultus they rendered them, the direction of all their intellectual powers towards them, the sympathy with their phases, their setting, disappearances and re-appearances, the every-where prevalent notion in all antiquity that the heavenly bodies were not dead masses of fire or earth, but living animated beings-all this involved them more