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massacred by Hengist. The writer of this account was probably ashamed of the follies of the previous reign, and so gave this colour to the transaction. This discrepancy does not in the least affect the main point, the period at which Stonehenge was raised. Whether it was in one king's reign or his successors', is, so far, quite immaterial. If on account of such variation we are to reject the united evidence as to the period, we must strike out many other facts in history. There is similar confusion about Robin Hood. Sir Walter Scott associates him with Richard I. The Records, on the other hand, gave the date of Edward II. It does not signify he lived about that time. Make the same allowance for the story of Stonehenge. Although the bards and chroniclers somewhat differed as to the origin of the structure they agree as to the period when it was built-the fifth century. He was therefore disposed to accept this date as the only historical one, and preferred it to vague speculations made without any authority whatsoever. This brings Stonehenge out as what it is most likely to have been, a British work; erected for British purposes-a strange structure indeed, but the times and builder were strange. Mr. Jackson then produced some curious circumstantial evidence from the legends and stories relating to Stonehenge, which he traced up to its source: all of which were explained by adopting this period and the substance of the story as told by the old British writers: but which were utterly inexplicable in any other way. He considered the small greenstone obelisks as the key to the history. They were certainly brought from some great distance, and had been a sacred circle of great reputation. Like the Casa Santa at Loreto, a small cottage said to have been the Virgin Mary's house at Nazareth, but now enshrined in a magnificent church, so these obelisks, possessing some great traditional value, were transported hither, and enshrined in a coronet of the mightiest Grey Wethers that Wiltshire could produce. The central stone, commonly called the altar, he did not believe had ever been used for any purpose of the kind: but that was merely a station for some important personage during public meetings. It was altogether different from the rest. He then pointed out that the largest stones both at Avebury and Stonehenge
were in point of size, perfectly insignificant compared with the enormous statues and obelisks of Egypt. The statue of Sesostris, at Thebes, weighed 892 tons, being one single block. So that there was no great magic required for moving stones of 40 or 50 tons. It was only a question of so many bullocks or men. The whole story of Stonehenge admitted of a perfectly simple explanation, if people would only be satisfied with the story stripped of the absurdities with which time and the want of regular history has invested it. But they had been so long accustomed to think that it must necessarily belong to some unknown period of antiquity, that to call it only 1300 or 1400 years old was not to be endured. The subject was enveloped in obscurity, but, upon the whole, he leaned to the opinion that it was of the fifth century.
"Mr. Matcham said he had no intention of attempting to answer every argument which Mr. Jackson had adduced, but there were one or two observations which had fallen from that gentleman to which he would take the liberty of adverting. With reference to Stonehenge having been the work of the Belga (a suggestion, by the way, not originally made by Dr. Guest, but propounded before he was born), he asked, how the stones forming the outer circle at Stonehenge could have been obtained, supposing Wansdyke to have been the boundary between the Belge and the ancient Britons? It was pretty well established that they were sarsen stones, which could not have been found in sufficient quantity on the southern side of Wansdyke. Stones of that kind must have existed in considerable quantities, to have enabled the workmen to pick out large uniform blocks like those at Stonehenge. So far with reference to the Belgæ having been the authors of Stonehenge. Supposing it, however, to have been built by Vortigern, there was no occasion to enter further into the question, but he (Mr. Matcham) thought there were strong reasons against that supposition. Now as to its erection subsequent to the desertion of this island by the Romans:-everybody who visited Stonehenge must acknowledge it to have been the result of a vast amount of labour-the whole mind and body of the people must have beem brought together for that one purpose. That, he apprehended, could not have been the case at the time of the desertion
of Britain by the Romans, for the country was then split into parties, not only political but religious. Now the religion of the southern portion of the county was mainly Christian, although he quite admitted with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Herbert that there was an attempt to infuse into it the spirit of other creeds. If however, a new building was to be raised, and there had been anything like a mixture of religions, there would most probably be the marks of two religions upon that building. Now Stonehenge bore not the slightest mark of Christianity, and this had always been, to his mind, a great objection to the theory of the late Mr. Algernon Herbert. Then again the specimens of pottery which had been found in the neighbourhood were of the rudest description, and evidently belonged, not to the Romans, but to the ancient Britons. Again, the country was, at the time of Vortigern, ravaged by war, and it was not likely that such a period would have been selected for the erection of such a mighty monument as that of Stonehenge. The writings of the Welsh bards simply went to show that the building was standing at that time— indeed, Mr. Davies, the author of Celtic Researches,' who well understood the old Welsh poetry, said the opinion of the bards was that Stonehenge had been standing from time immemorial. The only authority for Mr. Herbert's theory was Geoffrey of Monmouth. He could not suppose that at the time when the country was invaded by the Picts and Scots, Vortigern could ever have sent a fleet to Ireland to bring something like thirty stones to the Amesbury Downs. The smaller stones were certainly not from the neighbourhood, and they might have come from Ireland. He
himself was inclined to the belief that the outer circle of Stonehenge was erected by Phoenician architects. They first settled at the Land's End, in Cornwall, and having lead and iron mines, in Wales, it was by no means improbable that they drew these stones from different parts of the country as emblems of the places whence they derived their wealth. He did not say it was so, but there was just as much reason for the supposition, as that Merlin brought them from Ireland."
The following are the conclusions to which one of our most thoughtful and learned antiquaries, the Rev. John Earle, has come;
first, that Stonehenge was constructed with reference to sun worship, and, secondly, that there might be some truth in the legend which made it a sepulchral monument. "As regarded the date he was inclined to believe it should be resolved into two parts, and that the interior oval and the interior circle were of one and the same age, and were to be classed with other unhewn monuments existing in various parts of the country, and that they were not in a position to form any definite opinion as to their date. With reference to the external circle, the stones composing which had been worked with iron, he was of opinion that it must have been raised after the Romans left this country. The only objection he had ever heard to this view was that the chippings of the two kinds of stones had been found together, but he should like to know the circumstances under which they were found, because it appeared highly improbable that the smaller stones were ever chipped, because they were all of granite or other igneous rock, of which he understood the like was only to be found in Wales or the West of Ireland. In conclusion, he said when they considered that the erection of Stonehenge had left no record behind it, they might naturally reflect how late in the career of the human race written history entered. A large number of monuments in different parts of the world, more or less analogous to Stonehenge, were the only records of a vast period of unwritten antiquity. In them they saw what grand conceptions, what symmetrical designs, what heavy undertakings, men were capable of before they arrived at the art of even the rudest chronicling. And there is nothing in the execution of those works on which investigation had hitherto been able to fasten as a character, whereby they might be arranged in a chronological scale. Those who took their stand upon records and monuments made their way upwards to meet those who, starting in the remote era of geologic time, were striving to connect their researches with the history of man."
The last opinion shall be the brief, but weighty one, of the distinguished writer on ethnological archæology, Sir John Lubbock, who has done so much, by his purchase at Abury, and by his speeches in Parliament, to awaken, and strengthen, an interest in the preservation of our ancient monuments. He thinks "it may be
regarded as a monument of the Bronze Age, apparently not all erected at one time, the inner circle of small, unwrought blue stones, being, probably, older than the rest ;" and that it was " used as a Temple." ("Pre-Historic Times," p. 116.)
Herbert, in his learned and amusing book, speaks, in his sarcastic vein, of the variety and vanity of the opinions about Stonehenge. Whatever any Member of the Society may think about their vanity, there can be but one opinion as to their variety.