From the archive: Stonehenge, it’s place in British prehistory - 16 September 1924

4 days ago

16 September 1924 People wrongly believe that this majestic group of ruins was the Westminster Abbey of the Druids in Britain

The belief that Stonehenge, in common with other megalithic remains in the British Isles — menhirs, dolmens, and circles, — is druidical, and that the majestic group of ruins on Salisbury Plain was the Westminster Abbey of the Druids in Britain, is widely held, and especially by the non-scientific public. It has found expression in many of the older Ordnance maps, in which the term druidical is applied to groups of prehistoric remains which are now known to belong to the Neolithic or Bronze Age. This error will doubtless be erased in future editions.

It has also led within recent years to the formation of a sect at Clapham who assume that they are the heirs of the Druids, and as such claim the right to bury the ashes of their dead at Stonehenge, which they view as the Mecca of their faith. From their own account it appears that they have already buried the ashes of some of their members and the bodies of some of their children within the precincts. Whatever they do in the future, we look to the Board of Works to prevent further desecration of the noblest pre-historic monument in Europe, or any interference with the exploration now being carried on by the Society of Antiquaries and the Wiltshire Archeological Society.

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