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selves beneath the huge stone irrespective of any other cause.)

Pegge estimated the larger one to weigh three or four tons. According to Isaacson, the largest was 15 ft. long, and weighed“ probably five tons.”

A comparison of the various plans (omitting that of Pilkington) shows that no material change in the number

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G. S. Ramsey, del.
Eight feet in direct line between A and B.

and disposition of the stones has taken place since Pegge's description of them in 1783.

Before proceeding further in our remarks upon the great stone circle, it is necessary to describe three other structures which bear some relation to it :

1. As shown in Sir J. G. Wilkinson's plan, a large barrow is placed near the south entrance to the circle, and adjoining the east side and external face of the vallum-on which, indeed, it partly rests. Between 1770 and 1824, three unsuccessful attempts bad been made to discover an interment; but a fourth, made by Mr. T. Bateman on May 23rd, 1845, resulted in its discovery. About 18 ins. above the natural soil, a large slab 5 ft. broad by 3 ft. wide was found to be the cover to a six-sided cist, constructed of ten pieces of limestone of different sizes placed on end, and having a floor formed of three other pieces : these, like the rest, being untooled. No soil had penetrated the cist, and its original contents had been undisturbed. These consisted of two small urns (one 4į ins. and the other 4. ins. high), calcined human bones, a bone pin, a small flint weapon, and a piece of iron pyrites. Evidently a barrow of the Neolithic period.

2. About 350 yards west of the great circle is a conical tumulus about 18 ft. high, which on two occasions had been explored without finding an interment. In January, 1848, Mr. T. Bateman, after operations extending over several days, found a small cist-vaen within a short distance of the apex of the barrow, and in it a small urn with burnt human bones, and some small pieces of flint. Here is Mr. Bateman's account of the former : “A rectangular cist, measuring inside 2 ft. 6 ins. by 2 ft., composed of four massive blocks of limestone, covered in by a fifth of irregular form, averaging 4 ft. square by 10 ins. thick."

It was subsequently “removed and re-erected in conformity with its original plan, in the garden of Lomberdale House, where it now remains.” We cannot help expressing the hope that it may at some future period be deposited in some public museum in Derbyshire. In the opinion of Mr. Bateman, the tumulus was evidently, like that of Silbury Hill, near the great temple of Abury, not primarily intended for sepulchral purposes, having been raised over four small mounds of a non-sepulchral character; but that, being so raised, advantage was taken to deposit the Neolithic interment in its upper part. Although known to antiquaries as Gib Hill, in the Ordnance Map just issued it is termed Bunker's Hill.

3. A very low elevation of stone and earth commences at the south-west side of the great circle, and extends for a considerable distance in a straight line in a westerly direction. Opposite Gib Hill, and about a hundred yards from it, it curves to the north and passes on to the northwest, where it is lost.

A great portion is either obliterated or presents but faint traces. This description agrees with the plan attached to the table of measurements made in 1823, and with the account by Rev. S. Isaacson in 1846.

We pass on to consider the purposes which the great circle and its surroundings were probably intended to serve, and may at once dismiss from our minds the possibility of its having been employed as a place of refuge, a fortification, or for an ordinary assembling-place of the local tribes. Two other suggestions have been made, and with a greater share of probability, viz., that it was either a barrow, or else a place for religious worship; and these demand a separate inquiry.

Sir J. Lubbock has defined "a complete burial-place" of the prehistoric period to consist of " a dolmen, covered by a tumulus, and surrounded by a stone circle ;” and at first sight Arbor Low appears to fulfil most of these requirements.

If, as is very probable, the stones in the centre belonged to a dolmen, and being approximately of the same length, they may have been the upright pieces, in which case the capstone alone would be wanting, and the completed structure would be similar to the example at Drewsteignton, in Devonshire. On the other hand, no known dolmen in England possesses such tall supporting uprights; and at present no sepulchral remains of any kind have been unearthed within the area. The want of covering material can form no basis of objection, inasmuch as some dolmens are known to have been left uncovered; while in some places the earth has been removed, but had any been needed for farming purposes adjacent to the present structure, the vallum would have supplied it.

That barrows are frequently surrounded by a circle of stones is correct enough ; they are, however, invariably of small size, in no instance approaching the length of those of Arbor Low. Those of Dartmoor may be cited as examples. Again, such stones are placed on the external

circumference of a barrow, whereas in the structure under description this was surrounded by a vallum with a fosse inside it.

Now Stonehenge and Abury are generally admitted to be temples of the prehistoric period. Stonehenge consists of a circle of huge blocks of stone, varying in height from about 16 ft. to 214 ft. (it is unnecessary for our present purpose to take the smaller ones into consideration), and hand-tooled. At a distance equal to its diameter it is encircled by a vallum of earth, and has one principal entrance. As the majority of the enormous barrows in its vicinity are known to belong to the Bronze period, the temple is universally assigned to the same age. Covering an area of 28.1

, acres, Abury, even in its ruin, termed by Sir J. Lubbock “the grandest megalithic monument in the world," has around it a vallum with an inner fosse, nearly circular in form, the enclosed space containing two enormous double circles of stone blocks reared on end, untooled, and from 5 ft. to 20 ft. in height. In the centre of each are the remains of dolmens (?), and access to the inner area was obtained by two entrances. It is believed to belong to the close of the Stone or to the commencement of the Bronze period.

Compared with these two structures, Arbor Low is certainly of a more primitive construction : a fact that, per se, appears to indicate its earlier date. It consists of a single row, set in a circle, of irregularly-shaped stone slabs; and although these are somewhat of smaller dimensions than those of Abury and Stonehenge, they are much larger than any connected with any barrow in England. In the centre are the remains of a dolmen (?), of which the slabs are larger than those in the circumference. Some of the striking resemblances to Abury consist in the stone circle being enclosed by a high vallum having a fosse on the inner side, the presence of two entrances, and the existence of a Roman road adjacent to it. A large number of the barrows opened by Mr. T. Bateman in its neighbourhood certainly belonged to the Neolithic period; and this is emphasised by the fact of the contents of the barrow, already pointed out, as resting partly on the south side of the vallum being assigned to the same period; this alone showing it—to use the words of Dr. Pegge—to “have been of a later construction than the temple itself.” It is, therefore, difficult to understand why Sir J. Lubbock refers Arbor Low “to the Bronze Age,” after attributing Stonehenge to the same period from the evidence of the contents of the barrows in its vicinity.

From the foregoing statements, it is but reasonable to conclude that Arbor Low must be regarded as a Neolithic temple, of a higher antiquity than either Abury or Stonehenge, and to be one of the oldest prehistoric monuments in England.

The remains of a circle at Penrith, figured and described in Ferguson's Rude Stone Monuments, pp. 128, 129, approximates closely in form and dimensions to those of Arbor Low; but all stonework has long since disappeared. A similar, though smaller, structure is preserved at Stennis, in the Orkneys, and some of the stones which yet remain (originally few in number) measure from 15 ft. to 18 ft. (Ibid., 241).

A few words may be devoted to the consideration of the probable form of worship suggested to have been practised there.

Dr. Stukeley's idea that it was one of the Dracontia, for the purposes of serpent worship, may be passed by without comment. So, also, may that of the Rev. S. Isaacson, as to the area being “divided into twelve equal parts, representing the months," so as to “constitute a calendar ... of three hundred and sixty days,” basing this on the assumption of there being exactly thirty stones in the circunference. This seems to be regarded as the correct number by the authors of the Crania Britannica, and to have “some astronomical significance” (i, 124).

Sun-worship was the form of religion practised here according to some some writers.

Isaacson, for example, remarks: " the position of the largest stone (in the centre of area) immediately facing the east, renders it not improbable that the founders were sun-worshippers ; and the two other stones, exhibiting indisputable marks of

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