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were buried in the convent at Ambresbury, | the Botallick circles near Penzance in Cornthought fit to send for Merlin to counsel him wall, and were no doubt in former times ten as to the proper monument to be erected to times inore numerous, it seems very unlikely the slain.” He then goes on to tell the same that no classical author should have alluded story as Giraldus, with more detail, and to this mode of honoring their dead, or wormore miraculous circumstances. Henry of shipping their gods, on the part of the naHuntingdon mentions it as one of the won- tives of this country. The Romans could ders of Britain, but merely to ask “Quare not possibly have been ignorant of their exibi constructi sunt ?” a question to which he istence, as Old Sarum, where four of their gives no answer. Camden, in 1556, men- great roads meet, is hardly six miles from tions it as the common report that " Ambro- Stonehenge, and another of their roads sius Aurelianus, or his brother Uther Pen- passes within a mile of Avebury, and cuts dragon, did rear them up by the aid of across its two avenues. Yet we have deMerlin, that great mathematician, in mem- tailed accounts of the worship of the Druids, ory of the Britains who, by the treachery of and of the modes of burial adopted by the the Saxons, were slain at a parley. Others natives, not only in one but in several ausay that the Britons erected this for a stately thors, while no mention is made of these sepulchre of the same Ambrosius in the stone circles, which certainly are, and were, very place where he was slain by the en- the most remarkable works of the native emy's sword.”
Britons. The Welsh Triads seem in more instances Roman coins have been frequently found than one to allude to this building, and so by those who have been digging in and far as their meaning can be made out con- about Stonehenge. These were never ili firm all that we have quoted, but their tes- such sites as would render it certain that timony is so indistinct that it is impossible they had existed there before the monument to rely upon it. The general result to be de- itself; but in 1797, when Mr. Cunnington rived from the assertions of all those who was exploring the holes formed by the fall expressed an opinion on the subject before of one of the great trilithons, he found fragthe Vitruvian theory of Inigo Jones, simply ments of fine black Roman pottery in the is, that Stonehenge was a cenotaph, or me- bottom of the pits, and consequently under morial kirk, * erected by a British king, Au- the base of the great stones. He suggests relius Ambrosius, to commemorate the death that they may have fallen into the pits afterof those who had fallen in battle in the great wards; and as this is possible, though very struggle with Hengist, or who were slain by improbable, it will not do to rely too much his treachery. So consentaneous is the tes- upon the circumstance, but, like the coins timony, and so probable the story, that we and other fragments of Roman pottery dismight suppose some very strong reason ex- covered about the place, it must be considisted for rejecting it, but the probabilities of ered as strong presumptive evidence that the case, on the contrary, seem so strongly the building was erected after Roman times. to confirm it, that less evidence would al- This view is further confirmed by the ormost suffice to establish this as the true his- dinance of the building, the amount of art tory of the monument.
shown in hewing the stones into shape, and In the first place we have the negative the exactness with which the upper stones evidence of the total silence of all the Greek are fitted to the lower ones by tenons and and Roman geographers with regard to these mortices. From all we know we have no circles. It is true, that, as no Pausanias reason to believe that before the Roman ever visited these shores, it would not be conquest the Britons were capable of movwonderful if no mention were found of such ing such masses, or of fashioning them with à monument as Stonehenge; but as these such art, or of arranging them with such circles exist everywhere, from the “Stand- regard to architectural effect. If we admit ing Stones of Stennis” in the Orkneys, to the end of the fifth century to be the true
cpoch of the erection, this is easily under* There can be very little doubt but that the stood; for the Britons had then the advanword kirk, or, as we solten it into church, is iden- tage of all that was taught them by thc Rotical with the French cirque, or Welch cyrch, a cen
It also explains why Stonchenge tre or circle. It was applicd by the German and Celtic nations to their Christian places of Worship, alone of these circular buildings was erected because in early times these were almost invariably with hewn stones, and with a view to a comcircular, but also it may be assumed because the plicated architectural effect, for its reputed pro-Cliristian places of Worship were of that form, founder was by descent a Roman, and have and probably had that name. Kirkdale, in Cum- ing been educated as such he naturally berland, for instance, takes its name from an ancient circular temple of earth wliich is called the strove to instil some of the art of his ancesKirk to this day, and many other examples might tors into the works of his subjects, while be cited.
Avebury, and the other buildings of purely
British origin, still retained the impress of careful examination of all the circumstances the rude conceptions of uncivilized races. of the c case, the conclusion seems inevita
If from Stonehenge we pass to the neigh- ble that Silbury Hill stands on the Roman boring circles at Avebury, we do not find road, and consequently must have been much that at first sight throws any light on erected subsequently to the time of the Ro our inquiries. No ancient author mentions mans leaving the country. As excavations the place by name, and no local traditions have proved that it was not a burying-place, hint at the time or the purposes for which it probably is a monument erected to comit was erected. Silbury Hill, however, is memorate some event which took place there. not quite so mute, and does furnish one or It may be that a battle was decided on this two indications of no small value. For this spot, and it may be that the dead of the vicpurpose it was necessary to assume that it torious army were buried beneath the val. forms a contemporaneous part of the arrange- lum, or in the circles of the neighboring temment. This, however, can hardly be doubted, ple at Avebury. Whether this were so or as it forms so symmetrical a portion of the not, we may rest tolerably sure that Silbury whole, standing as it does exactly opposite Hill
, for whatever purpose erected, was to the centre of the temple, and almost ex- heaped up after the departure of the Romans actly half way between the two great avenues from this country. which stretch out like arms as if to embrace That Avebury was a burying-place seems it. It has, indeed, been more than once re- tolerably clear from the following passage, marked that if you take a pair of compasses disinterred by the late Mr. Kemble from the and place one leg on Silbury Hill, and the “Codex Diplomaticus Evi Saxonici.” : A other at the exact distance of a Roman mile, Saxon conveyancer, in describing the bounyou describe the avenues, and pass
through daries of the estate of Overton, which lies" the centre of the temple itself. This has between Marlborough and Avebury, begins been used as an argument by Rickman and his description at Kennet and Wodensden; others for its post-Roman design; but the thence proceeds to the Wansdyke; and after coincidence
may be accidental, and the going round the township through a number avenues, if meant for a semicircle, are so of well-known places, comes back to Kennet, badly drawn that little reliance can be placed where he adds these remarkable words on such an indication.
“thence northward up along the Stone-row, There is another indication, however, of thence to the burial-places.” That the Stones much more value, which is that the Roman row was the Kennet avenue no one can road from Bath to Marlborough either passes doubt, and that the burial-places were the under the hill, or makes a sudden bend to Avebury circle, is, to say the least of it, exget round it in a manner that no Roman tremely probable. road, in Britain at least, was ever known to If Stukeley had not been determined to do. Unfortunately the spread of cultivation find a Dracontium at Avebury, he probably has obliterated the road for nearly a mile would have arrived at this conclusion long on either side of the hill itself; for, like all ago, for he records that, “when Lord Stawell, the roads in the down country, it was neither who owned the manor of Abury, levelled the paved nor metalled, so that no traces of its vallum on the side of the town next the course remained when once the plough had church where the barn now stands, the work. passed over it. Still no one standing on men came to the original surface of the Oldborough Down, and, casting his eye ground, which was easily discernible by a along its straight unbending line, can avoid black stratum of mould upon the chalk. seeing that it runs straight at the centre of Here they found large quantities of buckSilbury Hill. It is true it may have diverged horns, bones, oyster-shells, and wood-coals. just before hitting it, but nothing can be The old man who was employed in the work more unlikely. It would have been just as says there was a quantity of a cartload of easy for the Roman engineer to have carried the horns, that they were very rotten, and its arrow-like course a hundred yards to the that there were many burnt bones among right. This indeed would have been a pre-them.” If this be so, the mystery of Aveferable line, looked at from a Roman point bury may easily be cleared up by a section of view,-straighter for Marlborough, to being cut, or a tunnel bored through the val. which it was tending, and fitting better to a
* Every thing in this neighborhood is redolent of fragment of the road found beyond the vil. Woden ; for, besides Wodensden, the great Wanslage of Kennet. But all this was disregarded dyke was originally called Wodensdykc. The if the hill existed at that time, and the road great battle wliere Ceawlin was defeated in 591 was runs straight at its heart, as if on purpose Swindon. The Kill between Avebury and Silbury,
at Wodensbeorh, close by, between Avebury and to make a sharp turn to avoid it, a thing enclosed by the two avenues, is still called Waden as abhorrent to a Roman road-maker as a
or Woden Hill, and other instances occur all over vacuum is said to be to nature. From a this part of the country.
lum. If burned human bones are found, no of these buildings; and the only conclusion one will doubt that the Saxon records are we can come to is that in the remote corners correct, though it hardly requires this testi- of France the old superstition still lingered, mony to prove that it was, like almost all and the old mode of burying was still practhe circular buildings throughout the world, tised, even as late as the twelfth century. dedicated to the memory of the dead, and One other indication of date is worth allud. not to the worship of any living God. ing to, which is, that the name given to these After Stor
enge and Avebury the most so-called Druidical remains are in almost important group of circles in the south of all instances Saxon, which would hardly be England is that at Stanton Drew, in Somer- the case if they had existed long before the setshire. They possess a tradition, such as Saxon period, and had had any well-known it is, that the place was erected by Keyna, Celtic appellation applied to them. In many the daughter of a Welsh prince who lived in cases, such as Stonehenge, Stanton Drew, the fifth century, and who, having crossed Stennis, etc., it is the good Saxon word for the Severn in search of a secluded spot stone, which is the main feature in their nowhere she might devote herself to contem- menclature. Stonehenge, it is true, seems plation, fixed on Stanton Drew. Then fol- to have been called Choir Gaur, somewhat lows the story of the snakes, which need absurdly translated by the monkish chronihardly be repeated. The one point which clers“ the Giant's Dance.” Chorea, however, at present interests us is the date of the fifth certainly meant then as now Choir, as we now century, which is given as the time of its understand it, and Gaur may have been used erection.
as an adjective to mean simply “gigantic The well-known Kits-Cotty-house is al- choir," -an appellation without any local ways assumed to be the grave of Katigren, meaning. Its real name was either • Stanwho was killed in the battle of Aylesford Henge” or hanging stones, or, which is even fighting against Hengist; and the neighbor- more probable, “Stan-Hengist,” from being ing circles of Addington across the Medway erected to commemorate those who fell in are in like manner believed to be the bury- the war against that invader. Be this as it ing-places or to have been erected in mem- may, the final proof of the age of these ory of those who fell in that struggle. Bru- buildings will probably be ascertained from ath Arthur, or Caermarthenshire, carries its well-directed excavations. Hitherto, from date in its name. Even Rolldrich, in Ox- being assumed to be temples, none of those fordshire, is irreverently ascribed to Rollo, who have been so industrious in digging into the Dane; and though this can hardly be barrows have ever thought of exploring the maintained, it is at least curious that every floors of these circles. Many, no doubt, like shadow of tradition that exists regarding Stonehenge, were mere monuments,-many these monuments should point to the time enclose sacred spots, as probably was the which elapsed between the departure of the case at Rolldrich; but Avebury was almost Romans and the conquest by the Saxons as certainly sepulchral, and so, in all probabilthe period when they all were erected. The ity, were the greater part of the similar erectraditions may be too vague to be of much tions which still exist in most parts of these value in themselves, but they become valua- islands. ble when they confirm the evidences derived Pending some more systematic investigafrom other sources.
tion we may rest content with the approxiIt was supposed that the cognate monu- mate certainity that all great stone monuments of Brittany would throw some light on ments of this country belong to the period the subject; but they are perhaps even more that elapsed between the departure of the Rouncommunicative than our own, or it may be mans and thg conquest of the country by that they have been less diligently explored. the Danes and Saxons to that great ArthuThere is, however, one curious cromlech in rian period, to which we owe all that we that neighborhood which lets us into a secret know of the poetry and of the mythology of that was hardly to be expected. It is called the Celtic race, and which seem to have the Dolmen de St. Germain-sur-Vienne, and been their culminating point in the early is situated near Confolens in Charente. Its form of their civilization. In France, where peculiarity is that the stone table, which, as the Saxons never went, the Celts seem to in all monuments of this class, is a rude have retained their old faith and their old unbewn mass of rock, is supported by four feelings to a much later period. But even if slender columns of what we would call early these propositions are not fully admitted, English architecture. There is no reason their rejection does not affect the conclusion whatever to suppose that these are not the that Stonehege itself was crected by Aureoriginal supports of the roof, or that they re- lius Ambrosius, who reigned from about placed the rude blocks which, in all other 464 to 502, A.D., and who raised it as a meknown instances, support the upper stone I morial to those who fell in the Saxon war.
Although, therefore, there seems to be no the river or dispersed in the air. The rites great difficulty in fixing a date to these seem to have finished at the pyre, and the buildings with a tolerable degree of approx- subsequent disposal of the remains to have imate certainty, and although we may feel been thought of little importance.
The consure that the people who crected them were sequence is, that in India the tumulus is Celts, we are not much further advanced in only a simulated tomb, and generally contains the object of our researches, for we know so merely a relic of the deceased, a bone, a little of the history of this people at that tooth, a lock of hair,-it may be only a garperiod, and are so deficient in correct in- ment, or some household article. It bore, in formation as to their manners and customs, fact, exactly the same relation to a real tomb and the particular forms of their worship or as the sarcophagus containing relics and religion, that we are more inclined to look to forming the stone altar in Catholic churches the monuments to supply us with the partic- bears to a stone coffin used for the inhumaulars we are seeking, than to attempt to ex- tion of a body. It can not be doubted but plain the uses of the buildings from the that both these kinds of relic-shrines are a stores of our extraneous learning. In fact refinement on the practical modes of burial there does not appear to be any source from used before they came to be adopted. which light can be thrown on the question, .In India the tumulus is sometimes, though unless it should be that we can discover rarely, of earth, but generally of rubble maa cognate style of architecture among some sonry internally, and of hewn stone or brick more civilized people, whose writings or on the external surface, and originally was sculptures should cnable us, by comparing apparently always surrounded by a circular the known with the unknown, to solve the enclosure of upright stones, though in later riddle.
times this came to be attached to the buildIt is evident that neither Greece, nor ing as an ornamental band, instead of an inRome, nor Egypt, will supply this deficiency: dependent feature. In the most celebrated All the styles of the ancient Roman world example in India, that at Sanchee, the cirhave long been familiar to the learned, and cle consists of roughly-squared upright stone every conceivable analogy has been ex- posts, joined at the top by an architrave of hausted without any approach to success; the same thickness as the posts, exactly as but there is one style still existing in India, at Stonehenge ; the only difference being which has only recently been examined, and the insertion of three stone rails between which promises a better result. The Budd- each of the uprights, which is a masonic rehist architecture in India, as practised from finement hardly to be expected among the the third century B.C. to the seventh A.D., is Celts. What adds to their interest is, that essentially. tumular, circular, and external; almost every upright bears a short inscrippossessing the three great characteristics of tion to say that it is the “Danam (Donum) all the so-called Drudical remains. The an- or gift of some pious individual who is alogies of the two stylcs are not, it must be named. confessed, particularly apparent at first sight, The tope or tumulus itself was raised either for the obvious reason, that, though prac- by an individual or a body of men ; and altised contemporaneously, the eastern style though the principal one contained no relic, is the utterance of a highly civilized people, those around it did contain relics of Buddpossessing an extensive literature, fond of hist saints and missionaries who lived in the sculpture and carrying ornament in archi- third centuryB.C., and whose names and tectural detail to a most lavish extent, acts are familiar to Indian antiquaries. The whereas the western style is that of a rude surrounding pillars were the offerings of the uncivilized race, who, if they knew of let- people afterwards, but, as far as can be ters, have left no trace of them, never re- judged from the characters used in the inpresented the human figure, and have not scriptions, and other circumstances, they are set up a single stone with a sculptured all earlier than the Christian era. moulding upon it. To compare the two Besides being used as burial-places, or as styles is, consequently, no casy task, and re- relic-shrines, the tumuli of India were frequires an intimate knowledge of their es- quently erected to mark spots where great sentials which few possess, and which it is events, either sacred or secular, had occurred. difficult to impart without entering into elab- Of those which have been dug into and esorate details.
plored, hardly one-half have yielded relics ; The difficulty is further increased by the the rest denote battle-fields, or the localities fact, that inhumation of the bodies of dead visited by Buddha or his successors, and persons was rarely practised in India by any where they performed miracles, or some section of the population. Cremation seems other noteably act. always to have been the general practice, and Besides th:2 tumuli with their enclosing the ashes were commonly either thrown into circles, there are in India circles of upright
stones, which apparently enclose nothing. ished, their enclosures must have perished Of these, the most celebrated is that at with them. The similarity of the Menhirs Amravati, on the Kistna. It now surrounds and lậts need hardly be insisted upon, nor a tank, which certainly in modern times has the general peculiarity of the pyramid and been enlarged, but may have been a place relic worship so distinctly described by Clemwhere some one bathed, or where some mir- ens of Alexandria. This form of religion acle was wrought, which the stones were seems to be that which has covered the set up to commemorate and sanctify. Like greater part of Europe and of Asia with the every structure in India, the stones are cov- tumuli which meet the traveller's eye on ered with sculpture, but they are, otherwise, every plain, and have hitherto been considsimply two concentric rows of upright stones, cred merely as the depositories of the dead without any joining lintel, enclosing a space bodies of extinct races of men. 193 feet in diameter. In its immediate These coincidences are too striking to be proximity arc numberless little circles of accidental, and would no doubt have been rude unlewn stones, identical with those in perceived long ago, but for the want of any this country, but smaller. All which have recorded historical connection between the been openeil have been found to enclose races and the religions of two nations situated funereal remains. There are also in South- so far apart from cach other. The answer is ern India cromlechs so like those which exist on everybody's lips, — the one class of monu: both here and in France, that they could ments belongs to a Buddhist people, and they not be distinguished if placed side by side. are adapted to the rites of that religion; the There are again kistraens, sometimes simi- other belongs to a people whose priests were lar to our own, but generally consisting of four Druids, and were used for their sanguinary upright slabs, with a flat one on the top, but rites. Unless it can be shown that the all more or less squared either by splitting Druids came, as has often been suspected, or hewing. Single obelisks, or as we should from Dravida Desa, or the Madras country, call them Menhirs, are among the common- or that the Buddhist religion once prevailed est forms of Buddhist architecture. They in these islands, the analogies, however ingenare either isolated pillars, then called Lâts, ious, fail entirely in conveying conviction to put up to commemorate events or to bear the mind. inscriptions, or stand in pairs before the We have intimated that it is by no means gates or temples.
clear that the Druids were the priests of the Another form, but only now found in rock- inhabitants of the south-eastern parts of this cut examples, is the oblong choir, shaped country; but that their rotaries were to be into an apsc at the altar end, and having an found principally in the fastnesses of the aisle winding around in, so as to admit of a Welsh mountains and the forests of Anglesea, circulation of processions around the sacred and possibly also in the less cultivated forestspot. Some hundreds of these exist cut in districts throughout the island. The truth the rock in various parts of India, but there seems to be, as is clearly expressed by Edwin is only one example in a structural form, and Norris, the best and safest of our ethnograthat is among the tumuli at Sanchee. phers and philologists, that, – Here then
we have a group of monuments which, if not identical, must be admitted to “All the accounts left us by ancient writers bear a strong resemblance to those found in indicate two different races simultancously inthis country. We have tumuli which are habiting Britain; the one a tribe who went naked burying-places, but more rarely in both and painted their bodies, who dwelt in tents, countries than is generally supposed; tumuli and indulged in promiscuous intercourse, were which are relic-shrines, which many of those ignorant of agriculture, uscd stone latchets and opened in this country certainly are ; and arrows, and probably were cannibals; the others,
men who built houses, dressed in black garments tumuli which, like Silbury Hill, and many or skins, coincd moncy, constructed chariots, other blind barrows, are commemorative of
grew a grcat deal of corri, cxtractel inetals from the acts of living men, not depositories of the orc, made bronze tools, and probably had their bones.
some use of letters. It scems difficult to believe We have circles which enclose sacred that these were one people, though confounded by spots, circles which enclose tombs, circles classical writers, who reccived without criticism which enclose tumuli, like that at New the accounts broug!ıt liomo by casual travellers. Grange in Ireland, and the one destroyed at But this was in carly times, and the less civilized Avebury, but unfortunately we have in India race may have been destroyed or absorbed by no example of a circle enclosing a choir like with the island; and yet Saint Jerome in his
the time the Romans becamo better acquainted that at Stonehenge. That such there may youth, about the middlo of the fourth century, have been is more than probable, but they saw the Attacotti, ‘gens Britannica,' feeding on could not exist in rock-cut examples, and all human flesh; and he says that thiesc savages, the structural choirs except one having per- though they had plenty of swine and cattle in