Glastonbury has a knack of attracting stories. It is a place where legends of a once and future king and feet in ancient time provide a beguiling backdrop to remarkable archaeological remains. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey enticed a succession of investigators in the 20th century, but all of them left their endeavours incompletely published. Now a major project has tackled this backlog, and proved that fact can be every bit as fascinating as folklore.
In contrast, Apethorpe languished in obscurity for most of the 20th century. This country house gradually mouldered until it was taken into state care in 2004. Since then, study has revealed a residence fit for royalty, where a queen dined, and a king cavorted in the cellar.
Even well-known sites can still have secrets to share. Recent geophysical survey at Durrington Walls revealed that a handful of post-pits known from earlier investigations formed part of a gigantic monument. It stood for about 50 years before being dismantled and replaced by the famous henge.
The Roman townhouse that once stood at Lime Street in London was also demolished so that it could be replaced by a massive structure, in this case a new forum. Amid the rubble, archaeologists found a substantial chunk of a fresco that gives a glimpse of London’s polychrome past.
Finally, this issue ushers in the latest addition to the CA magazine typology, which I think we should call the Type 320. We hope that you like the new look, and enjoy the extra features.
IN THIS ISSUE:
The archaeological story
Attracted by its reputation as the mythical burial place of King Arthur and the earliest Christian church in Britain, archaeologists have excavated at Glastonbury Abbey for generations. We take a look at their work and new evidence from the sacred site.
BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT
The great Northamptonshire country house of Apethorpe was rescued from dereliction by the state some ten years ago. We follow its story from the original 15th-century building to its recent restoration.
RETHINKING DURRINGTON WALLS
A long-lost monument revealed beneath a famous henge
Ongoing fileldwork at Durrington Walls has revealed the presence of a palisaded enclosure beneath the banks of the famous Neolithic henge. What can we learn from this previously unknown monument and its demise?
THE LIME STREET FRESCO
Revealing Roman London’s polychrome past
How does a fragment of painted wall plaster from Londinium fit in with decorative trends from across the empire? We examine this Roman status symbol.
WAR AND PEACE
Saving the cell walls at Richmond Castle
A project is underway to record and research the fragile graffiti in Richmond Castle’s cell block. What does the writing on the wall reveal about the conscientious objectors held there during the First World War?
Norman mottes: not all they seem; Teesside’s oldest house; Record-breaking bullets at Burnswark; Mystery annexed at Camelon Roman fort; Colourful lives of Lincoln priests revealed; Staffordshire Hoard enters next stage; Plague DNA identified; Reading Abbey: first clues; Identifying Britain’s last hunter-gatherers; Finds tray
Joe Flatman excavates the CA archive
Virtual visiting on the Antonine Wall
The Small Isles; Art of the Islands; Ritual in Early Bronze Age Grave Goods; Stepney Green; A Mosaic Menagerie; The Neolithic of Mainland Scotland
The Mary Rose revisited
A round-up of what happened at Hadrian’s Wall: 40 years of frontier research
Chris Catling’s irreverent take on heritage issues
The Scythe Association