A New Medieval view of Stonehenge
British Archaeology, Issue 92 (2007)
Today our knowledge of Stonehenge is backed by a vast bibliography. This extraordinary monument figures prominently in the development of antiquarianism and archaeology, especially between the 16th and 18th centuries, as Stuart Piggott showed. It has been depicted by famous antiquarians and artists, from John Aubrey and William Stukeley, through Constable and Turner to Henry Moore and many others. The earliest drawings, however, predate this movement with origins in the Renaissance, and instead accompany a legendary history of the site.
Medieval representations of Stonehenge are extremely rare. For generations we have known of only two, dateable to the earlier 14th century. Further views do not appear until the second half of the 16th century, after a complete break in both the spirit and form of imagery. I can now describe, for the first time to the English-speaking world, a newlydiscovered medieval drawing of Stonehenge created in the 1440s.