Stonework

Stone carving, masonry, and related endeavors

Sexaginta Prista to receive facelift

The Roman heritage of the Balkans is about to get a boost with an EU-funded renovation project of the Roman fortress Sexaginta Prista near the city of Ruse, Bulgaria.

Did Stonehenge unify Britain?

Experts from the Stonehenge Riverside Project have concluded that "Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain."

St Winefride's Well on your smartphone

Developers at the Centre for Advanced Software Technology (Cast) at Bangor University in Wales hope that their new smartphone technology will allow visitors to really enjoy the detail of the historic site.

4th century synagogue vandalized in Israel

Israel Antiquities Authority deputy director Uzi Dahari reports that vandals, possibly ultra-Orthodox Jews, have damaged a rare 5th century mosaic in a synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias.

Experts gather to study historic Iona, Scotland

The island of Iona was recently the site of a gathering of international experts to study the island's carved stones and grave markers, and its unique history. The workshop was sponsored by Historic Scotland and the Iona community.

Thieves steal crusader statue from church window

Sometime between May 13-16, 2012, thieves chiseled the small stone statue of a knight from a window frame in St Michael's Church in Castle Frome, near Ledbury, England. The little knight is thought to commemorate a knight in the Crusades.

Scotland's first bullaun stone discovered on Isle of Canna

Scottish archeaologists are excited about the discovery of a bullaun or "cursing stone" linked to an early Christian cross on the Isle of Canna. The small, round stone, marked with a cross, dates to around 800 CE. (photo)

Agricultural processions may have marked seasons at Stonehenge

Archaeologists continue to make new discoveries that shed light on the construction and use of Stonehenge. The latest discoveries are "evidence of two huge pits positioned on celestial alignment" marking the rising and setting of the sun.

Nigg Old Trust to receive grant for conservation of Pictish stone

"It seems always to have stood in the churchyard at Nigg," said Liz Budge, of Nigg Old Trust about an intricately carved Pictish stone in Easter Ross, Scotland. The Nigg Old Trust has recently received a funding package of UK£178,000 for conservation and display. (photo)

The Pictish beast stone of Moray Firth

Isobel Henderson found something cruious - and exciting - in a stone wall on a Highland farm building near Moray Firth, Scotland: a Pictish beast stone dating to the 5th-7th centuries. The stone is carved with a beast, crescent, comb and mirror. (photo)

Roman quarry "too obvious" for notice

Archaeologist Karl-James Langford believes historians may have overlooked a Roman quarry in Barry, Wales because it was just "too obvious."

Ikea does Stonehenge

For all those who have struggled to put together an Ikea desk... Ikea does Stonehenge!

Did wicker help build Stonehenge?

For thousands of years, experts have debated how the huge stones that constitute Stonehenge were transported from Wales to their current site in southern England. Now engineer Garry Lavin has a new theory: wicker. (photo)

Irish stone crosses subject of thesis

In her 1991 Master's Thesis, The Role of the High Cross in Early Christian Ireland: 8th to 11th Centuries, Jill Quattlebaum discusses the early Christian Church in Ireland and the importance of the stone cross as its symbol. The thesis is available to read online.

Medieval alabaster comes to Florida

Sixty pieces of alabaster sculpture from the Victoria & Albert Museum are going on display at the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida (USA). The pieces date to the 14th and 15th century, and many still have original paint.

Stonework sheetwall process

Anyone interested in creating a stonework look for sheetwall should visit a gallery of photos by Isabelle Le Charpentier.

Stonehenge bluestones moved with aid of ball bearings?

A new study suggests that the massive "bluestones" at Stonehenge may have been moved into place with the help of ball bearings.

Insert Tab A into Slot B

Anyone who has tried to assemble a piece of furniture from Ikea or Wal-Mart knows that describing the instruction manual as "medieval" is far too kind. However, a researcher at the University of Warwick in England thinks medieval builders had a superior system for conveying construction information on everything from Gothic churches to Tudor houses.

Dunster cobblestones "extremely dangerous”

Once part of the Luttrell family estate, the village of Dunster, England could lose its medieval cobbled streets due to injuries caused by the cobbles' poor condition.

The Gargoyles of Leicestershire

Author Bob Trubshaw is on a mission to document all the gargoyles in Leicestershire, England. He has formed Project Gargoyle which deploys a team of amateur gargoyle hunters and photographers in the first initiative of its type in England.

Holy graffiti

Experts in Fife, Scotland believe a cross carved into the wall of a farm could be "holy graffiti" created by a 13th century pilgrim on his way to the tomb of Saint Margaret. The stone was later used to build the farmer's wall.

Japanese castle ramparts re-created in Ventura, California

This January, seven master stoneworkers from Japan joined a team of "rockknockers" at the International Stoneworkers' Symposium to construct castle ramparts using traditional dry stone masonry techniques in Serra Cross Park, Ventura, California.

Do you know a smile when you see one?

Early European explorers in the Caribbean islands commented on the "abominable" and "frightening" figures in the locals' art, with their bared teeth and "burning" eyes. But a new analysis suggests that the artists may have intended these expressions as inviting smiles rather than demonic grimaces.

Rune stones bore multiple messages

Swedish rune stones conveyed their meanings to their contemporaries in more ways than just through text, new research claims.

Would-be thieves find "clone of Stone of Scone" not a workable plan

In a caper worthy of Donald E. Westlake, a group of robbers carried out a careful plan to swap a 500-pound replica Stone of Destiny for the one in Scone Palace, Perthshire, only to discover they had stolen -- a replica.

Saxon stone monument up for auction agitates scholars

An elaborately carved Anglo-Saxon stone is up for auction in a move that has upset scholars of the period.  Nick Evered bought his house eight years ago with the stone already in it, and decided to sell it in order to be relieved of responsibility for the ancient artifact. The Evereds' home sits on the site of the hermitage of eighth-century St.Pega, Britain's first female hermitic saint.

Pennsic Memorial Runestone

Lord Valdis of Gotland, organizer of the Pennsic Memorial Runestone Project, reports on the status of the project and the need for additional resouces.

Eliseg’s Pillar still a mystery

Little seems to be known about the origins of Eliseg’s Pillar, a Dark Ages monument in Wales' Pant y Groes, the Valley of the Cross. The original pillar was kncoked down during the English Civil War, and re-erected in the 18th century.

Stonehenge surrounded by Stonehedge

A new study of the landscape around Stonehenge seems to suggest that Stonehenge was once surrounded by two low, concentric hedges. The media have dubbed the foliage "Stonehedge."

13th century cross may have served as Christian advertisement

A 13th century stone cross, once thought to be a gatepost in Dartmoor, England, may have served as a signpost for parishoners to attend church, according to Win Scutt of City College Plymouth. The cross was constructed from a two-meter long block of granite.