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Cool Finds of the Month

*Content warning: drawings of a human skull at the end of the post*

Whilst organising the stables archive there have been some interesting discoveries, here are some of them:

These mounted pictures of dinosaurs were used as a museum display piece! From left to right we have a styracosaurus, an iguanodon, and a ceratosaurus.

Plan drawing of a road accident from 1940
Plan drawing of a road accident from 1940, AKM accession number: 20004634.

During World War 2 Alexander Keiller worked for the local police force. This meant he had to write reports for any incidents that occurred in the area. Here we have one of his plans for a report.

At Stables, we also have Alexander Keiller’s floor plans for his London residence at Charles Street. It is interesting to see how the house was laid out during his time there.

HUMAN REMAINS DRAWINGS AHEAD

Below you can see a select few of Doris Chapman’s pencil drawings of some of the skulls from Alexander Keiller’s 1936 excavation at Lanhill. While not strictly an ‘Avebury paper’, they fall within the wider project’s remit to celebrate all the people who excavated Avebury, and allow more people to access Doris Chapman’s work and realise her contributions to archaeology.

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Getting the Stables Archive Ready for Photography

Here in the archive, we are gearing up for round two of photography. We are moving the photography equipment to the stables archive where we have a lot of our larger maps and plans stored. But before we make the move we have to make sure everything is in order.

the two main plan chests in the stables archive
The two main plan chests in the stables archive

To make sure photography at stables goes as smoothly as possible we have been doing some important prep work. This includes rehousing documents so they all have their own individual wallet and accession number.

rehoused documents in a plan chest drawer
Rehoused documents in a plan chest drawer

This is a super important job as we need to know exactly what we have before photography starts so we can make sure nothing gets missed during the process and so that accession numbers don’t get muddled up!

We’ve also started a more detailed catalogue, as some items were catalogued as a bundle.

A person holding up a large map of Avebury
Volunteer JM holding up a map of Avebury. Accession number: 20004915

Here we have volunteer JM holding up one of the many large maps of Avebury that we have in the collection. The organisation of the stables archive has led to some other interesting finds, stay tuned for a future blog post on these!

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Psychometry and the Giants of Archaeology

“I was glad to note that you made some protest against the vapours that have befouled the ether […] it is monstrous that the only prehistory broadcast should be this nonsense.”
– V Gordon Childe to Alexander Keiller, 10 October 1937

On Friday 17 September, 1937, BBC Radio aired one of a three-part series titled, “The Unchronicled Past” by antiquarian John Foster Forbes. Foster Forbes was dedicated to the idea that megaliths were built by the survivors from Atlantis. He was noted for his opinions on UFOs, giants, and psychometry, which was the practice of feeling and studying vibrations from ancient monuments. The inclusion of his ideas on BBC Radio sparked vociferous protest from contemporary archaeologists: including Alexander Keiller and V Gordon Childe, who was then Abercromby Professor of Archaeology at University of Edinburgh. For an excellent further discussion of BBC Radio and archaeology, see Jan Lewis’ 2021 PhD.

Fran and her team of digitising volunteers at Avebury came across materials in the archive that demonstrate push-back from archaeologists regarding unorthodox ideas about the past, and show how scholarly debate filtered into the mainstream.

A March 1937 clipping in the Daily Telegraph calls Childe a “Controversial Archaeologist” for denouncing the “simple supernaturalism” of physicists Sir Arthur Eddington and Sir James Jeans, and for calling Hitler’s Aryan theory “arrant nonsense”. 

“Controversial archaeologist” clipping from the Daily Telegraph, accessioned at the Alexander Keiller Museum as 88051526_078_001.

A 10th October letter from Childe to Keiller, containing the assessment of the “befouling vapours” of Foster Forbes’ theories, was sent on stationery from the Fleece Hotel in Richmond, Yorkshire, which is still a going concern. He rails against Foster Forbes’ appearance on BBC Radio, “It is monstrous that the only prehistory broadcast should be this nonsense.” He rallies archaeology’s institutions to protest and to “offer to advise the BBC as to the reliability of proposed talks” and complains about the admission of “any civil servant” to learned archaeology societies.

Howard Cunnington, curator for the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (WANHS), writes to Keiller on the same topic a couple days later. He attaches a resolution he was to put forth at the WANHS committee meeting, which expresses concern that the BBC had broadcast Foster Forbes’ “highly regrettable discourse on the ‘Stone Age’, which, as he admitted, set forth only his own ideas, which are entirely opposed to the evidence of all recent excavations, and to the opinion of the greater majority of accredited archaeologists”.

In Keiller’s reply to Childe (sent two weeks later, as he was suffering with flu), he echoes Childe’s complaint regarding the membership of Foster Forbes to the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Society of Antiquaries, and notes that he has suggested that both societies distance themselves from Foster Forbes’ views. He explains how The Prehistoric Society, WANHS, the Hampshire Field Club, and others have already made “articulate objections”.

Keiller also reveals how Kendrick (T D Kendrick, keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities at the British Museum) had written to him to suggest that “two reputable archaeologists should broadcast talks controverting Foster Forbes’ fantastic statements”. Modestly, Keiller suggests that he might “instantly name half-a-dozen men very much more competent to undertake the job than I. After all I am but an archaeological surveyor and an excavator when all is said and done”. Keiller duly appends a list of archaeological subjects and specialists including Grahame Clarke, “Hawkes” (probably Christopher, perhaps Jacquetta – both had contributed to BBC programming previously), R G Collingwood, O G S Crawford, and Stuart Piggott to propose to the BBC, asking Childe what he thinks to the idea.

There are several more letters back and forth between Keiller and Childe, and others, on Foster Forbes. These clippings and letters in the Avebury archive reveal Keiller and later curators’ interests in preserving discussions about archaeology as much as the physical archaeology. They show how networks of peers could be mobilised to defend – or gatekeep, depending on whose side you are on – archaeological narratives.

Over 80 years later, archaeologists are still mounting campaigns against what is commonly called “pseudoarchaeology”. Graham Hancock’s popular Ancient Apocalypse aired on Netflix in 2022, rehearsing some of the ideas Foster Forbes put forth regarding ancient people, aliens, and Atlantis.

John Hoopes, Flint Dibble, and Carl Feagans responded to this programme in the Society for American Archaeology journal, noting that by addressing pseudoarchaeology, archaeologists are “damned if we do and damned if we don’t” as some people argue that interacting with the theories – even to denounce them – adds legitimacy and visibility. Hoopes, Dibble, and Feagans record the various public-facing, social media, and popular media attempts to refute Hancock. Lobbying for a BBC series on the matter – as per Keiller’s suggestion – just would not reach the same audience as in 1939, as pseudoarchaeologies multiply across global, digital spaces.

Indeed, these theories seemingly hold enormous sway in public imaginaries. Alongside attempting to myth-bust, it is therefore vital to consider why these myths take root. During the recent Radio 4 ‘In our time’ discussion on megaliths, Melvin Bragg was audibly exasperated with the expert response to many questions of ‘we can’t know for sure’: archaeological myths play a powerful role creating and sustaining interest in ancient places, and go far beyond any individual or learned institution’s control. 

After speaking about the Avebury Papers on the radio, Colleen received a pamphlet regarding an alternate theory regarding Avebury involving ley lines. She emailed the author back and invited him to come to Avebury, perhaps to volunteer or just to have a chat. He was incredibly lovely, and declined, as he was very elderly and taking care of his partner. We hope he keeps in touch and we will share the online archive with him when it is available.

These enthusiasts are stakeholders in the Avebury Papers, and as a project team we are still trying to understand their interests and needs in our outreach and care of the digital archive. We hesitate to dismiss their attachment to Avebury as unimportant or irrelevant. Can we form an inclusive archive when these divisions have defined archaeology for decades? Or can we conceive of the Avebury Papers digital archive as an opportunity for reconciliation, de-escalation, and an invitation in?

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Avebury Papers on Outside the Box podcast

Just in time for Volunteers’ Week, 1-7 June in the UK, the Archives and Records Association (ARA) invited us to take part in their Outside the Box podcast!

Ros Cleal (Curator at AKM), Ros Preuss, Bev Stapleton, Prue Saunders (all volunteers with the digitisation project), and I chatted about how the project has been progressing, what it’s like volunteering at Avebury, and the kinds of stories we’ve started to explore.

You can listen to the interview on Spotify or via Libsyn.

Click here to listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4YAPN9i8IIMKk38dNTyu44?si=o4oYm4YOShup4xG3_qznFw

Click here for Libsyn: https://sites.libsyn.com/448569/website/volunteer-special-the-avebury-papers

A huge thanks to host Deborah for inviting us onto the show!

Outside the Box is a podcast about archives and the wonders they contain. Outside the Box is part of the Archives and Records Association’s Explore Your Archive campaign.

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Avebury People

Can you help us to identify the people who made the modern Avebury?

The Alexander Keiller Museum archive holds hundreds of photographs of people. The photographs span several archaeological campaigns across the decades, including excavations run by Harold St George Gray in Avebury Henge in the 1900-10s, and the Alexander Keiller-led work at Avebury and West Kennet Avenue in the 1930s.

As we progress through the project, we hope to identify as many people as we can in these photographs. Our volunteers are busy transcribing captions (when they exist), and collecting names from letters and diaries.

Do you recognise any of these excavators? Perhaps older relatives have photographs that show familiar faces?

Workmen during the 1909 excavations led by Harold St George Gray. Alexander Keiller Museum accession number 78510162.
Workers in 1937 at Avebury. Alexander Keiller Museum accession number 20004218-002.
Workers in 1939, erecting stones in Avebury henge. Alexander Keiller Museum accession number 20004243-002.

The fabulous digitisation volunteer team flag whenever a person is mentioned in letters and diaries. I then compile the names into a list, including details about the person’s role, if known. Later down the line, we hope to be able to match up names with photographs, as we work out who excavated which stone, or who was on site on a given week.

Our working list of ‘Avebury People’ is updated almost daily, but this blog post was last updated 19 February 2024. Check back again as we add new names!

If you recognise any names – especially if you have any photographs – we’d love to hear from you . Leave your comments below to be in touch, or email Fran dot Allfrey at York dot ac dot uk.

Avebury ‘Hands’

During the 1930s excavations at Avebury, the hired workmen were known as ‘hands’ in the diaries and other archive documents. These men lived in the surrounding villages and towns, some travelling quite some way to work. Many of them were agricultural labourers, but some of them returned ‘archaeological worker’ on census records.

SurnameForename(s)Role Further details
AlexanderHandAssisting George Bates 7 Oct 1939
AshA EHand1939, left for RAF Yatesbury job 27 Nov 1939
AshHenryHandHand – 1934, 1935, 1937. Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan). Made Foreman 20 Jul 1938
BallRichard / ‘Turnpike’HandTurnpike’ Ball of Turnpike Cottage. Hand 1937
BallArthur GeorgeHandHand, 1934, 35.
BirdJHand10 Jan 1939, tree-felling under Phil Withal. WEVY diary 22.
BlakeGeorgeHandMentioned in full 7 Jul 1939, 23 Oct 1939 (with Tommy King).Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan)
BlakeHarold JHandHand 1935, 1937 Absent without leave 25 Sep 1937. Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan)
BlakeLionelHand20 Sep 1937 Blake H mentioned 25 Sep 1937. Lionel Blake employed 8 Feb 1937 (WEVY 15) Second carter (haymaking) at WH (WEVY 16 p12) 
BlakeWHand1938: one of 13 men engaged at start of season
BowsherGeorgeHandHand – 1934, 1935. Filling in ‘ganger’ WEVY 9, Jun 7 1934
BrindleWilliam Henry JosephHandHand – 1935. 1937 Entered as Brindel (H) in the diary. Poultry runs, WEVY 12, 24 Oct 1935. Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan)
BuckinghamGeorgeHandHand 1937, 1938 (mistakenly recorded as ‘Buckland’ by NC?
BuckinghamNormanHandLeft 20 Oct 1939 due to call up. Stone Erecting gang member
BullArthur WilliamHandHand – 1934. Hand 1937, 1938
BullBertHandHand – 1935 Experienced wire fencer of Wint Monkton (WEVY 12, 31 Oct) Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan). Excavation gang Avebury (WEVY 16 p19) Hand 1937 Absent without leave 25 Sep 1937 “Turnpike’ [allotments]
BullLewis AdolphusHandHand. 1937 (21 June WEVY16). Carter. Grass cutting . 1939 Register next door to Sam Pratt Wint Monkton. b 29Mar1913
BullWalterHand
ButcherHandHand 1937
CableAlbert / Bert. Initials AH.Hand23 Aug 1937 Cable and Cable (L) mentioned on tasks: Two of this surname. B is given in 1939 diary, and at Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan). 10 Jan1939: Bert Cable on tree felling (WEVY 22).
CableLeonardHandHand – 1934. Hand 1937, 1938, 1939. Employed 8 Feb 1937 (WEVY 15). Tree-felling 10 Jan 1939 (WEVY 22)
ChiversBert (Herbert)HandHand 1937. Excavation gang
DobsonWilliam THandHand 1935, 1937 Erecting gang 1935 W Dobson WEVY diary 22 10 Jan 1939, tree-felling under P Withil
FishlockFrankHandHand – 1934. Hand 1937, assistant to Mr Van Asch (WEVY 16 p20), Foreman 1938
GaleRHandHand – 1934.
GoddardJHandHand – 1934, 1935. Separate to S. Goddard. Erecting gang 1935
GoddardS: H in WEVY diary 9HandHand – 1934. Former Windmill Hill hand. WEVY diary 9 has H Goddard, Apr 10
GriffithsAHandChief assistant to Griffiths, stone erector, from Caernarvon. WEVY 12 Sep 6 1935 
GriffithsG – given as GD in diary, see bio sketchHandGriffiths – ‘drills’ – so D is not part of name. Office of Works foreman WEVY 10 Jun 14 1934 Previously at Stonehenge. Raising stones.
GriffithsWilliamHandGriffiths in charge of stone erecting, with two assistants. From Caernarvon (WEVY 12, 25 Oct 1935)
HambidgeErnest Henry (Hambridge?)HandHand – 1934. Former Windmill Hill hand. Photo in WEVY diary!
HancockGHandDiary 20 p114Jun1938: one of 13 men engaged at start of season
HarperJohnHandHand – 1934.WEVY 9 p157 : John Harper of West Kennet
HeadWHandHand mentioned 21 Nov 1938, 19 Jun and13 Jul 1939. ‘Footman’ living at AM 1939 — CHECK THIS – – where is this info from? 1939 Register, Avebury Manor. W Head,WEVY diary 22, 10 Jan 1939, Hand
Hillier/HillyerHandMentioned September 1938
HorsallHHandApr 9 1934 One of six original ‘Hands’ Same as B Horsell in Keiller diary? ‘Herbert’ otherwise ‘Bert’
HorsellBHandHand – 1934.
Jock Hand1937 – Hand and in charge of concreting gang.
JonesJCHandCarpenter 1939
KingTommy’HandPatrolling site 1 August 1937, working 23 Oct 1939 with George Blake
LanfearWFHandHand – 1934. WEVY 9 has WF Lanfear p157 of Avebury
LiggerHandFirst mentioned with Strange 11 Oct 1937. May not be a Hand.
LoveseySHandHand – 1934. Hand 1937 WEVY 9 has S Lovesey p157 of Wint Monkton. Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan)
LoxtonMHandExcavating with Bert Bull an W Knight 19 Oct 1937. Diary 20 p1 14Jun1938: one of 13 men engaged at start of season
LushJohnHandForeman for Gray – 1909. ‘From Dorchester’
Mathews / MatthewsW / BillHandSpelled 2 ways across diaries
NashBHandHe did two seasons at WH, then 1939 till 27Nov at Avebury. Of Winterbourne Monkton. 
NashAHand1939 diary. Is this person related to or same as A Nash, perhaps? Probably refers to the same person, AE (Bert) Nash.
NashStanleyHandHand 1937 Excavation gang
PearceOHandHand – 1934. Former Windmill Hill hand. Excavation foreman at least 1937-9. Older than W? [‘snr’ in diary is scratched out]. 
PearceWHandHand – 1934. Former Windmill Hill hand. Contracted to Bevan Nov 1935 (WEVY 12)
PrattSamuel HaroldHandHand – 1934,1938 Former Windmill Hill hand. Allotment holder 1935
RadbourneErnestHandHand – 1934. Older brother of Francis
RadbourneFrancisHandHand – 1934. Younger brother of Ernest
RandallFrankHandFirst mention18 Oct 1938
Rathband / RathboneFHandHand – 1934. F Rathband in WEVY diary 9 p91, replaced O Pearce while ill
RogersDonald HandHand 1937, 1938. D Rogers at Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan) Avebury (WEVY 16 p 19)
SalisburyJohn SHandHand, brought from Wales by Mr Griffiths WEVY 10, 18 Jun 1934
SandersonH / ‘Sandy’Hand
StrangeA MHandHand 1937 and Re-excavation of WH 1937 (WEVY 15, 5 Jan)
TuckAHandHand – 1934. Hand 1937(?). Also appears WEVY diart
WhiteHand
WilliamsW.E.HandWEVY diary: 1937 Diary 15 March 8, Jul 9

Staff, Visitors, Correspondents, and more!

The names below have been collected from diaries and letters in the collection. Their roles are varied: some only visited Avebury once, some might have only sent one letter, while others are vital Avebury figures. Each of them occupies a place in the Avebury network, showing how activities here related to archaeological and social goings on further afield. Our volunteers are busy sifting through each name to work out their particular relationship to Avebury.

SurnameForename(s)Role Further details
Acland HoodVisitorVisited 14 Aug 1939 with Gertrude Caton Thompson
AllenVisitorvisitors 14 Jul 1937
AndersonPVisitorListed on ‘Experts visiting site’, 1936, visited 8 Sep 1937
AndersonAvebury localWEVY diary 10, Jul 21 1934. Leased Trusloe Manor to Keiller for 1934 season. With boxing party WEVY 15, 6 Mar 1937. Local person.
ArmstrongJohnVisitorVisitors 25 June 1938, stayed two nights
Ashby RoweMr and MrsVisitorVisitor 27 August 1935
AwdryHasvice[?]VisitorVisited with Colonel Awdrey 28 Sep 1937
AwdryVisitorvisitor 29 Jun, 31 Jul, 28 Sep, 20 Oct 1937; 5 Sep 1938; 11, 28 Sep, 11 Nov 1939
AwdryVisitorVisited with husband, Colonel Awdry and friend 11 Nov 1939
BatesGeorgeSupplier/ ContractorForeman 1937, 1938, 1939 (stone repair specialist)
BathVisitorVisitor 20 Oct 1937 with Col Awdry
BellMrsVisitorVisit July 1935
BellsMrVisitorVisit July 1935, with members of the Southampton Archaeological Society. Also appears WEVY diary.
BensonGuyVisitorWEVY diary 9: May 5 1934, second husband of Lady Violet Benson “of Avebury Manor”
BensonVioletVisitorSeveral visits to site with family, 1934.
BetjemanPenelopeVisitorTravel writer. Wife of poet John Betjeman. Lived at Uffington from 1934. Visitor on site September 1934, stayed at Lawes’s hotel.
BevanSupplier/ Contractor1 Nov 1935. Contracted to lower road banks, with O Pearce, W Pearce, W Dobson recommended to assist. WEVY diary 12.
BeveridgeWilliamVisitorVisit July 1935
BlachHerbertVisitor
Boyd DawkinsVisitorVisit July 1935
BradleyEdwardSupplier/ Contractor1937. Edwin H Bradley and Son, Swindon – photograph of machinery in Album 78510319-020
BradleyEdwinSupplier/ Contractor1937. Discusses plinths with AK 16 Aug 1939
BradleySupplier/ Contractorarranged mechanical excavator 23 Jun 1937
BrailsfordJW (Mr)VisitorList of experts, 1935
Brander “of Kent”VisitorVisitor, April 1934
BrentnallHC VisitorArchaeologist. Visits 1934 and 19 Dec1939, and with wife in 1935 and July 1937(with wife and then Marlborough College boys. Features in 300 album photograph.
BrightJohnVisitor21 Oct 1935 vicar of Ebbesborne, with (driver?) Mr Oborn 
Brooke-PophamsVisitorVisitor, August 13 1935
BrownBellaVisitorVisitor May 14th – May 15th
BushVisitor17 Jun 1937 Archaeologist from Holland, staying with Piggotts
Bushe-Fox JPVisitorVisitor May 3rd, 6th, Jul 12, 1934, 7 Aug 1935. Chief inspector of Ancient Monuments according to 78510467 1934 Diary, name ‘Bushe-Fox’ correct in WEVY Diary no 9 for same dates.
ButlerGVisitor
ButlerPeterVisitorVisitor, 1935
CameVisitorVisitor 13 June 1938, of the News Chronicle
CampkinPercivalConsulted Expert6 Mar 1937. In party watching Boxing in Devizes. Stayed at Manor to examine teeth and jaws from Lanhill and WKA. From London. (Percival Sidney Campkin 1877-1965)
CarterEHVisitorVisitor, April 1934
CarterVisitorVisited 15 Oct 1938
Caton ThompsonGertrudeVisitorArchaeologist, suffragette, Egyptologist, pioneering scientific approach. Visited 14 Aug 1939 with Mrs Acland Hood
ChallestonVisitorDiary notes he is ‘Press’, visits May 1934
Chapman / Keiller / ChalmersDoris EmersonStaffVisitor April 12th – April 19th. Subsequently transferred to staff. Illustrator (1934-5) and part of excavation team (1937-9)
Chief Split and Mrs Chief Split [?!]VisitorVisitors 2 Aug 1939
ChildeVere GordonVisitorVisitor 15 Aug 1938, 30 Aug 1937 with his sister (WEVY 17)
ChittyMiss Lily Francis “Lal”Consulted ExpertPetrologist — 20000593_059, appears in this series
ChiversSupplier/ ContractorMessrs Chivers of Devizes Supplier of a steam roller for drive through Barn Close
CivilKeiller family/friendJun 17 1934. Friend/contact of WEVY. From Gosport
ClarkGrahameVisitorvisitors 30 Jul 1937. Archaeologist (1907-1995) Sir John Grahame Douglas Clarke, FSA, CBE, FBA. Marlborough Coll, Peterhouse Cambridge
ClarkKennethVisitorvisitor 9 Aug 1937 THE Kenneth Clark of ‘Civilisation’ fame. With Sir Phillip Sassoon, by air
ClementsFConsulted ExpertWEVY diary 16, 10, visited by AK et al 25 Jun 1937. Finder of a pot sherd on Overton Ridge. Grandson of Robert Clements, foreman at Silbury and at WH for Dean Merewether, archaeologist, (1779-1850)
Clifton College Archaeological SocietyVisitorVisitors16 June 1938
CoeVisitor28 Feb-1 Mar 1939. Two night stay. Dinner, then Boxing event Swindon Baths, Site visit 1 Mar. MIAR financial discussions 2 Mar.
CollingwoodVisitorVisitors 23 Aug 1937 Archaeologist (Roman specialist)
Colonel Awdrey / AwdryVisitorVisitor 28 August 1935, frequent correspondent
Congreve MVisitor18 May 1937 Visited WH re-excavation with AK. Stayed at Manor. Visitor 3 Aug 1937
Conway Film Company representativesVisitorVisitors 5 Jul 1939, permission to photograph 6 -16 Jul 1939. 22 Jul
CookDavidVisitorVisitor June 1th – June 17th. ‘To see BL’, staying at Perry’s hotel.
CookNormanStaffArchaeologist, supervisor(?) 1938. Address given 1935 diary as “Maidstone Museum, Kent”
CookVisitorVisitor 20 Aug 1938
CookAvebury local10 Oct 1935 Allotment holder
CookWTBC
CooksonVisitorVisitor 21 July 1938
CostinFredStaffMember of Keiller’s permanent staff
Cotswold Field ClubVisitorVisited 17 Aug 1939 
CrawfordOsbert Guy StanhopeVisitorVisited 11 Jul 1934 WEVY diary 10, 23 Jul 1935 WEVY 12.
Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological SocietyVisitorVisitors 7 Jun 1939, 11am to 5pm. Talks and tours.
CunningtonBenKey character – not Keiller staff etcVisitor 22 Jul,13 Sep 1935
CunningtonMaudKey character – not Keiller staff etcVisitor 22 Jul,13 Sep 1935 WEVY 12, 8 Sep 1937 WEVY 17
CunningtonRobert AnthonyVisitorVisitor, 20 Aug 1937, with father RH Cunnington
CunningtonRobert HenryVisitorWEVY diary 9, Jun 6 1934. Wilts Arch Soc with Cunningtons etc. WEVY diary 17 visitor, 20 Aug 1937 with his son, (Robert A Cunnington), 1 Sep 1937, 8 Sep 1937. Archaeologist. Cousin of Maud Pegge Cunnington and nephew of Ben Cunnington. 
DalglieshWAvebury local10 Feb 1937 winning boxer, Manton Downs Stable lad
DarlingFredAvebury local10 Feb 1937. Racehorse trainer, Beckhampton Stables. Wikipedia
DarlingHVisitorEngineer (constructional). Office of Works, visits 29Jun1934. Wonder if same visitor as Darling (constructional). Also visits 23 Jul 1935 and with wife.
DateMr and DinahVisitorVisit July 1935, Mr Date stayed 28 Sep-2 Oct, 21-24, 29-31 Oct 1938. AK visited him in London several times Sep-Oct 1938
DavidsonJamesVisitorVisitor 29 July 1938
DavidsonMr and MrsVisitorVisitor 20 August 1935
Dayrell ReedTrelawneyVisitorIntermittent correspondent. Artist, author, friend of Augustus John and George Pitt-Rivers, curator of Pitt-Rivers Museum in Farnham Dorest. Visitor May 8 1934 (WEVY 9) with Col Drew and Mr Passmore
de la F[?]MissVisitorVisitor in 1935
DenmanHTVisitorVisitor 23, 31 July, 5 Sep 1935, 25 Aug 1937 (WEVY 17)
DewarWEVY family/friend12 Aug 1937. With nephew and niece. Friends of WEVY
DibbleDLSupplier/ Contractor29 Apr 1937. Painter at Manor, died at Savernake hospital after ulcers operation on 28th Apr.
DittersVisitorVisits in 1935, ‘Ordnance Survey’.
DobsonVisitorVisitor 16 June 1938
DonovanVisitorVisitor 22 Aug 1939 with Father Horne
Drew (and Dorset Field Club)VisitorWith TDR 8 May 1834 (WEVY 9) and Dorset Field Club, 22 Jun 1939, lunched with AK
DruidOther – describe in column N18 Jun 1937. Carthorse owned by AK
DuignanVisitorMet AK at Charles St. 23 May 1939, Prehistoric Society.Visited Avebury 26 May 1939 and stayed overnight
DunbarGeorgeVisitorvisitor 28 Jun to 6 Jul 1937 (WEVY 16) and WH re-excavation 19 May 1937 (WEVY 15) Author of ‘Other Men’s Lives’ a study of primitive peoples (1938)
DuncanKayStaffWindmill Hill supervisor; also appears in letters archive as subject
DunningGCVisitorvisitor 22 Jul 1937 (an archaeologist/med pottery expert). WEVY Diary 19, 18 Jan medieval pottery forwarded for dating. WEVY diary 16, p24 dating medieval pottery
DunningConsulted Expert1937 dating medieval pottery
EarleLionelVisitorVisitor 19 May 1939 from Hilmarton
EarleVisitorVisitors 19 May 1939 from Hilmarton
ElchoVisitorMay 5 1934 (Francis David Charteris 1912-2008) Son of Lady Violet Benson. Visited with Duke of Rutland (her brother, his uncle) and Bensons
EllowayJohn RVisitorJun 17 1934. Friend/contact of WEVY. Co-founder of Basingstoke museum (opened 1931, now rehoused as The Willis Museum) with George Willis. Address 1930: 54 Queens Road, Basingstoke (WEVY diary 1 P20).
Ernest Gordon (Mr and Mrs)VisitorVisitor 28 August 1935
Ethelbert HorneDom VisitorVisitor August 15 1935, 10/11 May 1939
EvansE EstynVisitorVisitor 21 Jul 1939 with Mrs Jones. Stayed in Ebbesbourne about 1927 (WEVY 15, 17 Mar 1937)
Eyres-MonsellJoanVisitorVisitor August 12 1935
FanshaweVisitorQueen’s Boys[?], to apologise for WKA and SE sector damage from troop movements
Fawkes (Fowkes?)RogerVisitor22 April 1939. WEVY friends from 18 years ago.
FensonWVisitorVisitor August 12 1935
Foster ForbesJohnVisitorBroadcast 10 Sep 1937 ‘The Stone Age’
FoxCyrilVisitorWEVY diary 12, 4 & 21 Sep 1935 Archaeologist (1882-1967) Dir, Nat Museum Wales, close friend of Mortimer Wheeler 
FoxHoneyAvebury local
FoyleEnosWEVY family/friend21 Apr 1939. Visit to celebrate WEVY’s parents’ Golden Wedding. Full site visit with AK, DGK and NC
FoyleLilyWEVY family/friend21 Apr 1939. Visit to celebrate WEVY’s parents’ Golden Wedding. Full site visit with AK, DGK and NC
Franks (?)VVisitor
G?Y?Not givenVisitorVisitor July 19th – July 20th and August 25th – August 29th.
Garrons WilliamsSCVisitorVisitor 12 Sep 1939
GeorgeReubenVisitorVisitor, 1935
GilbertCyrilStaffMar 19 1938 “Lad” age 14ish. Working in stores, office & cleaning. 29 Mar, digging flower border in village.
GoddardEHVisitorWEVY diary 9 Visited with Wilts Arch Soc Jun 6 1934, Cunningtons etc
GoddardVisitorUnclear if different to other Goddards? Visitor in 1935, August 10.THIS IS CANON EH GODDARD OF WANHS
GoddardVisitorMrs Goddard visits with friends, 1935, August 10. Link to other Goddards?
GraemeVisitorvisitor 23 Aug 1937
Grant KingDenisStaffSee also ‘Denis Grant Price’, attached to staff 19 Aug 1938?
Grau (spelling?)Not givenVisitorVisitor May 14th – May 15th. Entered as Fraûline G.
GrayFlorenceKey character – not Keiller staff etc
GrayHarold St GeorgeKey character – not Keiller staff etc
GraysonMrsVisitor
GreaderWAvebury local20 May 1937 Landowner selling part of Plough Barrow to AK
GreenwoodVisitorVisited 16 Aug 1939. 9th Lancers, involved in Army exercises, with Lewin [?]
GreigKeiller family/friend5 Apr 1937. AK’s Uncle. Visited WH re-excavation with AK
GreigKeiller family/friend5 Apr 1937. AK’s Aunt. Visited WH re-excavation with AK
GreigKeiller family/friend5 Apr 1937. AK’s cousin? Visited WH re-excavation with AK
GwynneMrsVisitorVisitor August 1934, stayed at Red Lion, stayed Trusloe Manor
HaldenJSupplier/ ContractorFeb 22 1938 arrows and pickets sent for enamelling and repair 73B Victoria St, London SW1, returned Mar 22, more sent Mar29
HaleOther – describe in column N16 Apr 1937.Boxer. Welterweight champ 4th Hussars. 
HartJOther – describe in column N10 Feb 1937 losing boxer, Beckhampton Stable lad
HatherelAvebury local8 Oct 1935 Allotment holder
HawkesChristopherVisitor12 Apr 1937. Archaeologist. Visited WH re-excavation with AK. WEVY 22 p70 24 Apr 1939 overnight stay 
HawkesJacquettaVisitor12 Apr 1937. Archaeologist. Visited WH re-excavation with AK. 24 Apr 1939 overnight stay 
HawleyWilliamVisitorMay 14 1934. (Wm Hawley 1851-1941) Archaeologist, Stonehenge 1890s, Pokesdown 1926
HeasmanVisitorListed on ‘Experts visiting site’, 1934 Office of Works WEVY 9, Jun 3 1934, WEVY 17, 22 Aug 1937
HeathAvebury local1937 local landowner and farmer. Owner of ‘Crawford’s Circle”
Heathicote[?]Visitorvisitor 9 Aug 1937, staying for a week
HebdonStaff6 Mar 1937. In Devizes Boxing trip. WH with AK etc (WEVY 16 p13)
HempWJ and MrsVisitorVisitor, August 13 1935, 23 Aug 1937
HendersonWinifredKeiller family/friendVisitor, 1935. Friend of Keiller, introduced him to Antonia White (Linda Murray, Zest for Life)
Henman [?]Visitorvisitor 21 Aug 1937, stayed for lunch
Hobden / HebdenNot givenVisitorVisitor July 16th – July 17th. Entered as Miss Hobden.
HoggAHAVisitorVisitor 20 August 1935
HollowayTeddyStaff24 Apr 1937 Avebury schoolboy assisting WEVY in MAIR
HolmesMissVisitor
HolmesVisitorHolmeses hoe-ed by DGK 5 May 1939
HorneEthelbertVisitorVisitor 15 Aug 1935, 22 Aug 1939 with Father Donovan, 26 Sep 1935 with Fr Moody. Downside Abbey. Archaeologist and RC Prior Downside Abbey, Somerset
HTD [?]VisitorVisits with friends, 1935. WEVY 17 p28 Mr J Hunt letter 18.1.28 on C16th key.
HuntJohnVisitorVisitor 6 July 1938.
HuntJohnVisitorVisitors 21 Sep and 29 Oct 1938, 18 Nov 1939 
Huth[?]Visitorvisitor 29 Jun 1937
JacksonJ WilfredConsulted ExpertJan 15 1938 animal bones forward to him for exam and report
JacksonJohn WilfredConsulted ExpertOsteoarchaeologist (1880-1978), Manchester based Bones identified as young fox
JamesMarjorieStaffExcavation team 1934-5
JarmanHStaffMar 5 1938 new garage assistant to Phil Withil. WEVY diary 22, p40, p42 Feb 1939. AK’s driver, of the Marshall (car)
JennerLeoVisitor
JenningsVisitorVisited with Mr Date 15 Oct – 17 Oct 1938
JohnsonVisitorVisits with a friend, April 1934
JohnstonIsobelStaffStaff in 1935 – wonder if this is the same person who visits in 1934 (although note differently spelled name). Address in 1935 diary given Balgillo Crescent, Broughty Ferry, Dundee
JonesVisitorVisitor 21 Jul 1939 from Kilmundie[?] with Evans
KeillerAlexanderStaff
KennardASConsulted Expert
KnightThomas
KnightWVisitor1939
LaidlerBarbaraStaffExcavation team 1934-5
LaurenceVisitorvisitor 12 Jul 1937 with his architect
LawesHenryAvebury localField owner (1939) 
LawsonJoseph ‘Joe’Avebury local10 Feb 1937. Racehorse trainer, Manton Downs. Wikipedia
LeaskVisitorvisitor 23 Aug 1937
Lewin [?]VisitorVisited 16 Aug 1939 after ‘Army scandal’ [exercises on WKA] with Greenwood
LiddellDorothyVisitorVisitor April 30th – May 2nd. Windmill Hill supervisor who carried out pioneering work on the decoration of prehistoric pottery. IS THIS SAME AS DML?
LiddellVeronicaStaffWindmill Hill supervisor. Married Keiller
Ligh [?]VisitorVisitors 3 June 1939
LittlecottAvebury localMar 8 1938 previous occupants of (uninhabitable) Old Forge cottage, High St, Avebury, now owned and demolished by AK. Once lodged in by WEVY
LordWilfredVisitorvisitor 12 Jul 1937
LowtherAWGVisitorvisitor 26 Aug, 8 Sep 1937, 13 Jul 1939
MabyConsulted ExpertJan 17 1938 soil and charcoal samples forwarded 
MagorGillian Ione MaudStaff14 Jan 1939. With fiance Thurstan Shaw – WEVY’s friends
MahrVisitorMet AK at Charles St. 17and 23 May 1939, Prehistoric Society Council Meeting
MaidmentEllenVisitorWEVY’a aunt. Visitor, 22 Aug 1937, with daughters Barbara and Connie, WEVY’s cousins
MairVisitorVisit July 1935
MartinEricVisitorVisitor 1934 and 1935
MassinghamMr and Mrs (and hound)VisitorVisitors 25 Jul 1935. Author of ‘Downland Man’ WEVY 12 
MathesonVisitorvisits: 29 June 1937 Mr Matheson of National Trust. With wife 21 Aug 1937
MattisonVisitorvisitor 29 Jun 1937
McPhailVisitorVisitors 14 Aug 1938
Megalith SocietyVisitorNine members visited afternoon of Sunday 13 Nov 1938
MonteithVisitorVisitors 18 June 1938, stayed overnight at Avebury Manor
MontiethCynthiaVisitorVisitor 1-2 Jul 1939, with R Montieth
MontiethRonaldVisitorVisitor 30 Jun – 2 Jul 1939
MoodyVisitor26 Sep 1935 with Very Rev Prior Horne
MooreJSHVisitor
MorrisMayVisitor
MorrisVisitor2 Jun 1937, WH. With WEVY’s friend Canon O’Farrell
Mr and Mrs BennetMr and MrsVisitorVisitor August 15 1935
Mr Keiller’s cousinsVisitorMay 15 1934 CHECK with Keiller diary
NashPaulVisitorVisitor 28 June 1938. Important war artist WW2. Well documented
NeilsonVisitorVisitor 28 June 1938 same day as Paul Nash
NewallRobert SterlingVisitorVisits with Uncle, July 1935. Archaeologist and collector (1884-1974) 
Newbigin / Newbiggin“Nancy”VisitorArchaeologist, particularly noted for worked on rock art and Celtic sites in Ireland. Full name Agnes Jane Waugh Newbigin
Newbury Field ClubVisitorVisitors 20 July 1938
NichollsVisitor1939 – which source?
Nicol / NicholVisitorWEVY Diary Aug 30 1934 page 119
NormanGraceVisitorVisitor in 1935 – 2 July
NormanMiss EVisitorVisitor in 1935 – 4 July Archaeologist, assisted Dorothy Liddell at Hembury Fort (and so knew WEVY)
NorringtonAPVisitorVisitor 1 Jul 1939
O’FarrellVisitorJun 1937, WH. From Aldershot. Friend of WEVY with Fr Morris
O’NeilB.H.StJ.VisitorVisitor September 5th – September 6th, stayed at Perry’s
ObornVisitor2 Oct 1935 some time motor bus driver from Ebbesbourne, with Rev and Mrs Bright. (WEVY 12 20 Nov 1935)
Ormsby GoreVisitorThe ‘First Commissioner of Works’, Office of Works, visits in 1934, 14 Aug 1935
Ottley [?]FHBVisitorVisitor August 12 1935
ParadiseDouglasAvebury localVillager. Blacksmith, owner of “Goatacre” 1 Sep 1938. Paradise’s Cottage demolished in 1938 by MIAR
ParrishColonel and MrsVisitorVisit in 1935
ParsonsLouisConsulted ExpertListed on ‘Experts visiting site’, Visitor June 28th – June 29th, 1934, stayed at Perry’s hotel. Plaster casts of stone fractures to be repaired.
PassmoreVisitorMay 8 1934, with Col Drew and TDR 
Peak-Garland?Avebury localManor Farm, landowner
Peak-GarlandAvebury local
PeakeHaroldVisitorVisits with two friends, April 1934. Well known – has ADS record?
PerryCDAvebury localFeb 15 1938 Owner, Avebury Private Hotel (“Perry’s”)
PerryAvebury localJun 17 1934. Proprietor of Perry’s Private Hotel, Avebury
PetoVisitorVisited and lunched with AK 17 Aug 1939. 9th Lancers, with Thornton re army scandal
PhilipsCWVisitorVisitor 5 Sep1935, 31 Oct 1939, stayed with Piggots 22 Jun 1937 (WEVY 16 p21) 
PiggottPeggyVisitorVisitor 25 June to 5 Jul 1937
PiggottStuartStaffArchaeologist
Plante/PlantGVisitorExpert plasterer employed by Messrs Turner, Lord and Co., London.Discussion to take plaster casts 21 Sep 1937. Plastering 28 Sep 1937 and casts September 1938, 22 Jul1939
PriceVisitorVisits May 1934
PricterAvebury local12,14 Oct 1935 Allotment holder
PritchardVisitorVisitors 3 June 1939
PughVisitorJun 6 1934. Wilts Arch Soc with Cunningtons etc
PugsleyJosephSupplier/ ContractorHeavy machinery hire – photograph 78510319-019
RabyFJEVisitorOffice of Works. Visitor 26 Aug 1935, 16 Aug 1937 – stayed at Manor (WEVY 17). Frequent correspondent of AK.
RadcliffeRAvebury localTenant. Inside repairs to her cottage on Swindon Road 30 Nov 1939 by GB
RadfordRalegh CAVisitor22 Aug 1935 Archaeologist (1900-1998)FSA with van Giffen
RaffertyVisitorMet AK at Charles St. 23 May 1939, Prehistoric Society. Visited Avebury 26 May 1939 and stayed overnight
RawlinsFrankAvebury localVillager- Garage owner. Drove WEVY to Guildford (WEVY 15, 22 Feb 1937) Worked in Manor garage till 26 Feb 1937 
ReedOther – describe in column NMar 12 1938 AK presented bravery award to 13 year old Reed at Netheravon boys boxing contests
Reginald WilliamsonMrsVisitorVisit July 1935
RickardsMargeryStaffWEVY diary 16 one of two garage assistants MIAR, wages clerk from 26 June 1937
RobertsVisitorvisitor 14 Jul 1937
RumboldAnthonyVisitorVisitor, August 13 1935
RutlandVisitorMay 5 1934 (JHM Manners 1888-1940) Brother of Lady Violet Benson. Visited with Lord Elcho (his nephew) and Bensons. 
S [?]RobertVisitorVisitors 10 Sep 1938
SassoonPhilipVisitorvisitor 9 Aug 1937 with Kenneth Clark, arrived by air. First Commissioner of Works in 1937. Under Secretary of State for Air, managing RAF
SewellVisitor4 May 1937. Visited WH re-excavation. Friend of DC???
ShawCharles ThurstanConsulted ExpertVisitor 30 April 1934, (WEVY 9), August 19 1935 to 23 Aug 1935 excavating (WEVY 12). Visited: NW Sector 12 Jul 1937(WEVY 16), SW sector with WEVY (diary 22) 14 Jan 1939 with fiancee Ione Magor.
Simking [?]LanceVisitorVisitor 18 Sep 1939
SimpsonFJOther – describe in column N16 Apr 1937. Boxer. Amateur lightweight champion GB 1936
SirlVisitorWEVY diary 10, Jul 19 1934. Of Ebbesbourne Wake, lodger at WEVY’s parental home (WEVY diary 13 p16), visited with Mr Street,
SmithAlanVisitorVisited site with Date and Miss Jennings 16 Oct, and 17 Oct , 22-24,29 Oct 1938. Stayed overnight 7 Jun 1939
SmithIsobelKey character – not Keiller staff etcPioneering prehistorian. Excavated at Avebury and published a synthesis of the Keiller excavations in 1965
SmithJanetVisitorVisitor May 14th – May 15th
SmithKCVisitorList of visitors to Avebury, April 1934, staying at Perry’s Hotel
SmithNot given – separate to JanetVisitorVisitor May 14th – May 15th. Entered as ‘Miss Smith’, separate to Janet Smith.
SmithVisitorVisitor to Manor 28 Aug 1938
SmithVisitorAug 4 1935. Family friends of WEVY
SoulMr Soul (of Amesbury)VisitorVisitor 20 August 1935
SpainPVisitorJul 7 1935. Sidney Sussex College, Camb pal with Thurstan Shaw
SpenceHegmatKeiller family/friend1939 diary. Ski-ing friend of AK since 1920s, mentioned alongside Guy Nixon, Chris Mackintosh and Colin Wyatt
StephensonVisitorVisitor 20 Oct 1937 with Col Awdry
StoneJFSVisitorArchaeologist. Corresponded with Young, see folder, 20000593 WEVY diary 9. Visitor Jun 6 1934 with Wilts Arch Soc and Cunningtons. see Wikipedia
StrappsAnnie AlbertinaWEVY family/friendWEVY’s aunt. Visitor 19 Aug 1937. With WEVY’s parents. Chauffeur driven by Vickers, at AK’s invitation
StreetVisitorJul 19 1934. Of Ebbesbourne Wake WEVY’s friend, with Miss Sirl
SturdeyBernardStaffStaff 1934, visits 23 Jul 1935
SymingtonJVisitorVisitor with Date and A Smith 22-24, 29 Oct 1938. Scottish Geologist?
TVisitorVisitor 25 June 1937
TaylorAvebury localHosted listening of recording of J Foster-Forbes’s broadcast 17/22 Sep 1937
Taylor / TaylourSorelStaff10 Sep 1939 Section-Leader ATS [Auxilliary Territorial Service] (1939 diary)
TeischlerHansVisitorvisitor 30 Jul 1937. 
ThorneycroftMr and MrsVisitorVisit 9 July 1935
ThorntonVisitorVisited and lunched with AK 17 Aug 1939 with Peto re army scandal
Thurloe LeedsEVisitorVisitor August 15 1935
TibbleAvebury localJun 18 1934. Nursed R Gale (Hand) who died that morning
TitcombeGeorgeAvebury localAppears WEVY diary 10. Also WEVY diary 12, 24 Oct 1935, measuring for a fence up to the Toll House
Tom of the Grab’Tom DAMON? Supplier/ ContractorGrab operative 26 Sep 1938. WEVY 20 see queries.
Van Asch [?]VisitorFrom New Zealand (WEVY 16 p 20)Blasting tree stumps July 1937, finished 19 July. Visited 13 Oct 1939 with wife
van GiffenAlbert EggesVisitor22 Aug 1935 Dutch Archaeologist (1884-1973) with Radford
VatcherFaith Other – describe in column NCurator of the Alexander Keiller Museum. Excavated Avebury in 1969 and 1976
VatcherLanceOther – describe in column N
VawlettVisitor
VickersWAvebury local1 Mar 1937. A Mechanic? Replaced F Rawlins in Manor garage.
VickersWalterStaffWEVY 16, 3 Aug 1937 assistant chauffeur at Manor. WEVY 19, Mar 5 1938 now ‘ex’ garage assistant to Phil Withil
VigorVisitorMr (Captain) and Mrs Vigor visit twice April 1934, Mrs Vigor and Miss Vigor also visit. Visit again in 1935. East Kennett Manor
Violet PakenhamVisitorSpelling uncertain. Visitor, August 13 1935
ViveashRoseVisitorMiss Vyvash in diary. Visitor, 1934
W G S VisitorWiltshire Geological Society visit (220 members)
Wagstaffe (perhaps a misspelling? Think this is Barbara WagstaffVisitorAppears as visitor in 1935 – visits on same date as Miss Piggott. Note that Wagstaff later takes photographs at Sutton Hoo (1939), at which the Piggots excavate. Very significant if she also is at Avebury.
WallisVisitorvisitor 20 Aug 1937
WallisVisitorJun 29 1934, landowner, of Cherhill, colleague of Mr Wright, WEVY’s friend
WaltersVisitorA descendent of Dr William Stukeley, visits 28 August 1935
WatsonWSVisitorvisitor 3 Jul 1937, staying at the Manor [Avebury]
WheelerMortimerConsulted Expert
WhiteFAvebury localTenant. Inside repairs to her cottage on Swindon Road 30 Nov 1939 by GB
WildeJimmyOther – describe in column NReferee, 9 Feb 1937. Famous and controversial Welsh boxer (active 1911-23) Wikipedia. Local training stables competition boxing referee with AK in Marlborough.
WilderPhyllisStaff
WilliamsLetticeVisitorVisitor 4 Aug 1938
WilliamsPVisitorVisitor 4 Aug 1938
WilliamsOther – describe in column NAppears in undated photographs from Denis Grant King
Williams-FreemanVisitorJun 6 1934. Wilts Arch Soc with Cunningtons etc, 20 Oct 1937
WillisGeorge WVisitorJun 17 1934. Friend/contact of WEVY. Co-founder of original Basingstoke museum (opened 1931, now rehoused as The Willis Museum) with John R Elloway. Clockmaker and jeweller at 2 Wote Street, Basingstoke. (WEVY 1, P19). Mayor of Basingstoke 1923-4
WilsonVisitorVisitor and ‘Medicine Office of Health’, 1934
WithilPhilStaffMember of Keiller’s permanent staff. Chauffeur. PHOTO WEVY 19 p44
WoolleyLeonardVisitorvisitor 22 Aug 1937, 14Aug1938 Famous archaeologist, Ur, Mesopotam
WoolleyVisitorvisitor 22 Aug 1937 with husband, above
WrightVisitorJun 29 1934 School Inspector, friend of WEVY. With Mr Wallis
YoungAmyVisitorWEVY’s sister-in-law. 19 Sep 1937 with husband Bert and WEVY’s mother
YoungBertramVisitorWEVY’s brother. 19 Sep 1937 with wife Amy and WEVY”s mother
YoungEdward TomWEVY family/friend21 Apr 1939. Visit to celebrate WEVY’s parents’ Golden Wedding. Full site visit with AK, DGK and NC. WEVY 17 day visit 19 Aug 1937, chauffeur driven by Vickers, at AK’s invitation
YoungFannyWEVY family/friend21 Apr 1939. Visit to celebrate WEVY’s parents’ Golden Wedding. Full site visit with AK, DGK and NC. WEVY 17 day visit 19 Aug 1937, chauffeur driven by Vickers, at AK’s invitation. Visit 19 Sep 1937 with Bert and Amy.
YoungWilliamStaffSite Foreman. Many sources!
Zennor / ZennerFConsulted ExpertJan 17 1938 soil and charcoal samples forwarded 
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Digitisation in progress: photography

Header image: Denis Grant King’s diary, Accession Number 1732623-002.

In the ‘archive scoping’ blog post I talked about our ambitions for the archive, and how we hope to embed reminders that, behind the digital files we create, there are real objects.

We’ve now been photographing for 4 months, and making good progress. Our wonderful volunteers have been tackling flat papers, photographic prints, and books which require ‘v-scanning’ (the books rest partially open in a cradle, and we use a setting in Tocosa to ‘flatten’ or ‘open up’ the pages). Each different kind of item demands a slightly different approach, whether that’s selecting lighting settings, using a cradle for conservation purposes, and whether we make use of auto crop or rotate, or do one or both adjustments manually.

Below are some of the photographs taken so far, which show a few of the strategies and decisions we’ve made.

Denis Grant King – Journal of my visit to Avebury, 1983

Denis Grant King’s diary, Accession Number 1732623-002.

King was an archaeologist and artist, and he spent many years at Avebury, eventually working with Isabel Smith as she prepared her vitally important synthesis of the 1930s excavations (which she published in 1965 as Windmill Hill and Avebury. Excavations by Alexander Keiller, 1925–1939).

King’s diaries are lavishly illustrated and contain reflections on the personal dynamics of the group as much as the archaeology.

For this diary, we used the v-scan function in Tocosa, as it ‘flattens’ out the ‘v’ shape of the diary. We haven’t done this for all manuscripts, but there were compelling reasons for this one: 1. the double-page spread illustrations, and illustrations throughout, look better with square(ish) edges; 2. The handwriting is clear enough for us to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to semi-automate the transcription process, and straighter lines of text help the OCR along. But more on OCR another time!

This map page is so beautiful I couldn’t resist uploading a version already to King’s existing Wikipedia page. We’ll be doing some more uploading to Wikipedia later in the project, as it’s a great way to get Avebury materials out there in front of many eyes!

Alexander Keiller’s 1934 excavation diary

Keiller kept diaries for each of his excavations. This is the first one for our project: covering the 1934 activity at West Kennet Avenue.

We photograph the fronts of all book-type objects in order to give more of an impression of the physical object.

Keiller’s 1934 diary, accession number 78510467 – front cover.

And here’s a preview of the title page, which gives a hint at Keiller’s handwriting (which is presenting a challenge to our transcription volunteers – more on that in another post!).

Unlike Denis Grant King’s Diary, for these diaries we are not using v-scan correction, so you get those angles edges from where the book is resting in the cradle. It was not so important to have square edges for these diaries, as there are no illustrations and the handwriting is almost impossible for OCR. Keeping these sloping edges keeps that reminder of the physical object properties.

Keiller’s 1934 diary, accession number 78510467 – inside cover page.

Retaining imperfection

Accession number 20004005-002.

Sometimes, letters might be a little creased as we find them in their storage boxes. So long as the crease doesn’t obscure the text, we are not smoothing out all texture. Again, this is to preserve more of an impression of the ‘real’ archive – which I hope will perhaps encourage people to come and see it for themselves. It also, I think, gives more of a sense of these objects as things which have been used – they’re not just digital files that have appeared on the internet, they have their own histories.

This letter is a reply from the museum curator regarding a query about the ‘Mary Tudor’ weight found at Avebury.

When photography goes wrong

And finally… just an example of the kind of human error that can sneak into the photography studio! Below you see the first image which was taken of item 88051525-064. Notice the ghostly hand blurring across the image! Luckily, we noticed this error and the photograph has now been re-taken, hands free.

Photograph of the address side of a postcard. There are two green King Edward stamps in the top right corner. This photo also has an error! There is a blur of an arm across the image.
Ooops… Item 88051525-064 is photographed a little too quickly.
Photograph of the address side of a postcard. There are two green King Edward stamps in the top right corner.
All fixed! 88051525-064 is ready for the archive.

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller cuttings – Part 6 (let’s get digital)

This blog post is part 6 of a series: you may want to read Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 first. You can find Part 7 linked at the bottom of the page.

Having reconstructed the process and produced an analogue plot of the final grid arrangement, I was ready to replicate the process ‘on the digital ground’ within a Geographical Information System (GIS).

My starting point was not Keiller’s A-B-C baseline laid out across the line of the Avenue (discussed in Blog post 2) but instead the two points A and B where the sides of Keiller’s corridor intersected the fence that closed off the southern end of the field. Whilst the material of the fence has undoubtedly been replaced since 1934, its line is still in position, as evidenced by a marked lynchet. Keiller had recorded a measurement from its junction with the road to point B, and the distance from B to A could be calculated thanks to Pythagoras. This is exactly what I needed – recognisable 1934 locations that were locatable today. 

The survey grid meets the southern fence line. In Keiller’s 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

Using these known points to light the blue touchpaper, I then converted Keiller’s meticulously measured distances into metric units and used the GIS to recreate his survey. I did this in two blocks, either side of the 6 degree pivot marked by the Triangle of Correction. 

Quality control came in the form of a pair of measurements Keiller took from the midpoint of cutting VIII (at a point he called ‘E’ – see below) along a line perpendicular to the long axis of the grid. 

Keiller reaches out. 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

He extended this line until it reached the fence lines bordering the Avenue field to either side and made a record of the distances. When this line was recreated digitally to Keiller’s measurements the endpoints fell within 7cm of the fence-line to the west and 20cm to the east. 

Contains vector map data © Crown copyright and database rights 2023 Ordnance Survey (100025252)

The final check was a simple one: did the end of the grid fall within the northernmost E-W boundary fence? I was mindful that the Avenue line ran up slope for a portion of its course, which meant that Keiller’s chained measurements were not taken on perfectly flat ground (as recorded on the modern map). To put this another way, at times he was measuring slope distances instead of horizontal distances (i.e. the hypotenuse rather than adjacent). Yet I was plotting his measurements as though they were taken on flat ground. Over the 450m or so total length of the grid this could result in stretching.

Using height data derived from LiDAR (and three cups of strong coffee), I measured the rise and fall between each pair of 100’ grid points. I then converted the slope distances into horizontal distances to determine how much stretch had potentially occurred. Across the full 450m this amounted to only 17cm. Stretch was not an issue. Although the fence here had long gone, the lynchet was preserved in the LiDAR data and this could be used to recreate the fence line. Plotting the cuttings against this showed a good fit. 

Contains vector map data © Crown copyright and database rights 2023 Ordnance Survey (100025252) & LiDAR data © Environment Agency copyright and/or database right 2015. All rights reserved.

Was I happy with +/- 20cm? After 89 years I certainly was. Especially given the lack of fixed reference points between 1934 and today. Given the high likelihood that there had been some degree of movement in the precise placement of the fences, the slope effects, not to mention the inherent precision and accuracy of the Ordnance Survey digital data I was fixing the grids against, this was perfectly acceptable.

So… almost done. In the final blog post I will look at the final steps that were taken in order to create these digital maps of the 1934 cuttings. 

Click here to read the final blog post in this series.

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Blog Keiller cuttings

Pinning down the Keiller cuttings – Part 5 (over-zealous planning & creative turns of phrase)

This blog post is part of a series: you may like to explore Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 first.

Although I promised that this post would cover the process of geo-referencing – i.e. locating Keiller’s cutting grid on the ground today – I would like to briefly digress and talk a little about the tweaks and alterations Keiller had to make as he went along. In other words, Keiller’s extensions to the grid.

These ‘extensions’ capture for me the essence of Keiller’s perhaps overly meticulous approach. They also hint at his rather long-winded and idiosyncratic writing style* – if you do not believe me compare the text of the 1936 Antiquity interim (penned by Keiller & Piggott) with the 1939 interim (penned by Keiller alone). The latter is chewy.

Keiller’s extensions. 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

As I noted in previous blog posts, Keiller’s approach to setting out the West Kennet Avenue trenches was rigid and meticulous – ruler-straight baselines and regular gridded corridors of equally sized cuttings laid out to track the course of the paired standing stones.

Sadly, the Avenue itself did not play ball, its course gently curving and arcing as it plodded its way north towards the Avebury henge. To cope with this Keiller took the decision to pivot the entire grid 6 degrees to the northeast, as discussed in blog post 4. He also surveyed in a series of regular geometric extensions to the basic grid to enable his cuttings to encompass the full positions of the component standing stones and other features (such as post holes).

Keiller extends. 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

I’d have called them extensions (if I called them anything at all). Keiller was more creative. As a result as we read through the notebooks and peruse the plans we encounter the rather lovely Triangle of Extension along with the Trapezium of Extension, the Parallelogram of Extension and the Square of Extension. They sound like cool band names. 

Trapezium of extension. 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

And things could get complicated, as progressive excavation revealed the need for extensions to extensions, leading to my favourite, the frankly awesome Parallelogram of Further Extension. Needless to say, the 6 degree pivot was made possible by the terrifying sounding Triangle of Correction.

Yikes. Extending extensions. 1934-5 West Kennet Avenue Plotting Book, accession number 78510469.

Next stop: geo-referencing. I promise. 

* the irony in me – a notoriously long-winded and prolix writer – calling Keiller out on his wordiness has not been wasted.

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Sorting Loose Prints

In the archive, we have several photo albums for the 1934 to 1939 excavations at Avebury. Each album shows us how Alexander Keiller and his team carefully excavated and lifted the stones in the outer circle and down West Kennet Avenue.

the photo shows four photos on a photo album page of workers lifting a stone
Page 70 in photo album B (78510301_070)

Alexander Keiller was very particular about which photo prints he used in the albums so we have a lot of loose spare prints that did not make the cut.

This means that we have to individually check each print to see if it is a duplicate or an original. To do this we have a quick and easy process.

First, we start by dividing the prints into piles. We separate the prints by their film reel number, which Alexander Keiller wrote in the bottom right corner of the print.

the photo shows 8 piles of loose black and white prints
Loose prints for photo album G sorted by film reel

Once sorted we search our excel catalogue to check if any of the prints are already in the album.

an excel spreadsheet with the find tool open
searching film numbers on the spreadsheet

Occasionally we will find that one of the loose prints is already in the album. In this case, we open the photo album to check if the image is the same in the print as it is in the album.

two identical prints of a standing stone
Loose print and Photo Album G (78510306)

Loose prints that are identical to the photo album are separated out from those that are not. This is because we only want to photograph prints that are not already in the albums.

Once a box is sorted into photos already in the album and those that are not it is put back on the shelf to be photographed later.

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Video: March updates from the paper archive

We are two short months into the digitisation here at Avebury! Below you can watch a very short video going over what we’ve been up to with the volunteer team in the paper archive so far. This video was originally made for the local National Trust spring update.

Please leave your questions or comments – we’d love to know what you think.