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Palace Farm, Down Court Road, Doddington, nr Faversham, Kent

Clippesby Hall, Hall Lane, Clippesby, Norfolk

Stowford Manor Farm, Wingfield,Trowbridge, Wiltshire

The timber phase

Raising the stones

Welsh Bicknor YHA, nr Goodrich, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

The Heel Stone, Slaughter Stone and Avenue

Wasdale Campsite, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria

The sarsen stones and bluestones

Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, Derbyshire

A Sacred Landscape

Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre, Mytchett Place Road, Mytchett, Surrey

Hole Station Campsite, Highampton, Beaworthy, Devon

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Stone handaxe
THIS small handaxe is one of the most beautiful in the British Museum. It is made from quartz with attractive amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to make tools because it is extremely hard. The toolmaker would have had to hit with considerable force and accuracy to remove flakes. Such a high degree of difficulty makes the thin, symmetrical shape of this piece a masterpiece of the toolmakers’ art.
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Edward III (1327-77)
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Edward III (1327-77)“The English will never love and honour a king unless he be victorious and a lover of arms and war.”
Froissart, French chronicler


Born in 1312, Edward was under 15 when crowned in January 1327, and at first had to submit to the regency of his mother Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer. In 1330, however, he had Mortimer executed and sent his mother into retirement. England was now his. To distract his squabbling nobles, he set about the country’s traditional foreign enemies: France and Scotland.

Robert the Bruce’s death in 1329 gave Edward the chance to oust the young Scots King David II and install a puppet ruler – John Balliol’s son Edward. In 1340 England’s king also proclaimed himself King of France, and so began the Hundred Years’ War. An active commander, Edward was on board ship during the naval victory at Sluys in 1340. In 1346, the king and his son Edward (the Black Prince) won the battle of Crécy, and established Calais as an English colony. The king of Scotland was captured at the Battle of Neville’s Cross (1346), as was the king of France at the later Battle of Poitiers (1356). In 1348, Edward turned down the chance to be Holy Roman Emperor: it was the high point of his reign.

Then in 1348-49 the Black Death struck, killing about one-third of England’s population, and after 1360 the tide of war in France turned against Edward. His Queen, Philippa of Hainault, died in 1369 and his eldest son, Edward the Black Prince, returned from the wars in 1371 broken in health. The next year King Edward made one last foray across the Channel, but adverse winds kept him from landing on French soil. In 1375 he was glad to make piece, relapsing into senility under the thumb of his greedy mistress, Alice Perrers.

The two most prominent of his twelve children, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt, were at loggerheads, and the Prince’s death in 1376 left Gaunt in overall command. Gaunt and his brother, Edmund Langley bequeathed a significant legacy to history as founders of the houses of Lancaster and York, later contestants in the Wars of the Roses. But when Edward III – once Europe’s most famous knight – died at Sheen in 1377, his grandson Richard of Bordeaux walked uncertainly towards his throne.

Witnesses to devastation

An Oxfordshire cleric, Geoffrey le Baker, described the horrors of the Black Death: “As the graveyards did not suffice, fields were chosen for the burial of the dead… it was the young and strong that the plague chiefly attacked.”

The effect on the economy was drastic: “The following autumn no one could get a reaper for less than 8d with his food, a mower for less than 12d with his food… wherefore many crops perished in the fields…” wrote Henry Knighton, a monk of Leicester.

The Garter Knights
The Order of the Garter, England’s most famous order of knighthood, was founded by Edward III in 1348 – in part inspired by his desire to recreate the aura of King Arthur’s Round Table Knights. Its emblem is a blue garter edged with gold, worn below the left knee. Tradition holds that the king gallantly picked up the garter of a court lady during a dance with the remark: “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (Shame be to him who thinks evil of it.”). The reigning monarch is Sovereign of the Order.

Banners of the Garter Knights.
Banners of the Knights of the Garter hang in St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle.

Edward III (1327-77)


The battle of Crécy
Crécy, won in 1346. It was one of the most crushing English victories in France, and the first battle, in which English troops used crude cannon.

Edward III (1327-77)


Edward and son
Edward III, shown in this picture with his son, the Black Prince. They were the most famous royal soldiers in Europe.

Edward III (1327-77)





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