A Mystery at the Eleventh Hour

"Of the carefree outings that were possible in 1914, that balmy final Saturday in June witnessed some of the last of a passing age. The following day, Sunday 28 June, is remembered for the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie Chotek von Chotkova, the killings in Sarajevo widely regarded as starting the countdown to the Great War. Having stepped out that Saturday wearing white shoes, just over a thousand miles away from the expectant scene of those globally momentous events, Flora Roscoe’s 49 year old husband had uncharacteristically gone missing.In this article, Brian Edwards reopens the book on an unexplained disappearance".

A Seventeenth Century Wiltshire White Horse? Some thoughts on narrowing the field at the start of the line

Like many of the chalk hill figures of England, the Wiltshire White Horse on the hillside above Bratton dates back to the eighteenth century. In this article Brian Edwards, traces the history of this chalk figure back much further, looking into the origins of the ‘Alfred Horse’ which pre-dated it, in that very same spot. Edwards explores the customary lore of the earlier figure; as well as the potential political motivations for its creation, examining the argument for tracing it back to the Glorious Revolution.

‘Reconciled to modern Taste?’: the mysterious disappearance of William Blathwayt’s grand cascade at Dyrham Park’

Outside of their contemporary depictions, few of the Baroque gardens that were typical of the seventeenth century survive today. The Georgians preferred a more naturalistic style, and so the anachronistic gardens of the Stuart era faded away into the past. Such is the case with William Blathwayt’s spectacular gardens at Durham Park; but these gardens were home to an impressive piece of engineering which has long been puzzling historians. The jewel of the gardens was an ostentatious water feature which, from an engineering perspective, was ahead of its time. The mechanics that powered the feature remain a mystery. Based on a report by Hyla Holden, Steve Poole addresses the question of how the cascade was powered, and whether changing fashion was the sole cause for such a spectacle to fall into disuse.

Avebury Film Discovery

By Brian Edwards, Issue 6, Autumn/Winter, pp.5-7. In 1999, an interwar film of Avebury surfaced, which includes unique footage of Alexander Keiller’s attempt to reconstruct the great Neolithic complex during the 1930s.  The film came to light following a co-operation between Avebury residents to produce an exhibition of Avebury in old photographs as part of the village Millennium celebrations. This article covers the discovery of this film, which supports Brian… Continue reading Avebury Film Discovery