Stonehenge, Inclined Upright And Capstone (A) Of Central Entrance
Photographer: Ordnance Survey Department, under Colonel Sir Henry James
Medium: Photographic print
View of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, taken by the Ordnance Survey under the supervision of Colonel Sir Henry James. The image is one of eight photographs of the monument illustrating Colonel James’ 1867 book ‘Stonehenge, Turusachan and Cromlechs’ and was published as plate 9. He wrote: “The structure, when complete, consisted of an outer circle of thirty large stones, upon which thirty other large stones or sarsens were laid horizontally so as to form a perfect continuous circle. This circle is 100 feet in diameter within the stones…Only seventeen of the thirty upright stones of the outer circle are now standing, and only six of the thirty lintels are now in their place...” This is a view of the entrance through the outer circle of stones with one of the massive stones which stand in the centre leaning at an angle in the foreground.
James (1803-1877) served as Director-General of the Ordnance Survey between 1854 and 1875. In addition to plans and photographs of Stonehenge, the book includes his text exploring the history and culture of the Druids, to whom he attributed the construction of the monument, as well as accounts, sketches and plans of a stone circle on the Island of Lewis and four Irish cromlechs. He described his intention for the book as giving: “examples of the megalithic structures of this kingdom, all of which should be sketched and described by the officers on the Ordnance Survey, to form a record of the existence and state of preservation of these objects at the date of the National Survey”. The survey of Britain was completed in 1870.