This is one of the oldest depictions of Stonehenge in existence, and the first to have been drawn on site. It was produced by Lucas de Heere, a Flemish Protestant exile living in England between 1567 and 1576. The watercolour illustrates a page from De Heere’s guidebook to Britain, entitled Corte Beschryvinghe van England, Scotland, ende Irland. His depiction is important because of its accuracy and the insights it provides into prehistoric construction techniques. Tenons, the projectile part of a mortise and tenon joint, are shown on top of two of the standing stones in the foreground. These stone projections locked into corresponding holes known as mortises carved into the base of a lintel. Mortise and tenon joints are thousands of years old, and were used to erect Stonehenge between 2600 and 2400 BC.
- Article by:
- Sam Smiles
- Science and nature, Country, Antiquarianism
Britain's prehistoric landscapes are depicted in prints and drawings across the British Library's collections. Sam Smiles, Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Plymouth, explores further.