|Filming for BBC Countryfile at The Long Barrow in All Cannings|
My name's Simon Banton and I'm fascinated by humanity's long obsession with the sky. I've been an amateur astronomer since I was 7 years old and about 20 years ago I started to take an interest in ancient monuments that seemed to embody this obsession in their design.
There's a word for this - archaeoastronomy.
In 2005 I moved to Wiltshire to be closer to Stonehenge - a monument that everyone seems to know is aligned in some way to the movement of the Sun. I wanted the opportunity to study it more frequently than by the occasional visit or through coming to the dawn open access events at the solstices and equinoxes.
Stonehenge and its environs quickly turned from a keen hobby into a passion and I began volunteering for English Heritage as part of their Education team, meeting school parties and giving them a rundown on the history of the monument so their visits became more than simply a school trip to a pile of rocks in a field.
That turned into a full time paid job as a Historic Property Steward for 6 years, explaining the theories and current state of knowledge to some of the more than 1 million visitors that come to Stonehenge every year.
As an independent researcher I often found myself searching in vain for particular resources online - and the genesis of this website - the Stones of Stonehenge - was the failure to find anything that had a photo of every stone at Stonehenge taken from every angle.
A companion website - the Stonehenge Barrow Map - was born of the lack of a single resource that cross-referenced the burial mounds in the Stonehenge environs against their various data sources in a map format.
|Sky at Night filming at Stonehenge|
These days I no longer work for the organisation that's tasked with caring for Stonehenge and instead I'm focused on writing articles about Stonehenge and doing guided tours of the landscape and the monument.
For the seasoned megalithomaniac, the Stonehenge Monument website offers a small but growing collection of more in-depth articles about some of the less obvious aspects of Stonehenge.
Please feel free to contact me if you're interested in commissioning work or arranging a tour.
I'm also available for media interview and conferences or talks on the astronomical theories and aspects of Stonehenge, I've done work for the BBC's Sky at Night and Stargazing Live! programs on that subject.
You can reach me using the email address:
hengemaster @ stonesofstonehenge . org . uk
I hope you find these websites useful, or at least interesting.