From the editor
The island of Rousay is only around four miles long, but it boasts such an extraordinary richness of archaeological remains – with sites almost outnumbering people – that it has earned the nickname ‘the Egypt of the North’. Our cover story this month represents the concluding part of the Orkney trilogy that we have been running, drawing on my visit to the archipelago last summer. During this trip, I went to see the excavation at the Knowe of Swandro, an impressively long-lived site, but one whose stonework is being rapidly eroded by the sea.
A relatively more recent feat of masonry is the focus of our next feature: St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, today hailed as London’s oldest surviving parish church. As this ecclesiastical edifice marks its 900th birthday, we trace its history back to its earliest origins as the brainchild of an ailing ex-jester.
We then explore Arminghall Henge in Norfolk, home to a mighty timber monument that was described as a ‘second Woodhenge’ when it was discovered in 1929. The site was first excavated in 1935, and last year archaeologists reopened this original trench, revealing glimpses of the timbers’ fiery end.
Finally, our regular contributor Joe Flatman guides us through the myriad roles fulfilled by archaeologists within the National Trust, and updates us on recent research concerning some of its sites.
I hope to see lots of you at our annual conference, which returns as an in-person event later this month. To see the latest details of the event (and how to book your ticket if you haven’t already done so! click here.