Exploring WLM: prehistory

With 1.3 million visitors in 2014, Stonehenge is just about the most famous prehistoric site in the UK. There are some striking monuments which have withstood the elements for thousands of years, and some examples from the previous editions of Wiki Loves Monuments are below.

"Wayland Smithy Long barrow" by Msemmettis licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Wayland Smithy Long barrow” by Msemmett is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
"Badbury Rings" by Dormouse14is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Badbury Rings” by Dormouse14 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

There are about 3,500 hillforts across the UK from the Iron Age and Late Bronze Age. They can be absolutely huge, as big as 20 hectares and you often need some distance to appreciate them.

"Gwal y Filiast" by Karen Sawyeris licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Gwal y Filiast” by Karen Sawyer is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
"Silbury Hill,nr.Avebury" by Dave Yatesis licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Silbury Hill,nr.Avebury” by Dave Yates is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

This prehistoric mound is part of a landscape designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes Avebury and Stonehenge.

West Kennet Long Barrow – Interior” by Ark3pix is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

You don’t often get to see inside a prehistoric monument.

"Ring of Brodgar, Orkney" by Stevekeiretsuis licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Ring of Brodgar, Orkney” by Stevekeiretsu is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Orkney is renowned for its prehistoric sites, including Skara Brae (a Neolithic settlement) and the ring of Brogdar, a stone circle.

"Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria" by SusieAnnais licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria” by SusieAnna is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
"4 Ballynoe Stone Circle 1" by Irishdeltaforceis licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
4 Ballynoe Stone Circle 1” by Irishdeltaforce is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
"Woodhenge, Wiltshire, Inglaterra, 2014-08-12" by Diego Delsois licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Woodhenge, Wiltshire, Inglaterra, 2014-08-12” by Diego Delso is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
"Stonehenge from the Distance" by ExtraMilePhotoUKis licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Stonehenge from the Distance” by ExtraMilePhotoUK is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

And of course no trip through the UK’s prehistory would be complete without Stonehenge!

Exploring WLM: Romans

The UK is rich with heritage and the Romans left behind their mark on the landscape. Below are some striking pictures from the UK’s first two editions of Wiki Loves Monuments. Will you be adding your photos to the mix this year?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Termas_romanas_de_BATH.jpg
The Roman baths at Bath. “Termas romanas de BATH” by Francisco Conde Sánchez is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Bath is a very popular subject for photographers, and it’s easy to see why!

Hadrian's Wall by Tilman2007
08-Hadrians Wall-034” by Tilman2007 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Marking the northern extent of the Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall stretches for miles.

Remains of the Roman baths in Leicester
The Jewry Wall in Leicester. “Remains of a Roman bath house” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Masonry of the Jewry Wall by Purusothaman
Masonry of the Jewry Wall. “Roman bath house232” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Banded masonry at the Jewry Wall by Purusothaman
Banded masonry at the Jewry Wall. “Roman bath house40-1” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Roman baths at Leicester have distinctive bands of red brick

North Leigh Roman Villa by Lolalatorre
North Leigh Roman Villa” by Lolalatorre is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
A Roman capital reused as a font at St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter
A Roman capital reused as a font at St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter. “THE FONT A RECYCLED ROMAN CAPITAL” by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Two Roman columns reused as gate piers at St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014
Two Roman columns reused as gate piers at St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter. “WROXETER CHURCH OF ST ANDREW” by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Roman buildings provided a handy source of building materials, and the buildings were often dismantled for the stone to be used elsewhere.

Chester Roman amphitheatre by Emdee314
Chester Roman amphitheatre. “Roman Amphitheatre” by Emdee314 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Every good Roman town needed an amphitheatre. There were at least 230 across the Empire.

York city walls with Roman foundations by Mkooiman
York city walls with Roman foundations. “York UK Wall Roman Foundation” by Mkooiman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Roman walls made a good foundation for later buildings, as seen here at York.

The Roman lighthouse at Dover by Brendaannc
Roman light house Dover” by Brendaannc is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
The Roman walls of the fort at Portchester, later adapted into a medieval castle. Photo by Johan Bakker.
The Roman walls of the fort at Portchester, later adapted into a medieval castle. “1229190-Portchester Castle” by Johan Bakker is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The defences of an abandoned Roman fort made an easily reused site for later castles.

The Roman town walls at Colchester by Maria
Colchester’s Roman walls. “The Roman Town Wall” by Maria is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
The baths within the remains of Wroxeter Roman city by Stewart Watkiss
The baths within the remains of Wroxeter Roman city. “Wroxeter Roman City remains” by Stewart Watkiss is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Want to know more about Roman Britain? Wikipedia has a wealth of information about it, including a recreation of a Roman fort by Rotherham Museums and Archives. Get snapping ready for September!