Friday, August 18, 2017

The True Story of Greyfrairs Bobby
   Once upon a time, King Mungo Jerry, who later became Saint Mungo Jerry, was jealous. He was jealous of his cousin, King Midas of the Golden Touch. So, one day, in the summertime, he decided to go fishing in the River Clyde. After fishing for many days, he finally caught a Sturgeon. King Mungo pulled the fish into his boat and it got air sick. It was no used to being out of water and puked all over the bottom of the boat. Then it said," please put me back in the water and I'll grant Ye one wish.''
  "What about three wishes?" said King Mungo Jerry.
  "I'm jest a bloody fish, no a genie. One wish is what you get for one fish.''
  "Aye okay. I wish everything I touch would turn to gold like my cousin Midas.''
  "We're fresh outta Gold wishes, the best I can do Ye is bronze.''
  "Allright, make it so,'' said King Mungo in his best Patrick Stewart imitation.
  So Mungo Jerry set the fish back in the water but it sank to the bottom and died because it had turned to bronze.
  Then he touched the side of his boat and it turned to bronze as well and sank to the bottom of the Clyde. He then had to swim to shore and because he touched the water it almost turned to bronze but turned to IRNBRU instead. King Mungo tasted some of it and said that it was good.
  On the way home, he ran into William Wallace at Stirling. They were old pals so he shook his hand and William Wallace also turned to bronze. When he got home, his wee dog Bobby ran out to greet him. King Mungo was no too smart and he petted the wee dog and it turned to bronze.
  Finally he realized the error of his ways and went to the Kirk to consult the priest, who was thought to be the wisest man in all Scotland. Mungo explained his dilemma to the priest without touching him. The priest thought on it a wee bit and finally came up with a solution.
  "King Mungo, the onliest thing for ye to do is to touch yerself until ye turn to bronze. Then the curse will be broken."
  "What? Touch meself right here in Kirk? Willnae that be sacrilegious?''
  "Nae matter. I'll absolve ye. But it must be done to lift the curse."
  So King Mungo Jerry touched himself right there in the Kirk and turned to bronze. The priest absolved him and canonised him on the spot. And there sits on that hill, the Cathedral of Saint Mungo Jerry. They have tours daily and sometimes serve sturgeon and INRBRU in season.
  P.S. it's considered good luck if you touch the statue of Saint Mungo where he touched himself. Right there in the Kirk.

Monday, July 31, 2017

                           History can be cruel
  History is a fickle friend. It can be kind and generous in one generation. Then it can be cruel and heartless in the next. The cruelest of all is when it forgets about the person in question entirely. Grace Sherwood is one person in Virginia Beach that I hope history never forgets. When I ask people if they know who she was I usually get a blank stare. When I say Witchduck Road then there is a glimmer of recognition. They remember the event but not the central figure in that event. So now, in Virginia Beach, we have Witchduck Point, Witchduck Bay and the previously mentioned Witchduck Road. Nearby, we have Ferry Plantation Road which does not lead to the river or the Ferry Farm house but only alludes to it. Perhaps once it did go all the way to the water but not anymore. The ferry was started by Adam Thoroughgood the Second in 1642 when he commissioned one Saville Gaskin to run the ferry. Gaskin was a Frenchman and small freeholder in Princess Anne county. Now he was working for Thoroughgood. He may have owned the ferry landing that was later to be called Witchduck Point. I think it was he who first ran a tavern there. Eventually the land and the tavern came into the hands of the Walke family by intermarriage with the Thoroughgoods.
  Now the Ferry Plantation house sits on that property and is a museum run by Belinda Nash and her daughter Danielle Sheets. Many other people all volunteer their time to keep the house running. They ask for donations for tours but get no funding from the city of Virginia Beach. Belinda and her daughter are the biggest advocates for Grace Sherwood. They were responsible for getting former governor Tim Kaine to pardon Grace in 2006, 300 hundred years after she was tried for witchcraft in what was then Princess Anne County. Belinda was also the driving force behind getting a statue erected on the very same Witchduck road. The statue resides on the corner of Independence and Witchduck just in front of Bayside hospital. The church where Grace was forced to confess sits just across the road. There is a engraved stone in the herb garden of the church that commemorates Grace's life and troubles. The stone was created and placed through the efforts of the church's historian, Bob Perrine, and the historical traditions committee.
    If Saville Gaskin had been more successful perhaps we would have a whole different set of names for some of our geographic features. If history had been kinder to both Gaskin and Grace Sherwood, perhaps we would now have Gaskin Point or French Landing or even Saville Road. It matters little for no one would remember and all we would have is names on a map and the intriguing history surrounding them would be largely forgotten. Now Grace Sherwood is remembered for her trial and troubles and not for the good work she did. She is alleged to have been a mid-wife and skilled herbal healer. But at least she is remembered. By the efforts of Belinda, Danielle and Bob and others like them, hopefully Grace will never be forgotten.
                         William Huber 2015
  
               One Armed Woodhouse
  At the northern limits of the Aragona neighborhood of Virginia Beach sits a church. That church is the Haygood United Methodist Church.  It has occupied that spot on Haygood Road for over 180 years. A small cemetery sits behind the church. It contains the remains of about thirty people, five of whom are Confederate veterans. I like to call them the Haygood Seven because I include the brother of two of those men who served with them but is buried in Elmwood in Norfolk. Another man is buried just down the street and also served with the Haygood Seven. Here are the names of these men; Littleton Waller Tazewell Land, John Smith, John Absalom, Josiah Woodhouse, Solomon Woodhouse, George Woodhouse and Miles Miller.
  The man buried in Norfolk is George H. H. Woodhouse. He was born in Princess Anne County in 1840 and lost his right arm at the battle of Malvern Hill in 1862. He went home and recovered for a few months and then went back to serve in the rest of the war. Steven McGary, an expert on small arms at the Colonial Shooting Academy on Witchduck Road informed me that a one armed man going back to active duty would have been issued a revolver, probably the Colt Navy. But he would also have been assigned some duty that kept him away from the front lines. Possibly young George was made the company clerk, writing letters for the other men and writing official documents for the officers.
  I know for a fact that he could write because he later became the clerk for the city market in Norfolk. He held this position from 1900 until his death in 1915. I think he was asked to fill this position by the city because of his sharp wits and even sharper pencil.
 Immediately after the war, he went home to his farm and worked it until he moved to Norfolk. He also tried his hand at oystering, his one good right hand. He had to have some help in these endeavors and I imagine his brothers and the other men who lived close by would have helped.
  He married Mariah Harrison and had one son and a daughter. The wife died soon after the baby girl in 1868. They are both buried near Littleton Waller Tazewell Land, the seventh member of the Haygood Seven. Then George married Georgiana Ewell and finally Derusia Smith after Georgiana passed away.
  Littleton is buried in the Land - Harrison family cemetery in Romney Park. It is a small playground area in Aragona, just two blocks from my house. The city is going to remove the playground equipment later this year and convert it into a urban green area type park. They were going to abandon the park entirely as they claim it is not city property. But thanks to the tireless efforts of Lorraine Samko, the President of the Aragona Civic League, and a group of dedicated members of that group, a compromise was reached that is agreeable to everyone.
  I can only imagine the courage and tenacity of this man who lost his arm in war , then lost his first and second wives and a baby daughter. His good friend Miles Miller, another of the Seven, fell from his buggy and broke his neck in 1898. I believe Miles was helping George in his farming and oystering endeavors and George decided to move into town after his friend's death. Soon after, George was asked to be the clerk for the new city market.
   All seven of these men served as privates. Two were captured and sent to Point Lookout camp in Maryland until the end of the war. None of them went on to do great things. They came home, got married, raised families and lived their lives. The sons of two of these men did go on to do heroic things and I will report on their lives in another post.
 
                          Old Times       
 Back in the 1980's, I used to work for an oriental carpet company in Virginia Beach. Once a month or so, we would have to go to New York to pick up fresh consignment pieces and drop off old ones. We always went up the Eastern Shore way on highway 13. Then we would take the Cape May ferry over to Jersey and continue on the Garden State Parkway. On one trip, we had to drop off a rug at one location and pick up another at a different place, both in the Virginia part of Eastern Shore. The lady who was getting a rug picked up gave me verbal directions on the phone. She said turn left at the third light and drive until you see a red barn and then turn in the second driveway. Do you know how many red barns there are on Eastern Shore? I didn't count them all but there are a lot. Also we didn't know if she meant stoplights or all lights, including flashing ones.
  Needless to say, we got lost and where the red barn was supposed to be was an old country store. We stopped to ask directions and felt like we had stepped back in time. The store had wooden clapboards in need of paint and an old rusted metal roof. There was no electricity and the only light came in a small dirty window. I walked up the steps, opened the creaky old screen door and went inside. It was very dark and it took some time for my eyes to adjust. I walked to the counter in the back of the store but no one was there. A curtain covered a door into the back of the place where I guessed the owner lived.
  I yelled," hello, is anybody here."
 Just then I heard a voice from behind me.
  "Whatcha lookin' for, son."
 I turned around and saw two older men sitting in rocking chairs by a woodstove. I hadn't seen them when I came in and must have walked right by them. I explained my situation to them and told them the lady's name I was looking for. They knew exactly who I meant and gave me new directions. They told me to ignore the flashing lights and to turn at the next stoplight. I thanked them profusely and continued on my way. We found the place, no problem and picked up the rug from her.
  I told her about getting lost and how helpful the two older men were. She laughed and said they were brothers and had been running that store for more than forty years. She also said that me coming in their store was probably the most exciting thing to happen there in a long time.
 As we continued on our way to New York, I imagined those two old guys sitting there, joking about that poor lost boy from the city.
  One would say," that boy sure was lost."
  And the other would say,"yep, sure was."
 Then they would laugh about it a minute and move on to more important topics like the weather, the corn harvest and who got a new tractor this year. I envied them then and still do because it seemed like they had slowed down time somehow and they were in control of it not the other way around.
               Blackbeard and Floyd Painter
  Growing up in Tidewater, Virginia, I often heard  stories about Blackbeard the pirate. In 1718, a pirate known as Blackbeard was killed in North Carolina by Lt. Maynard. Governor Spotswood of Virginia sent Maynard down there because the governor of North Carolina was not doing anything to capture the notorious pirate. In fact, Governor Eden was letting Blackbeard stay in the town of Bath and had pardoned him. Blackbeard had to agree to certain terms set down by Eden in order to be pardoned. It's true he no longer had a fleet to go pirating with but he retained one ship which he renamed the Adventure. He appeared to be living peacefully in Bath with his current wife. One of the legends about Blackbeard was that he had as many as thirteen wives. I don't know if that was all at once or one after the other sort of like Henry the eighth. Another tale told about the man was that Eden was in cahoots with him and that's how he secured his pardon. That is the reason Spotswood decided to take matters into his hands and sent Maynard down there after the pirate. A bloody battle took place and Blackbeard fell with many pistol and cutlass wounds. Maynard cut off his head and sailed back to Hampton with it tied to his bowsprint. Blackbeard's body was thrown overboard and allegedly swam around Maynard's ship three times before sinking.
  Blackbeard in our time is more a man of myth than fact and plenty of stories about him are circulated as real. For one, we don't know if he was born in Bristol, England or if he was a local man. Another story  about him that is unclear is his name. Some say it was Edward Teach. Others give his last name as Drummond or Thatch. No matter which one is used, he is most commonly known as Blackbeard.
  I became interested in learning more about him when I met another local legend named Floyd Painter. He was a self taught archeologist interested in local history. He first started digging before I was even born. I never got the full story of how he got interested but he certainly taught me a thing or two. By the early 1980's, I had moved out to Bayville Farms on First Court road with my sister and her husband and their one year old daughter. There was a huge field behind the bungalow they rented. Floyd would show up after a heavy rain or after the field had just been plowed to look for artifacts. He had permission from the farm's owners as long as he didn't trample on crops. I would sometimes walk with him and he would teach me things.
  One thing he taught me was that anything could be an artifact. It didn't have to be shaped like an arrowhead to be important. Any piece of rock could be something of significance as there was no natural stone in this part of Virginia. He also taught me to look for shells, pottery shards, glass, or brick fragments. Each little thing found could have a story to tell. Floyd was mainly interested in Native culture and early colonial activity but he was knowledgeable in all periods of local history. While we walked the field, he sometimes told me stories of Blackbeard. He must have seen the spark in my eyes so he continued to feed that fire. Sometimes I think he was just pulling my leg but he would always set me straight if I got too far off track.
  For instance, there was a story that Blackbeard had stayed in Virginia Beach before settling in North Carolina. In Lake Joyce there was an island where he supposedly built a fort. In those days the opening to the Lynnhaven was in Lake Joyce. Blackbeard would watch for ships coming in and waylay them as they came into the narrow mouth. That island still exists and has been on the market several times in recent years. Floyd said that the island was manmade but not by Blackbeard. He insisted that it was part of the Fort Henry complex and predated Blackbeard's time by almost a hundred years. He encouraged me to go check it out and see for myself.
  My brother-in-law, Kenny, had a canoe and we went to that island several times. It was very impressive and had several large holes dug in it. Apparently local kids had been going out there for years looking for treasure. When I told Floyd about it he laughed and said even if there were ever pirates there, they wouldn't bury their treasure right it front of all the men. A good pirate would take a captive and his treasure out on a dark moonless night to a remote spot. He would make the captive dig the hole and place the chest in it. Then that pirate would kill the prisoner and bury him on top of the treasure chest. After many years the chest would rot and collapse and leave a depression in the ground. So Floyd told me if I was serious about treasure hunting, I would look for soil depressions in remote areas. He said the spot would be hard to get to but no more than a day's journey from the pirates camp. I think he was trying to use the lure of treasure to get me interested in archeology. It worked.
  I spent the good part of my free time over the next year looking for treasure. I decided that I couldn't check all the pits I found. It would take forever. I devised a method where I would sharpen a wooden dowel and use it to probe the soil. If it hit something solid I would feel it. I used wood so as not to damage the stuff underground, whatever it might be. I finally found a promising spot and set about excavating. I didn't want to be found out as I was technically trespassing so I would cover the hole with plywood and leaves each time I dug. Finally I hit something interesting and pulled it to the surface. It was a piece of bone.
   At last I thought I had found the lost treasure of Blackbeard. The bone must have been from the captive forced to dig the hole.. I went back in and pulled several more bones out. I thought they were jawbones because of the large teeth in them. But the teeth were way too large for a human. There were also too many of them. One person would only have a left and right mandible that could become separated after death and decomposition. There were at least a dozen jawbones in that hole. I covered up my site and took one bone with me to show to Floyd. So now I had become an amateur archeologist without  even intending to. I wondered if Floyd had started out in a similar fashion.
  When I showed him the bone, he laughed and told me it was a pig bone. Some farmer must have raised pigs on that land sometime in the past. He urged me to find out about the pigs by asking locals in the area. I asked around and there was indeed a pig farm there that had shut down about fifty years prior to my excavations. Floyd then told me two reasons why he thought there was no lost treasure. One was that hard coin money was in short supply and a pirate would usually take whatever cargo was on a captured ship. The cargo would be sold or traded and then the pirates would party until the money was gone. The second reason he thought there was never any treasure was that if Blackbeard did indeed have thirteen wives, he seriously doubted if he ever had any money left over in his pocket.
  I moved away from the farm and back to Norfolk the following year. I lost touch with Floyd and I heard about his death when I was out of the country. I will never forget the skills that great man taught me and I only wish more young people were interested in this sort of thing. I guess if it doesn't plug in and have a little screen to look at kids will never be interested.
                          Catfish Hunter
My dad was self-employed as a heating and cooling engineer for a large part of his life. In 1974 he took a job installing air conditioning in a sweat shop in Hertford, North Carolina. I guess the owners of this particular sweat shop thought the workers would be more productive if they weren't sweating so much. Or maybe the workers were dripping on the product too much. The product in this case were Izod shirts. Remember Izod, the colorful shirts with the little alligator on the front. They were the uniform of the day for young yuppies everywhere. At the time, I hated them and wouldn't have been caught dead in one. I was seventeen at the time and no longer just went with my dad to stand around and hand him tools. Now I was expected to do a man's work and earn every dollar paid me. The shop operated on a piecework basis. The workers, mostly women, were paid by how many shirts made per person and not by the hour. The work force was about half and half, black and white. Everyday at lunch, all the white ladies would congregate on one side of the factory and all the black ladies on the other. There were no rules that mandated this, it was strictly voluntary. They self segregated themselves. For a few days, my job was to cut a hole in the brick wall for the return of the air handler. The wall was three bricks thick and we used the masonry saw on the inside and outside but it wouldn't cut deep enough to go all the way through. I had to chisel the middle part out by hand. When I finally busted through, all those ladies cheered. I told them that we still had a long way to go, the unit wasn't even in place yet. One of them said that a hole letting in a little air was better than what they had before. I think they would have been happy with just that hole and the little bit of air it let in.
  The owners of this factory also owned a small restaurant in town called The Cherokee Inn. I don't remember if we ate there for free but somehow I doubt it. Those guys were cheaper than cheap. On the wall behind the bar were framed photos of local celebrities that had stopped in at least once. There was Andy Griffith, Roy Clark, Hank Williams and others. The latest addition to the wall of fame was Catfish Hunter, pitcher for the A's. The owners told me that Jimmy, as he was know in Hertford, lived just up the road and came in all the time. I only half believed them. Why would the most famous pitcher of the time bother with a little hole in the wall like The Cherkee Inn. I'm not a big baseball fan but I knew who Catfish Hunter was and what a big celebrity he was. In early September, the job was finished and we met the owners at the inn to get the last payment. I learned later that Jimmy Hunter's contract with the A's had been voided due to some sort of legality and Jimmy was a free agent. He would go on to play for the Yankees and have one of his best years in 1975. So in between teams, he did indeed show up at The Cherokee Inn. My dad and I were introduced and we shook hands with the famous man. He didn't want to talk about baseball, he was more interested in the shirt factory. It seems he was a silent partner and had some money invested in the venture. I got bored with all this money talk and stepped outside. As I said, I'm not a big baseball fan but when I first learned of the pitcher's close proximity, I had started practicing batting in the parking lot. I had an old broomstick handle and I would try to hit rocks out of the parking lot into the field beyond. I'm sure most boys and young men in my case have done this. You throw the rock up in the air with one hand and try to hit it as it comes down. I wasn't very good at it. I could hit maybe one out of four tries on a good day. I guess Jimmy got bored too, he came out in the lot to see what I was doing. He came over and gave me some batting tips.
 He said," don't choke up on your stick and don't try and keep your eye on the rock. I know you always hear folks say keep your eye on the ball but that's wrong. You keep your eye out on the horizon where you want to put the rock when you hit it. You just kinda gaze in that general direction and you'll hit better."
  "Thanks Mr. Hunter," I said.
  "Just call me Jimmy," he replied.
  "You know, I used to practice with a stick and a rock when I was a boy. We couldn't afford no better. But I was a bit younger than you," he added.
  Damned if he wasn't right. Now I could hit about three out of four using his method. Jimmy got in his car and left and I never saw the man again. When I heard he had died in 1999, I was quite sad, but happy that I had gotten to meet him and get batting advice from him. Over the years, I have come to realize how philosophical and profound his advice was. You shouldn't worry about the rock or the stick. You keep your eye on the horizon, where you want to be in the future and don't stress so much about where you are now. R.I.P. Jimmy
                         Stonehenge
I've always been fascinated by standing stones. I've never actually seen or touched any of them in person, and I don't claim to be any kind of authority on them. Nevertheless, I do have opinions about them, as do most people who are interested in history.
  First, here are some facts. The Celts are an Iron Age people. They didn't arrive in the British Isles or Western Europe until about 1000 BC. Most of the standing stone sites are at least 1000 years older. Stonehenge is dated at 2400 BC. The people who built them remain shrouded in mystery. Archaeologists sometimes call them the Pre-Celts or the Beaker people, who came to the area around 2900 BC. The evidence for wooden posts on the Stonehenge site has been carbon dated to about 8000 BC. So for the sake of simplicity, I will refer to them as the Pre-Celts. When the Celts came to the Isles, the stones were already ancient. They formulated their own stories and legends as to the origins of the stones. In short, they incorporated them into their own culture.
  Second, the structures are not always circular in shape. The horseshoe pattern was used at many places, the site at Avebury being one of the most well known. Sometimes only a simple dolman was built, which is an uneven capstone supported by three uprights. Whatever the shape, one has to agree that a great deal of effort went into the construction of these awe inspiring monuments.
  And third, one would think that these structures would be evenly distributed throughout the British Isles, but they aren't. Looking at this map, one can see that some areas have a much higher density of sites than others. There doesn't appear to be any pattern to this distribution. I will present three of my own theories as to why this is so. As I stated earlier, I am not an authority on these matters. just some guy who likes history.
   My first theory has to do with the reuse of stone during the Roman occupation of the British Isles, which lasted nearly 400 years. The Romans came to England in 43 AD and imposed their language and culture on the local inhabitants.An integral part of that culture was the use of stone in building projects. Hadrian's wall is the biggest project that comes to mind. Did the Romans reuse the stone monuments to build their roads, temples, houses and frontier walls? It certainly would have been easier than quarrying new stone. The areas of the highest densities of stone monuments are in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall and the island chains to the north of Scotland. The Orkneys have more stone monuments per square mile than anywhere else in the British Isles. All these areas are outside the most densely populated Roman areas. Looking at available evidence, one sees that this is not the case. Hadrian's wall, built in 122 AD, is the perfect place to look for evidence of this sort. Studies of the wall show that the stone in it was quarried from the nearest possible source south of the wall. The rubble and clay used for the base was dug from nearby riverbeds. This holds true for most other large Roman constructions in England. So, in my opinion, the Romans did not reuse the Pre-Celtic stone to build any of their large projects, but left them alone.
   My second theory has to do with the church, the Roman church as opposed to the Celtic church which existed up until the Norman era. After the Romans left, the Christian church they left behind evolved into it's own self contained entity. Contact with Rome was cut off by the ever more frequent invasions from the continent. It survived in Ireland, largely through the efforts of men like Saint Patrick. It was then carried to Scotland by Saint Columba. Both forms evolved into what we now call the Celtic Church. Some scholars prefer to call it the Insular Church, arguing that it was not a separate entity but part of the greater whole of Christianity. They point out that it was isolated not by choice but by chance. What ever the case, certain practices evolved on the continent that didn't in the British Isles. One of these was the construction of large cathedrals and churches. This didn't take place in the Isles until after the Norman Conquest. The Celtic Church built small chapels and monastic houses that were similar in size and shape to already existing structures, with stone walls and turf roofs. The standing stone sites were often used as places of meeting and worship by the priests and people of these congregations. They had no need of large quantities of stone and would not have reused the large stones from the circles and other sites. All that changed after the Norman Conquest. Large abbeys and cathedrals and castles were now constructed all over the British Isles. Most of this large scale building took place in the first hundred years after the Conquest. All of these imposing structures were built in the Gothic style and many were built on the sites of smaller existing Celtic and Saxon churches. Large quantities of stone would have been needed for these new buildings. Did the Normans reuse stone from the Pre-Celtic sites? A good place to start looking for possible reuse of stones is Westminster Abbey. After much fruitless searching on the Internet, I found no evidence of this. I did find that sometimes Roman sites  were cannibalized to make use of already dressed and sized  stones for some Norman constructions and other older ones. Bede recorded that Augustine reused part of the Roman church in his construction at Canterbury cathedral in 597 AD. Many additions and modifications were made up until Norman times. Everything was destroyed by fire in 1067, one year after the Normans gained control of England. Lanfranc, the first Norman archbishop, cleared the site and built the cathedral that survives to this day. His design was based on the Abbey of Saint Etienne at Caen. He even had stone imported from France for some of the construction.
   My only conclusion is that the disparity of distribution of monumental stone sites has nothing to do with destruction and reuse of those sites. It has to do to rather with the initial placement of those sites in areas that the original builders chose for specific reasons
   My third and most Outlandish theory has to do with the magical nature of the sites, specifically as to their placement over energy "hotspots" on and in the earth. The Pre-Celts, the builders of these stone circles, placed them in very specific spots around their land. Proximity to quarry sites and ability to transport large stones to the sites certainly would have been considerations. But also, the sites must have had some religious and spiritual significance and that would have been a major factor in deciding where the monuments were built.
The most likely use for these sites is a matter of great speculation. Burial of human remains is one such speculation but only one was found at Stonehenge itself. The remains of 66 individuals were found not far away but not directly on the site. Of course, no one has looked directly beneath an upright stone, the most likely place for a burial of any kind. Another obvious use of the sites is as a calender of sorts. The various alignments at Stonehenge accurately line up with the Solstices, both winter and summer. Simple arithmetic can be used to derive the Equinoxes from those alignments. Recently, some have suggested that the sites could also have been used as centers of trade and commerce. I don't think that was the original purpose of the sites, but certainly when large numbers of people gather together, trade and commerce will take place.   So, I leave it to you, gentle readers. What do you think about the various questions I have raised in this short post? Do you think there was any pattern to the placement of the monuments? What do you think was the original purpose of such impressive constructions? As I stated earlier, I am no expert in these matters. I'm just a history geek.
  As a side note, Stonehedge was extensively repaired  in the last century. Before then, many of the lintel stones were on the ground and many of the uprights were tilted at severe angles. Some had fallen over completely. Many restorations were done to the site at different times in the 1900's. I don't think that any alterations were done and the rebuilders tried to place the stones back in their original positions.