Neolithic Rock Art,
Tom Bennett's books

altar stone may have come from WEstray, Orkney imagealtar stone may have come from WEstray, Orkney image
Today if we move heavy objects any distance we do it using sea transport.  I have always beleived that Bluestones from the Preseli Hills involved a sea journey to get to Stonehenge.  If I can find evidence that the Altar Stone came from the Orkney Islands, then it endorses my theory that the Bluestones were also taken to Stonehenge by sea transport.    Archaeologists have determined that the 6 ton Altar Stone has not originated from any of the South Wales Devonian sandtones and now consider that it may have come from Scotland.  Two years ago I studied the Rousay flagstones in Orkney Isles looking for a match of the surface patterning of the type found on the Altar Stone.  The intertidal rocks found in the north of Westray and Papa Westray both match the surface patterning, have similar stratification, similar colouration and grain size. What is more is that blocks in rectangular shape are found naturally on the beaches, needing no quarrying to find the correct size.  The Neolithic farmers of Orkney had been using this same stone to build their tombs and monoliths since 3600 BC.  These folk were the experts in moving stones, building boats and designing stone circles and had been doing so for at least 800 years before Stonehenge was conceived.  

The Altar Stone 
ALTAR STONE, Stonehenge is green purple sandstone block of dimentions 4.9 m long by 0.5 m thick and 1 m wide.  It is both unique and the only recumbent stone in the monument.  Presently rock samples from Orkney are being analysed to see if they match the known minerology of the Altar Stone.   The entire geology of Orkney is made up of this Devonian fine grained micaceous flagstone and the author has matched up the fossil patterning on The Altar Stone to the rocks found in Westray and Papa Westray , the most northerly of the islands in Orkney.   

This Bookshop contains most of TOM BENNETT's books that are still available in 2023. The prices include postage and packing to mainland UK. Go to AMAZON or GOOGLE books if you are looking for any of Tom's ' Out of print'  books. Search for 'Tom Bennett shipwrecks' and see what comes up!

About the author TOM BENNETT
Describing himself as a "maritime explorer" Tom has specialized in writing books about shipwrecks and the sea, mainly around Wales.
A new edition of Sea Guide to Pembrokeshire was reprinted in 2022.  
Dale Sailing at Brunel Quay Neyland Pembrokehsire sell this book or try Victoria Bookshop in Haverfordwest.
Many of Tom's earlier shipwreck books covered the diving wrecks of Wales. Although many of these books have been out of print for decades, some are still available if you contact Tom at   or look at his alternative website
The Author  image

Shipwrecks for Walkers   Welsh Beaches 

Shipwrecks for Walkers   English, Scotland and Ireland Beaches. 

Both are a glossy A4 size book. Full colour photos on each page and every page has details of a different shipwreck that can be seen intertidally around the UK coast. These books are designed for keeping in the car for those holidays and weekends. If you live in Britain you are likely to be only an hour's drive from a beach. That beach probably has remnants of a shipwreck still exposed and awaiting your discovery. Take the kids on a hunting trip to the coast and look for one of these shipwrecks. There are 80 wrecks in each book. The wreckage that you will see is fully explained, the type of ship, the story and date of its loss, all there with photos. These two books are truly a guide to shipwreck hunting without getting wet feet!

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