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Leys

6 7 aSTrONOmiCal aligNmENTS Watkins, Lockyer, Thom and Stonehenge Sir Norman Lockyers research in 1901 on the astronomical orientation of ancient temples showed that certain alignments of stones through the centre of Stonehenge had been arranged to point to the moment of sunrise or sunset on particular days of the year. Alfred Watkins lost no time in revisiting Stonehenge to follow up what Lockyer had not fully developed, the evidence of other mark points for those astronomical alignments. He found good evidence for four such alignments. More corroboration was to come from Admiral Boyle Sommerville, a Straight Track Club member who noted that several stone rows, circles and dolmens in the Hebrides and in Ireland were precisely aligned to sunrise and sunset on significant days in the year. Such alignments then continued in straight lines to marks, notches, cairns or earthworks on or near hilltops several miles away. A similar alignment can be seen at Newgrange, in Ireland where the passage to the central chambers of the tomb is oriented towards the point of midwinter sunrise. On the same line lie two decorated kerbstones, a burial mound and one of the stones of the surrounding stone circle see pages 4243. Opposite The midsummer solstice alignment from the centre of Stonehenge.
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