The New Key to an Ancient Enigma
 by Anthony Johnson:
THAMES & HUDSON ISBN 978-0-500-05155-9
61/2" x 91/2" · 135 illustrations, 35 in colour · 288 pages ·                      

Bath architect John Wood
John Wood (1704-1754)
William Stukeley
William Stukeley (1687-1765)

John Wood, the architect of Georgian Bath, was described by the antiquarian William Stukeley as a man of  'crackt imaginations’. Not the least of the complaints raised by Stukeley was that he saw no merit in recording the stones in meticulous detail. Fortunately Wood thought otherwise, commenting that Stukeley had done no better than to employ a ‘jobbing bricklayer.... whom he stiles an architect’ to assist with his plan of the stones. 

Wood has left us the most important record of Stonehenge ever made, his survey carried out in 1740 was annotated with hundreds of measurements, which he resolved on the ground to one half, sometimes even one quarter, of an inch.

Using these original dimensions it has been possible to re-draw his work on a computer and compare the record with the modern plan. Wood's survey has immense archaeological value, for he recorded the stones fifty years before the collapse of the western trilithon (which fell in 1797 and was not restored until 1958).

Solving Stonehenge book jacket

Below: a detail from John Wood's 1740 survey

detail of John Wood's 1740 plan