Miles Lewis Oration 2023 - Dr Rosemary Hill (U.Oxford)
Japanese Room (Level 4), Glyn Davis Building (MSD), Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne
The Lives of Stonehenge: a prehistoric monument in historic time
Dr Rosemary Hill
Stonehenge, one of the most recognisable megalithic structures in the world, continues to fascinate. Its appeal endures because it satisfies two fundamental human desires at once –the thirst for knowledge and the love of mystery. Over the centuries much has been discovered about when it was built and how, but the greater question, why, remains. We have no idea –or rather we have many conflicting ideas- about what Stonehenge is and what it meant to its creators. It has been studied by architects and antiquaries, mystics, poets and Charles Darwin. To each age and each individual it has reflected back their own preoccupations and these in turn have had considerable consequences. Theories about Stonehenge lie behind Inigo Jones’s replanning of London and beneath the city of Bath as Jane Austen knew it. Revisions to the Criminal Justice Act, the revival of Druidry, the new town of Milton Keynes and the cult horror film The Wicker Man all bear witness to the enduring influence of Stonehenge and to echoes of the prehistoric within historic time.
Rosemary Hill is a writer and historian. Her life of A W N Pugin, God’s Architect, won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Tait Black Prize. An independent scholar who has published widely on the history of art and ideas, she is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Society of Literature and of All Souls College, Oxford. Her study of Stonehenge won the Architectural Historians of America award and her most recent book, Times Witness: history in the age of Romanticism, has been described as ‘a book to change the way you think about history’.
Zoom link is available via registration on Eventbrite.
Dr Hill is joining ACAHUCH in October 2023, supported by the Miles Lewis Fellowship at the Faculty of Architecure, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. The Miles Lewis Fellowship has been made possible by the generous support of the Vera Moore Foundation