Research at America’s Stonehenge started in 1937 with William B. Goodwin, and still continues today. In 1989, we started
working with Pat Hume, past president of the New Hampshire Archaeological Society, and she has been working with us almost
every year since then.
In the past few years, starting in September 2015, we have been working on several new projects, one of those being
restoration work to the Chamber in Ruins. The west-facing wall and the east-facing wall of the chamber were bowing and
in danger of collapsing, so we asked Pat Hume and a small team of volunteers to conduct restoration work on the chamber.
During the restoration we took measurements of the structure and found that the chamber is trapezoidal in shape, and that
its dimensions conform with the Megalithic Yard, which is 32.64 inches, or 82.9 centimeters. Three corners of the chamber
are corbelled, which we found interesting; at first we weren’t sure if the corbelling was due to stone slippage over time,
but upon closer inspection, we noticed that all three corners were corbelled, and that it was intentional. For continuity,
we went into the Pattee Chamber because it is similar to the Chamber in Ruins; both entrances face south, they are both
rectangular in shape, and the corners of the Pattee Chamber also have corbelling to them.
There are two very large stones on the Chamber in Ruins: the roof slab, and the lintel stone which lies underneath the roof
slab. The lintel stone has an interesting-looking groove that is about three inches long. We are not sure what it means or
who did it, but it was clearly intentional and an interesting discovery.
James Whittall, one of the earlier researchers on the site, had worked on the Chamber in Ruins in the 1960s, so Pat Hume
worked with a volunteer to go through all of Whittall’s backfill with a fine sifter. They cleaned up the area, repaired
the west and east walls, backfilled the chamber once more, and took precautions to ensure that the walls would not start
to collapse in again.