Cover image for Megaliths : the ancient stone monuments of England and Wales
Megaliths : the ancient stone monuments of England and Wales
Corio, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Jonathan Cape, [2003]

Physical Description:
177 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GN790 .C67 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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David Corio has systematically photographed the megalithic sites of England and Wales with the eye of a great landscape photographer, as well as with the passion of an explorer in the ruins of an ancient culture. These photographs go to the heart of prehistoric England and reveal a profound sense of place, with all the beauty that invited Romantic speculation from the seventeenth century onwards--as well as the encroaching modern world of distant urban skylines and protective barriers.

Author Notes

David Corio's work has been published by The Times , the Daily Telegraph , the Guardian , the New York Times and Rolling Stone . His book on black musicians, The Black Chord , was published in New York in 1999. His work has been exhibited at the V&A and numerous galleries. He lives in New York with his wife Lai Ngan, a film maker. Their website is

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Six thousand years ago, an unknown people built the famous standing stones and stone circles of Britain. These mysterious structures range from the famous Stonehenge and the Rollright Stones to the obscure Hoar Stone of Lower Swell and Robber's Stone of Llandyfydog. This lavish, oversize book differs from many recent others by displaying only black-and-white photographs of the selected monuments, which, far from restricting the evocative artistry of the book, enhances it. David Corio's images of Stonehenge and other famous monuments are striking and luminous; his photos of lesser-known sites, revealingly detailed and deeply textured. Lai Ngan Corio's clear, information-packed text enhances overall appeal by providing, besides site information, legends and archaeological data. Books on megaliths are fairly common, but this one, distinguished by its intense focus on the visual impact and mythic importance of the sites, is unusual and rewarding. --Patricia Monaghan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

To assemble this stunning photographic survey of megaliths in England and Wales, the Corios (David is a photographer and Lai Ngan, a writer and film director) drew inspiration from the passionate British antiquarians. They open with an essay that traces those aficionados and their tradition back to the 16th century, supplementing the text with illustrations of early engravings of Stonehenge and other sites by William Rogers, Inigo Jones, and others. The book is arranged geographically into four sections: "The West," "The South," "The North," and "Wales and the Borders." Each includes an outline map with site locations, photographs of the site, and an accompanying essay recounting legends and theories related to the megalith, as well as some physical details and references to excavations. Stonehenge is given the greatest coverage, as befits its size and importance. Graceful and evocative, the text complements the starkly beautiful photographs; one only wishes that the sources in the bibliography were arranged by site rather than alphabetically by author. Overall, this book indeed captures the grandeur of the megaliths and is a treat for the eye and the imagination; it deserves a wide audience. For photography, history, and folklore collections.-Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The megalithic stone structures remaining as enigmatic legacies of long-disappeared inhabitants of Western Europe have for hundreds of centuries provoked human curiosity and considerable speculation as to their purposes. Many previous publications focused solely on these stones and asked questions about who built them and for what purposes. This visually attractive collection of 75 black-and-white photos (with two additional photos on the dust jacket) contains narratives for each site, reviewing myth and folklore addressing these questions. The sites are only in the UK: 15 sites are in the southwest of England, 13 in the south, 12 in the north, and 16 in Wales. The use of black-and-white photography affords readers a view of the surface texture of the stones that one sees when on-site, which many previous publications have not depicted as powerfully. The text reviews the literature but does not offer new explanations of who and why. The book opens with a five-page essay, "The Antiquarian Tradition" (with line drawings). Well-known Stonehenge receives considerable attention (seven photos in 12 pages), including a three-page foldout. Material on Stonehenge is fuller than that on lesser-known sites. Good for systematic regional presentation of sites and informative bibliography on folklore since 1750. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates. M. Evans emeritus, SUNY Empire State College