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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

XIII. Scholars and Antiquaries

§ 27. Writers on Monastic and Cathedral Antiquities

In monastic antiquities, the writings of Dugdale and Tanner stand pre-eminent among the books of this period, as does Dugdale’s St. Paul’s among works devoted to particular ecclesiastical foundations. With these may be mentioned Simon Gunton’s History of the Church of Peterborough (1686) and James Bentham’s History of Ely Cathedral (1771). Browne Willis’s History of the Mitred Abbies (1718), and Survey of the Cathedrals were useful, if not particularly accurate, compilations.

Among the more ancient monuments of antiquity, Stonehenge, from the latitude it afforded for ingenious speculation, formed the subject of various theories. Aubrey, in his oftquoted but never printed Monumenta Britannica, assigns to it a druidical origin. In 1655, Inigo Jones, in his monograph on the subject, sought to trace a Roman original; while Walter Charleton, in Chorea Gigantum (1663), endeavoured to “restore” it to the Danes, and William Stukeley, in 1740, produced his Stonehenge, a temple restor’d to the British Druids.

Roman antiquities attracted comparatively small attention, though such books as William Burton’s Commentary on Antoninus, his Itinerary (1658), and John Horsley’s Britannia Romana (1732), with the writings of Thomas and Roger Gale, Nathaniel Salmon, Alexander Gordon, and others, suffice to show that the study was not entirely neglected.