Jacquetta Hawkes Mottistone mystery solver
Daughter of a Nobel prize-winning biochemist, Jacquetta Hawkes was born in 1910 and became the first woman to take a degree in archaeology and anthropology. Little did she know she'd go on to discover the Longstone.
A love story
Jacquetta married the eminent archaeologist Christopher Hawkes, and together they took part in many excavations. After the Second World War she met the author J.B. Priestley and fell deeply in love with him, eventually marrying and moving with him to Brook Hill House on the Isle of Wight, which adjoins the Mottistone Estate to the west.
Long Stone excavations
She began to excavate the Longstone in 1956, publishing her findings in the Journal ‘Antiquity’ the next year. Until that time it was not realised that the Longstone was in fact the remains of an entrance to a Neolithic long barrow.
The curse of celebrity
The Priestleys’ secluded and idyllic life at Brook Hill House came to an end in the 1960s largely because of their celebrity. Jacquetta was active in a number of areas including the British Film Institute and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, and was instrumental in founding the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). She died in March 1996.