Jacquetta Hawkes Mottistone mystery solver

An old image of Jacquetta Hawkes beside a more recent photograph of the Long Stone

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 Long Stone stands like sentinel on Mottistone Common

The Longstone at Mottistone

Uncover the mysteries and legends of the Longstone and understand why people still celebrate the solstices and equinoxes around it to this day.

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.

Find out more about Jacquetta

The University of Bradford has an extensive archive on the life of Jacquetta, and this is a rich source of information for those who wish to learn more about this fascinating lady.