Thomas Charles Lethbridge (23 March 1901 – 30 September 1971), better known as T. C. Lethbridge, was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer. A specialist in Anglo-Saxon archaeology, he served as honorary Keeper of Anglo-Saxon Antiquities at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology from 1923 to 1957, and over the course of his lifetime wrote twenty-four books on various subjects, becoming particularly well known for his advocacy of dowsing.
“Actually it is quite devastating to realise how few people ever think at all. They mostly take their ideas from what they are told on the wireless, television, or in the newspapers, from people who are prepared to take a reasonable fee. To suggest anything different makes you tread on many corns of vested interest. No professional pathfinder likes you for doing it.”
Born in Somerset to a wealthy family, Lethbridge was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, during the course of which he attended an expedition to Jan Mayen island, becoming part of the first group to successfully climb the Beerenberg.
After a failed second expedition to the Arctic Circle, he became involved in archaeology. In his capacity as Keeper of Anglo-Saxon Antiquities at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Lethbridge carried out excavations at various sites around Britain.
His claims regarding the existence of Iron Age hill figures on Wandlebury Hill in Cambridgeshire caused significant controversy within the archaeological community, with most archaeologists believing that Lethbridge had erroneously misidentified a natural feature. Lethbridge’s methodology and theories were widely deemed unorthodox, and in turn he became increasingly critical of the archaeological profession.