2015 Stonehenge Summer Solstice News

21 05 2015

Stonehenge will close its normal visitor operation at 1500hrs (3pm) on Saturday 20th June and all day on Sunday 21th June 2015.

Detailed Information
• Last admission to Stonehenge on Saturday 20th June 2015 will be 1300hrs (1pm)
• The Stonehenge Visitor Centre will close at 1500hrs Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunrise(3pm) and will remain closed for the period of Managed Open Access
• Sunset on Saturday 20th June 2015 is at 2126hrs (9.26pm) and sunrise on Sunday 21st June 2015 is at 0452hrs (4.52am)
• Stonehenge re-opens for normal admissions at 0900hrs (9am) on Monday 22st June 2015
Please note that the Stonehenge coach park will be closed during Managed Open Access for Summer Solstice and we will not be able to accommodate any commercial coaches on site during this time.

English Heriitage Top Tips for Group Visits
• Please remember to call or email with your booking well in advance to secure your preferred time slot
• Please ensure your final numbers are confirmed correctly – no refunds can be made once payment has been received or an invoice raised
• Please arrive at Stonehenge within your designated time slot. If your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes due to exceptional circumstances, call with a revised arrival time so we can do our best to accommodate you
• If your group wishes to go off separately ensure your tour leader/guide/driver agrees a meeting point and time for the group within your timescales for the visit
• English Heritage offer coach drivers, tour leaders/guides and Blue Badge Guides one complimentary hot drink (excluding luxury hot chocolate) at Stonehenge. This is limited to one coach driver and one tour leader/guide or Blue Badge Guide per group and only available when accompanying groups

For all Stonehenge group bookings and enquiries, contact the exclusive Stonehenge line –
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00
Tel: + 44 (0) 370 333 0604 (charged at local rates)
Email: stonehenge.traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk

For all general Travel Trade enquiries, contact the English Heritage Travel Trade Team –
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7973 3529
Email: traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk

The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge Riverside Project. A film from the AHRC

16 05 2015

This film from the AHRC is the latest in our specially commissioned series which celebrates the AHRC’s 10th anniversary. This film looks back to the year 2007 and the Stonehenge Riverside Project.

Led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson, the Stonehenge Riverside Project brought together academics from around the globe in one of the largest field archaeology research studies of the 21st Century.

The project set out to further understanding of Stonehenge and neighbouring complex, Durrington Walls. The project looked at the sites in the context of the surrounding landscape, and in doing so several remarkable discoveries were made including a new stone circle dubbed, ‘Bluehenge.’ The discovery catapulted the project to the forefront of the world‘s media and made front page of newspapers all over the world.

Link: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Watch-and-Listen/Pages/Stonehenge-Riverside-Project.aspx

The Stonehenge News Blog





Miliband’s megalith

6 05 2015

Originally posted on the urban prehistorian:

It is made of limestone, and takes the form of a monolithic beige block, over 2m in height. It sits on some kind of trolley arrangement, and so is presumably portable. There is writing on the stone, starting with block capitals:

A BETTER PLAN.

A BETTER FUTURE.

Below this are six statements which are aspirational and vacuous at the same time. And below that a squiggly signature and a logo.

For the Labour Party.

For Ed Miliband.

It is election fever.

miliband and his megalith

I am describing Miliband’s megalith, or is has become known in the press, ‘Miliband’s manifesto monolith’, and more widely still, as #EdStone in social media. It is a remarkable standing stone version of the successful ‘pledge card’ that characterised the rise to power of New Labour and Tony Blair in 1997. It was unveiled by Ed Miliband itself, with a group of over-enthusiastic flag-wavers, on Sunday 3rd May…

View original 1,146 more words





A NEW exhibition focusing on Stonehenge through the years will be opening today. #Stonehengewishyouwerehere.

1 05 2015

New ‘Stonehengiana’ exhibition created by archeologist Julian Richards displays souvenirs and other ephemera charting history of site as tourist attraction since the 19th century. It has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries and a tourist attraction probably since Roman times.  Wish You Were Here! takes a look back at how the ‘henge was viewed by previous generations and it provides a glimpse at the iconic role it has played in popular culture.

A new Stonehenge exhibition, Wish You Were Here, reveals the site’s history as a tourist attraction since Victorian times. Photograph: English Heritage/PA

A new Stonehenge exhibition, Wish You Were Here, reveals the site’s history as a tourist attraction since Victorian times. Photograph: English Heritage/PA

From 1st May 2015 explore the ‘Wish You Were Here’ special exhibition in the Stonehenge visitor centre.  Celebrating both the changing ways in which Stonehenge has been experienced by its many visitors, and its status as a world-wide icon, through historical souvenirs, guidebooks, postcards and photographs.

The exhibition features items from the personal collection of Julian Richards and objects on loan from the Wiltshire Museum and The Salisbury Museum.

This is the latest in a regularly changing programme of special exhibitions at the Stonehenge visitor centre. Entry to the exhibition is included in the price of your ticket. Explore previous exhibitions held at Stonehenge.

Wish You Were Here opens on 1st May and runs until March 2016. Admission is included in the Stonehenge entry price.  Visitors are invited to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #stonehengewishyouwerehere.

Links:
English Heritage. Stonehenge: Things to see and do 
From ‘druidical erection’ to Spinal Tap: a history of Stonehenge as tourist site
New exhibition focuses on Stonehenge through the years
Quirky look at Stonehenge through new Wish You Were Here exhibition

The Stonehenge News Blog





NEW THEORY: Stonehenge’s tallest stone ‘points at winter sunrise’

22 04 2015

The tallest stone at Stonehenge points towards the sunrise on the midwinter solstice, according to a new theory from an English Heritage steward.

Aerial photograph of Stonehenge
The newly observed alignment (red line) is at 80 degrees to the line of the axis of the monument (blue line)

Historians have long known the circle of stones is aligned with the midsummer sunrise but Tim Daw says the tallest one is lined up with the midwinter sun.

It was previously thought the stone had been put back at the wrong angle when it was re-erected in 1901.

But Mr Daw, who works there, says his research shows its angle is deliberate.

‘Botched job’

Mr Daw said: “The largest stone at Stonehenge is not where it ‘should’ be, it is twisted.

“This stone, Stone 56, is the tallest one at the end of the inner horseshoe of sarsen stones.

“Because it was put back to the vertical in 1901 it has been assumed that the twist is the result of the modern excavators botching the job.

Drawing of Stonehenge prior to 1901
The tallest stone in the monument was straightened in 1901

“My research shows that not only was the standing stone out of symmetry with the central solstice alignment originally, but that its now fallen partner had also been, and so were surrounding stones, including the Altar Stone.”

Mr Daw, who last year came up with evidence that the outer stone circle at Stonehenge was once complete, said his newly discovered alignment was at 80 degrees to the line of the axis of the monument, which points to midsummer solstice sunrise and midwinter sunset.

‘100 tonnes of stone’

“The stones point to the midwinter solstice sunrise and midsummer sunset,” he said.

“This alignment had been missed by previous investigators… as they used an idealised plan rather than an actual plan for their calculations.”

“This isn’t some nebulous sighting line on a distant star; this is 100 tonnes of stone deliberately pointing to the major event at the other end of the day the rest of the monument celebrates.

“One stone out of line might be a coincidence but that it is five of the major stones, at least, shows it was a designed feature.

“It shows what can be discovered by simple observation even in such a well-researched site as Stonehenge.”

Stonehenge
Tim Daw said the tallest stone (centre) was positioned to align with the midwinter sunrise

Director of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (WANHS), David Dawson, said: “This is an interesting new idea which highlights the “skew” of the Stonehenge trilithons, which has been known for some time.

“It highlights the significance of the summer and winter solstices at Stonehenge, and the 80 degree angle between them.

“We know that the Bush Barrow lozenge, on display at the Wiltshire Museum, hints at this same significant astronomical feature.

“There will now be a debate between archaeologists and a re-examination of the evidence to test this new hypothesis.”

Jessica Trethowan from English Heritage said it was “an interesting idea”.

Mr Daw’s theory has been published in the latest WANHS magazine.

Midwinter sunrise at Stonehenge
People traditionally gather at Stonehenge for the winter and summer solstices

Read the full story on the BBC News website

The Stonehenge News Blog





Did you know today (April 18th) is World Heritage Day? Celebrate it with a visit to Stonehenge or Avebury.

18 04 2015

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.

On 18th April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organised by ICOMOS in Tunisia, the holding of the “International Day WHSfor Monuments and Sites” to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested. This project was approved by the Executive Committee who provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organise this day.

The idea was also approved by the UNESCO General Conference who passed a resolution at its 22nd session in November 1983 recommending that Member States examine the possibility of declaring 18th April each year “International Monuments and Sites Day”. This has been traditionally called the World Heritage Day.

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world. The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to prehistoric times.

Stonehenge and Avebury form part of one of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The explanations behind why the sites are located where they are and what their exact purposes are still remain a mystery to this day.

Stonehenge

Managed by English Heritage dates back approximately 5,000 years. Evolving between 3,000 and 1,600 BC, Stonehenge is aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the solstices. The summer solstice in June often attracts up to 20,000 visitors to view the sunrise. When visiting Stonehenge pick up one of their audio guides (available in different languages) giving details of the history and legends behind the site. For a more intimate experience there’s an inner circle tour which takes place before and after the site is open to the general public (pre-booking is essential) or view tour companies who offer general and inner circle visits to the stones.

Around the Stonehenge landscape there are other sites of notable importance including Durrington Walls, the largest henge monument in Britain and Woodhenge, a Neolithic monument dating from around 2,300 BC.

Avebury

The largest stone circle in the World, Avebury was erected around 4,500 years ago and consists of around 100 stones. Many of the stones were re-erected by Alexander Keiller in the 1930s.

The Alexander Keiller Museum in the village holds many of the archaeological finds that Keiller discovered during the excavations of Avebury during this time and the history of the excavations. Today Avebury is managed by the National Trust.

The site is open daily (due to its village location) and visitors can not only explore the stone circle but also the Avenue, the West Kennett Long Barrow and can look over at Silbury Hill – the largest man-made hill in Europe. Similarly to Stonehenge, Avebury is also plays host to both Winter and Summer Solstices.

In 2012, Avebury Manor opened its doors following the BBC TV programme ‘The Manor Reborn’ which also saw the kitchen garden transformed into a working Victorian kitchen garden.

See objects excavated from the World Heritage Site at Salisbury Museum and the new prehistory displays at Wiltshire Museum in Devizes. Salisbury Museum has recently reopened its Wessex Gallery. The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has new displays featuring gold from the Time of Stonehenge, including Britain’s richest Bronze Age burial.
Visit Wiltshire Website

“Celebrate it with a visit to Stonehenge or Avebury and observe a minute of silence for the ones we have lost to insensitive developments”

The Stonehenge News Blog





Discover the Hidden History and Ancient Mysteries that lie within the World Heritage Site. 2015 National Trust Events

12 04 2015

Discover the hidden history and ancient mysteries that lie within the World Heritage Site on a National Trust event National Trust Eventsthis year.

Walk with an archaeologist: the Stonehenge landscape

Join Neolithic expert and National Trust archaeologist Dr. Nick Snashall on this half day exploration of the Stonehenge landscape and find out about the latest exciting discoveries. We’ll be walking around four miles.

18th April 2015 – Visit the National Trust website

Discover Durrington Walls

Ever wondered where the builders of Stonehenge lived? Join our landscape guides to explore the secrets of Durrington Walls – once home to the builders of Stonehenge – and discover 6,000 years of hidden history (2.5 – 3 mile walk).

25th April 2015 – Visit the National Trust website

Archaeology Walk 

Explore the wider Stonehenge World Heritage landscape with a guide discovering hidden histories and ancient mysteries.

6 May 2015 2:00pm –  – Visit the National Trust website

Wings over Stonehenge 

Walk in the slipstream of the early pioneer military aviators at Larkhill. See where the Bristol Boxkite made its first flight in 1910 and where the first British military aeroplane unit was formed..

20 May and 6th June 2015 2:00pm –  – Visit the National Trust website

Discover Durrington Walls 
Ever wondered where the builders of Stonehenge lived? Join our landscape guides to explore the secrets of Durrington Walls – once home to the builders of Stonehenge – and discover 6,000 years of..

10 June 2015 1:30pm – Visit the National Trust website

Booking Essential 0844 249 1895
A 5% booking fee applies. Phone lines are open Mon to Fri 9am-5.30pm, plus Sat and Sun 9am-4pm.Booking Fee Applies

The Stonehenge News Blog








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