Stonehenge tunnel plans could be revived

25 04 2014

Tunnel beneath Stonehenge could be reconsidered as part of plans to ease traffic congestion

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost Photo: ALAMY

Plans to build a road tunnel under Stonehenge could be revived as the Government looks to ease bottlenecks on some of Britain’s most congested stretches of road.

A study to be completed this summer will consider whether a dual carriageway or underground tunnel could solve the traffic problem caused by drivers slowing down to admire one of Britain’s most famous world heritage sites.

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost.

Yesterday, the Government outlined detailed plans for a “feasibility study” which will examine all possibilities for easing congestion along the route.

It pledged to deliver its final proposals in this year’s Autumn Statement along with the findings of five similar road-widening proposals on the A27 corridor, the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth, Trans-Pennine routes and two areas of the A1 around Newcastle.

Countryside campaigners attacked the plans which they claimed would scar beauty spots by laying extra tarmac along stretches of land which have remained untouched since Roman times.

Plans to widen the A27 include parts of the South Downs, Britain’s newest national park, while parts of the Norfolk Broads national park and the Northumberland coast could be affected under plans for the A47 and A1, they said.

The A303/A30/A358 corridor, which forms the main route from London to the south west, was highlighted by ministers last summer as one of six areas where solutions were urgently needed for the country’s most “notorious and long standing” congestion hot spots.

The A303 in particular is frequently gridlocked during summer weekends at a number of points where the dual carriageway narrows to a single lane, bringing holiday traffic to a standstill.

The feasibility study will “look to initially build on work done to date on potential proposals” rather than drawing up new solutions, beginning several plans for new stretches of dual carriageway including a 12km passage from Amesbury to Berwick Down (Stonehenge).

But the study will also “draw upon” work from a range of other projects including historic plans to tunnel beneath the prehistoric monument, with sources insisting all options are on the table.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England said several of the spots under examination, including Stonehenge, are only congested at certain times of year and do not merit major development.

Ralph Smyth, senior transport campaigner for the CPRE, said: “The traffic [at Stonehenge] hasn’t increased in the last 10 years and it does not justify the huge cost of a tunnel.”

A long tunnel would at least be preferable to a dual carriageway at the surface, which could cause the historic site to lose its world heritage status, he added.

Last month John Glen, Conservative MP for Salisbury, said a tunnel was the “only realistic” solution to protect Stonehenge while solving traffic problems which he said had turned the stretch into the “devil’s highway”.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said the six studies would “develop solutions to some of the most notorious and  long-standing hot spots on the national road network.”

An English Heritage spokesman said: “We want to make certain the necessary improvements to the A303 are delivered in a way that will ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.”

By , Transport Correspondent: Full article:

The Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge News: Stones may be moved to new visitor centre

1 04 2014

A leaked report has revealed that English Heritage intend to move the Stones from the current location closer to the new visitor centre. Visitors currently have to travel some 2km by land train to the Stone Circle and it makes perfect commercial sense to make the monument more accessible to visitors. All plans are subject to approved planning permission

The Heritage Lottery could help fund moving the Stones

The Heritage Lottery could help fund moving the Stones

A recent customer survey also revealed that 95% of 2014 visitors ‘agree’ or strongly agree’ that it would be a better experience if the Stones were closer to the souvenir shop, toilets, cafe and museum. This would also reduce carbon footprint and save valuable sightseeing time.

Local archaeologists support the idea and would give archaeological evidence as to how the Stones were moved in the first place. They would use ancient skills and technologies and could utilise the volunteers from the Neolithic house project. Concerns have now been raised about the ancient monuments act of 1913, but experts are confident a solution could be found.

Davinvi Construction, the current contractor who are completing the landscape restoration work said it would make sense to move the Stones this summer whilst they have heavy plant machinery and skilled labour on site, although it may be tricky moving some of the larger rocks, they added.

Circular stadium seats could surround the monument during the busy Solstice events and even a 3D simulation of the sunset and sunrise could amaze audiences from around the world. Suggestions of a glass roof covering the entire monument could overcome the poor weather conditions often experienced on the Solstice and guarantee a perfect sunrise every time.

Larkhill Commanding Officer Will Ruinit was delighted to hear the latest proposal and can now fast track the MOD plans to erect watch towers and a new missile base on the Solstice ‘sun gap’ alignment without further protests.

At time of going to press local Druid, King Arthur was unavailable for comment but a spokesman quoted “He will definitely not be happy.”

Have your say
There will be an opportunity to voice your concerns at the ‘Who’d a Thought It Inn’ Lockeridge, near Marlborough on April 8th. See you next Tuesday.
Please send you comments and feedback to

Neolthic Houses at Stonehenge Visitor Centre

25 03 2014

NEOLITHIC buildings are being painstakingly recreated in the new outdoor exhibition area of the Stonehenge visitor centre.

Salisbury Journal: Neolithic houses at Stonehenge

Neolithic houses at Stonehenge

When complete, the houses will showcase what life would have been like at the time that Stonehenge was built. The re-created huts are based on archaeological evidence unearthed at the nearbyDurrington Walls.


Volunteers are weaving hundreds of hazel rods through the main supporting stakes, thatching the roofs with hand-knotted wheat straw, and starting to cover the walls with a daub of chalk, straw and water.

Once the buildings are completed, volunteers will be on hand to talk to visitors about the project and to demonstrate the daily activities of our Neolithic ancestors.



Link source:
Salisbury Journal

Link resource:
Follow their progress here:
English Heritage Link:

Follow the project and progress on Twitter:

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge and local area news blog

Stonehenge Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2014

19 03 2014

An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20th March and 22nd September), when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator. The exact time of the Equinox this year is March 20th at 16:57 GMT

The name “equinox” is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day have approximately equal length.

The ‘Managed Open Access’ at Stonehenge for the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, will be from approximately 05.45 am until 08.30 on 20th March 2014.Stonehenge Equinox Druids

Parking will be limited and cars will have to be moved by 9:00 am.

• Access to Stonehenge for the Spring Equinox will take place on the morning of 20 March 2014.

• Entrance to the monument will commence as soon as ‘light-levels’ are deemed safe enough to permit. For the past couple of years this has occurred around 0545h however EH would ask that people are patient should the morning prove ‘overcast’ and a slight delay occurs.

• Access to Stonehenge will cease at 0830h and the cooperation of all of visitors in ensuring the monument is vacated at this time would be most appreciated. Please note that, in previous years, access for the Equinox ceased earlier at 0800h, however English Heritage has permitted an additional half an hour within the monument for our visitors.

• Temporary toilets (Porta-Loos) will be available at the monument once the site is open for public access. This includes a provision for those with disabilities.

•The Cafe and Shop at the new Visitor Centre at Airmans Cross should be opening for visitors from approximately 0800h on the morning of 20 March. Please note that the toilets at this location will also become available for use at this time. Although the Cafe will be opening only hot and cold drinks will be available for the first hour. Pasties etc will become available after 0900h.

Link source:

Follow Stonehenge Stone Circle on Twitter for live pictures from the Stones:
Follow English Heritage on Twitter:

Have fun and respect the Stones!

Merlin at Stonehenge
Stonehenge Stone Circle Blog

Stonehenge bluestones had acoustic properties, study shows

4 03 2014

The giant bluestones of Stonehenge may have been chosen because of their acoustic properties, claim researchers.

A study has discovered that rocks in the Preseli Hills, the source of some the stones at Stonehenge, have a sonic property

A study has discovered that rocks in the Preseli Hills, the source of some the stones at Stonehenge, have a sonic property

A study shows rocks in the Preseli Hills, the Pembrokeshire source of part of the monument, have a sonic property.

Researcher Paul Devereux said: “It hasn’t been considered until now that sound might have been a factor.”

The study, by London’s Royal College of Art, was to try and record what “Stone Age eyes and ears” would have heard and seen in a prehistoric landscape.

Since the 1920s, it has been known stones quarried in Mynydd Preseli were hauled 199 miles (320 km) to Wiltshire by its makers. But, trying to establish why has been more difficult.

‘Like a bell’

With this study, thousands of stones along the Carn Menyn ridge were tested and a high proportion of them were found to “ring” when they were struck.

“The percentage of the rocks on the Carn Menyn ridge are ringing rocks, they ring just like a bell,” said Mr Devereux, the principal investigator on the Landscape and Perception Project.

“And there’s lots of different tones, you could play a tune.

“In fact, we have had percussionists who have played proper percussion pieces off the rocks.”

Thousands of stones along the Carn Menyn ridge were tested and a high proportion were found to "ring" when struck

Thousands of stones along the Carn Menyn ridge were tested and a high proportion were found to “ring” when struck

According to Mr Devereux, the discovery of the “resonant rocks” could explain why they were selected for Stonehenge.

“There had to be something special about these rocks,” he said.

“Why else would they take them from here all the way to Stonehenge?”

‘Pre-historic glockenspiel’

Built between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC, it has remained a mystery why the monument’s bluestones were lugged all the way from north Pembrokeshire.

But Prof Tim Darvill, who has undertaken hundreds of excavations at Stonehenge, insists “pre-historic attitudes to stone” must have been very different to those of today.

“We don’t know of course that they moved them because they rang but ringing rocks are a prominent part of many cultures,” he said.

“You can almost see them as a pre-historic glockenspiel, if you like and you could knock them and hear these tunes.

“And soundscapes of pre-history are something we’re really just beginning to explore.”

Inside Out was on  BBC1 at 19:30 GMT on Monday.
Full article here:

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog

#Stonehenge – 5 musical tributes.

22 02 2014

Originally posted on The Heritage Journal:

Heritage Action and the Heritage Journal, as previously documented, had their beginnings on a web site forum “The Modern Antiquarian“, after the book of the same name written by Julian Cope. Mr Cope is possibly better known for his prime activity as a musician, and yet I don’t recall having had many musically themed entries here on the Journal.

A search on the major music sites for names of ancient monuments brings up a plethora of results, depending upon the monument selected. We decided to start with an obvious one – ‘Stonehenge’. This alone returns over 600 songs on, with many more on Spotify and YouTube – although the YouTube results are somewhat skewed by videos of festivals, documentaries and travelogues, and duplicate entries. But here are five versions that may, or may not be familiar.

Ylvis – (What’s the Meaning of) Stonehenge (3:55)

This tribute…

View original 373 more words

Stonehenge Community Open Days: 20th February and 20th March

13 02 2014

Originally posted on Stonehenge Travel Company:

There are still some spaces left for the 20th February and 20th March open days from 12pm -2pm at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. These are free events but you must pre book and call 0870 3331183 stating Stonehenge Community Open Days as the event you want to book onto.  You can book up to 4 people and must be a Wiltshire resident.

The Stonehenge Learning and Outreach Group with ourselves, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, English Heritage Stonehenge open daysWiltshire Museum Devizes,Wessex Archaeology and National Trust will meet this week and share their learning events that are happening too.

Join us for a series of open days for the local community at the new Stonehenge visitor centre, featuring a special tour with Susan Greaney, Senior Properties Historian and Lisa Holmes, Community Projects manager.

Come and find out about the making of the exhibition, the opportunities for local voices to contribute to…

View original 26 more words


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