Stonehenge visitors to ‘experience’ standing in the ancient circle

25 03 2013

A 360 degree cinema is being developed so visitors to Stonehenge can experience standing inside the ancient circle.

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site Photo: Christopher Jones for the Telegraph

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site Photo: Christopher Jones for the Telegraph

Access to Stonehenge has been fiercely contested for decades, with campaigners arguing that they should be allowed into the stone circle.

Now, English Heritage has developed a possible solution, a virtual visit in a 360 degree cinema where visitors can “experience” standing in the ancient circle.

It will be the centrepiece of a new £27 million centre at the site and is one of a number of audio visual attractions being built to bring the prehistoric monument to life.

These will include a 32ft “landscape wall”, on to which computer generated images of the countryside around the circle and other ancient earthworks will be projected.

In addition, there will be five “people films”, shown on screens in one of the two vast pods being built to house the visitor centre. These will provide information about the monument and prehistoric items on display

There will also be films exploring the conflicting theories over the establishment and use of the circle.

Outside the centre, replica Neolithic dwellings are being built, where visitors will be able to see how early inhabitants of the sites lived.

The plans for the centre are revealed in a series of tender documents from English Heritage, seeking firms to provide the technological content for the audio visual displays. The documents describe the “immersive 360 degree projected film” as the “most important and high profile piece of audio visual ever undertaken by EH”.

The new auditorium’s 100ft circumference will compare with about 300ft in the actual stone circle.

Robert Campbell, the head of interpretation at the centre, said: “It’s meant to give people a sense of what it is like to stand in the middle of Stonehenge because most people just won’t be able to do that. It won’t feel like you are standing in a computer programme. The idea is to take our visitors back in time.”

The virtual visits may not win over all campaigners including Pagans and Druids who want open access to Stonehenge, which was created about 5,000 years ago.

When it was first opened to the public, it was possible to walk among and even climb on the stones. However, they were roped off in 1977 due to problems with erosion.

Visitors are now kept a short distance away, although English Heritage does permit access during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox. Some access visits early in the morning or late in the evening can also be booked.

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site. The multi-million project is being built 1.5 miles from the stones.

By , and David Barrett (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehnege News Blog

 





Health and Safety Laws Threaten Access to Stonehenge

1 04 2012

English Heritage have announced that access into the inner circle of Stonehenge is to be restricted and future visitors must wear hard hats at all time.
Risk assessmentIs Stonehenge Safe ?
Health and safety officers announced:
“If there is a a chance that an object could strike or fall on the heads of persons, they MUST wear a hard hat. Employers are required to take every possible measure to make sure that persons in their employment wears a hard hat and any visitors entering the inner circle during ‘special access’ or ‘open access’ must wear them”

Is Stonehenge safe to walk around ?
It’s not surprising when many thousand year old megalithic structures without deep roots and only minimally interlocking joints eventually fall over as they are undermined.
There definitely has been ground erosion. IIRC, the stones are gently sinking into the soil, year by year. There’s also a major road nearby which is causing both vibration and air pollution problems. The stones have also had acid rain erosion problems.
Potential falling rocks. 
Parts of Stonehenge certainly have fallen over in the past.

  • Stone 22 and a lintel – both in the outer circle – fell on 31st December 1900.
  • In the central horseshoe of 5 trilithon pairs, 57-58 and their lintel fell over in 1797, but were restored in 1958.
  • Stone 23 keeled over in 1963, which is the last major collapse.

High Visibility Jackets is not enough.

Security guards already wear high visibility jackets, however this does not provide adequate protection and the contractors are currenty at risk. Staff and visitors would be exposed to objects falling from a height.

Peter Carson said yesterday “Eliminating the risk would be better than issuing a PPE!”

The English Heritage recommend the wearing of Hi-Vis jackets and hard hats will be sold in the visitor center from 1st May 2012 (approx. £2.99)

Summer Solstice Celebraions Dangers
This announcement will effect the Summer Solstice celebrations and future ‘open access’ visits. This has angered local pagan communities. English Heritage will not be supplying hard hats ‘free of charge’ and will not allow entry without them.

No hard hats at Stonehenge petition

No hard hats at Stonehenge petition

Arthur Pendragon Campaign
Local Druid Arthur was outraged to hear the news and is convinced this is just a ploy by English Heritage and Wiltshire Police to prevent future ‘open access’ to the monument.

He quoted “Sikhs in Great Britain can ride motorcycles without helmets; so we are campaigning for the right not to wear hard hats inside Stonehenge and other Stone Circles”

 

Merlin says ” APRIL FOOL!”

Follow me on twitter for more news:
https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE 

 





Stonehenge Tours at Christmas and the New Year

14 12 2011

There are a number of tours departing from London that include Stonehenge on Christmas Day, the New Year and over the festive period.  Please use the link below to view the available coach tours.

All are discounted and have printable tickets

Top Stonehenge tour operators:
The Stonehenge Experts – www.StonehengeTours.com
Coach tours departing from London- www.SightseeingTours.co.uk
Histouries UK (Bespoke Tours),  – www.Histouries.co.uk

Stonehenge Christmas Toursclick here

Christmas Eve in Windsor, Stone
Christmas in Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath
Boxing Day in Windsor, Stonehenge and BathPrivate Viewing of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock

 

Melin says:  Its a good time to visit Wiltshire, in particular Salisbury

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stoneheneg Stone Circle Website





Stonehenge: Up Close 12th December 2011

4 12 2011

Stonehenge access guided tourGain a rare and fascinating insight into the famous World Heritage Site with an exclusive tour around the site led by one of English Heritage’s experts. Start the tour with exclusive early morning access to the stone circle at Stonehenge accompanied by our expert. Visit key archaeology sites including Durrington Walls, Woodhenge and The Cursus and learn more about the archaeological landscape and investigative work that has gone on in recent years. Includes tea and coffee.

MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE EVENT

How to Book

Purchase your tickets today by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm). Please note: Booking tickets for this event is essential as places are limited 

Prices

Ticket price includes entry to event site only

TYPE PRICE
Member (Adult) £30.00
 
Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/stonehenge-up-close-s-12-dec/

Durrington Walls - is the site of a large Neolithic settlement and later henge enclosure. It is 2 miles north-east of Stonehenge. Recent excavation at Durrington Walls, support an estimate of a community of several thousand, thought to be the largest one of its age in north-west Europe. At 500m in diameter, the henge is the largest in Britain and recent evidence suggests that it was a complementary monument to Stonehenge

Woodhenge – Neolithic monument, dating from about 2300 BC, six concentric rings, once possibly supported a ring-shaped building.

Stonehenge Cursus -  (sometimes known as the Greater Cursus) is a large Neolithic cursus monument next to Stonehenge. It is roughly 3km long and between 100 and 150m wide. Excavations by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2007 dated the construction of the earthwork to between 3630 and 3375 BC. This makes the monument several hundred years older than the earliest phase of Stonehenge in 3000 BC.

Bronze Age round barrows - The Stonehenge UNESCO world heritage site is said to contain the most concentrated collection of prehistoric sites and monuments in the world. One monument type missed by the casual observer is that of the Bronze Age round barrow (burial mounds). As we walk through this landscape, you will come into contact with these intriguing ancient burial sites and through the expertise of our tour leaders, you will come face to face with the customs and people of Bronze Age society buried in close proximity to the unique stone circle of Stonehenge. Stonehenge Avenue – Walk along the Stonehenge Avenue and approach this unique stone circle as was the intended route experienced by the Stonehenge’s contempories.

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com
http://www.stonehengetours.com/html/stonehenge_archaeology_avebury_landscape_tour.htm

Merlin says: The Stonehenge landscape is more important than the Stone Circle – do this tour with the English Heritage………..

Merlin @ Stonehenge

 




Stonehenge Crop Circle – Aliens, a hoax or energy rays from space?

18 07 2011

As if Stonehenge wasn’t mysterious enough, right across the road someone – aliens, hoaxers, or perhaps posessed lawnmowers – has created a giant crop circle. And nobody knows where it came from.

Stonehenge Crop Circle July 2011

Stonehenge Crop Circle July 2011

The ancient site is proving to be a popular attraction for crop circle-creators lately. Yesterday’s 60 metre wide effort is just the most recent in a string of field phenomena in Wiltshire over the last few weeks, reports the Daily Mail.

Stonehenge is the most important prehistoric monument in Britain.

The design spans 200ft and has sparked debate about its origin. Online enthusiast Eliakis Joseph-Sophia believes the “three half moons in the crop…could indicate plans due to budgets in the third quarter.”

“The crop is the other side of the road from Stonehenge. So clearly, the people involved in this crop cannot reach the sacred stones.”

Cynics claim crop circles are the work of computer scientists and volunteers, but enthusiasts argue nights – particularly in Summer – aren’t long enough for humans to get the work done by morning.

Many believe crop circles are the work of aliens or a message from God, while others are convinced it’s caused by the earth’s magnetic field or targeted energy zapped to the ground from the ionosphere

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





18,000 gather at a cloudy Stonehenge for all-night summer solstice party

22 06 2011

Tens of thousands of revellers gathered at Stonehenge for an all-night party to celebrate the longest day of the year this morning – despite grey clouds that obscured the sunrise.

Here comes the sun: Revellers cheer as the sun finally breaks through the clouds, more than a couple of hours after daybreak

Here comes the sun: Revellers cheer as the sun finally breaks through the clouds, more than a couple of hours after daybreak

English Heritage say 18,000 revellers descended on the site that is usually roped off to the public to witness dawn at exactly 4.43am. The event is significant for druids, who were joined by hippies, pagans and tourists as well as hordes of younger visitors in search of a good party.

However the number of people who camped out overnight or arrived early to witness the dawn was down on previous years because of the poor weather and the solstice falling on a weekday.

There was no beautiful sunrise into clear blue skies – heavy overnight rain gave way to overcast but dry skies as the sun rose, greeted by cheering and applause.

The self-styled King Arthur Pendragon, the veteran druid who led the event, said it had passed off smoothly.

‘We didn’t get a great sunrise but it was dry,’ he said. ‘Everyone seems happy with the result.

‘It is great to see the stones being used in this way, as opposed to the usual manner with tourists being herded around.’

Stonehenge, which is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, has in past years been the site of confrontations between revellers and police.

But Superintendent Gavin Williams, of Wiltshire Police, said the majority of the crowd this year were well-behaved and ‘came to see the sunrise in the spirit of the event’, which was policed in the same way as night spots in the county. However, two men were photographed fighting at the event.

Of the 20 arrests, 11 were for drugs offences and five for public

Mr Williams said: ‘Although it was disappointing that some individuals chose to bring drugs with them, they were dealt with robustly.’

English Heritage, which manages the Stonehenge site on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, said the atmosphere had been ‘peaceful and good natured’.

The annual event is a modern take on solstice celebrations which were once a highlight of the pre-Christian calendar. Celebrations focus on the Heelstone, which sits just outside the main circle, and is aligned with the midsummer sunrise.

The solstice is one of the few times access is granted inside the stone circle, which has been roped off since 1978 following years of erosion and vandalism.

Stonehenge’s origins remain a mystery, but one theory is that it is a huge astronomical calendar. Others say an ancient sun-worshipping culture aligned the structure with the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset.

The World Heritage site was used as a cremation cemetery since its inception, archaeologists say, but it is unclear if that was its principal function.

It was build in three phases, with stones brought from up to 150 miles away, between 3000 BC and 1600 BC

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006112/Summer-solstice-18-000-gather-cloudy-Stonehenge-night-party.html

Sponsored by the Stonehenge Tour Company – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle website





Druids celebrate summer solstice for first time as mainstream faith

8 06 2011

When robed Druids gather at Stonehenge for the summer solstice in 2011, they will be worshipping at the prehistoric stone-circle monument for the first time as members of an established religion under British charity law. The classification means members of the ancient pagan tradition, which some see as a curiosity of Britain’s ancient past, have mainstream status equal to the Church of England. The change of status, which is controversial, gives them tax advantages.
Stonehenge solstice druids

Opponents of the change of status regard it as a mistake made for the sake of political correctness by a government agency, the Charity Commission. The see it as the first step to recognition of Scientology, sorcery, witchcraft or even the Jedi as religions eligible for tax-exempt status. The 2001 census recorded the country as having some 390,127 Jedi, the fictional Star Wars religion, in England and Wales.

After a four-year campaign by the Druids, the Charity Commission says it accepts that they worship nature and believe in the spirits of places such as mountains and rivers, as well as in divine guides.

Druids are best known for the gathering at Stonehenge each year on Jun 21 to greet the dawn, but they hold festivals eight times a year to mark stages in the solar and lunar cycles. Encyclopedia Britannica describes the ancient Druids as members of the learned class among the Celts. They do not worship a single god or creator, but seek to cultivate a sacred relationship with the natural world. The earliest known records of the Druids come from the 3rd Century BC. 

RELATED READING:
Druids: Worshippers of nature who were said to sacrifice humans (Telegraph 2 Oct 2010)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/8037258/Druids-Worshippers-of-nature-who-were-said-to-sacrifice-humans.html

MELANIE PHILIPS: Druids as an official religion? Stones of Praise here we come (Daily Mail 4 Oct 2010)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1317490/Druids-official-religion-Stones-Praise-come.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website
Follow me on twitter for all the Solsice news: http:/www.TWITTER.COM/ST0NEHENGE








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,184 other followers

%d bloggers like this: