Stonehenge upgrade to finally begin

8 07 2012

Work to improve the environment of Stonehenge gets under way next week – after decades of wrangling and many millions spent on schemes and consultations that came to nothing

The A344 is due to close in April 2013 and the new visitor centre to open in autumn 2013

The A344 is due to close in April 2013 and the new visitor centre to open in autumn 2013

“It’s the official start,” said Renée Fok of English Heritage, which manages   the World Heritage Site. “Things are finally getting done.”

The mysterious monument in Wiltshire is one of the most famous tourist sites   in the world. Each year it receives more than a million visitors, half of   them from overseas. But while the stones themselves continue to amaze,   Stonehenge’s setting and facilities have come in for withering criticism.   Simon Jenkins, the chairman of the National Trust, has called the site a   “national disgrace”.

The principal problem is that Stonehenge is beset by traffic and roads – the   always-busy A303, and the A344 that branches from it and passes close to the   stone circle. The car parks become overcrowded in summer and the visitor   centre is dated. Under the new scheme, which will cost £27 million, English   Heritage promises “a landscape transformed”.

The keystone of the project is the closure of the A344, part of which will be   grassed over. The existing buildings and car parks will be removed and a new   “energy-efficient” visitor centre built, with a shop, café, “education   space” and galleries. An adjacent coach and car park will be built 1½ miles   west of the stones at Airman’s Corner.

A shuttle service will take visitors to the stones, and people will have the   option of walking all or part of the way.

The scheme has received cautious approval. Nigel Swift, the chairman of   Heritage Action, which is dedicated to the conservation of Britain’s   prehistoric sites, expressed “sheer relief and gratitude that a nightmare   that has lasted for many decades is over”.

Frank Somers of the Amesbury and Stonehenge Druids, who regard the site as a   temple, said he was “broadly happy that some improvements are finally   scheduled to happen”.

The A344 is due to close in April 2013 and the new visitor centre to open in   autumn 2013. The area of the existing buildings will be returned to grass by   the summer of the following year. Stonehenge will remain open during the   building work. For more information, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge.

Aricle by By  – Telegraph

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

Merlin says “All good for wiltshire tourism”
Merlins @ Stonehenge Stone Circle





MEGALITHOMANIA TOURS 2012

28 03 2012

The Ultimate Conference for Megalithomaniacs 2012

Join us for an incredible selection of outdoor Antiquarian delights this May. Megalithomania invites you to explore, ponder, dowse, and be captivated by the incredible stones from antiquity. Over the years we have increased our tour schedule around the conference and now in 2012 we have eight days of tours and other activities for you to enjoy. From the heights of Glastonbury Tor, to the remote stone avenues of Dartmoor, the Olde English landscape still has lots to offer. With special guest experts joining us for each tour, who know their landscape well. For this year we introduce our new ‘Megalithic Cornwall‘ Tour with Glenn & Cameron Broughton. Save £42 if you book the ‘Full Ticket’ that includes the Cornwall Tour….

NEW: Megalithic Cornwall Tour Here


Coach travel included in price of all tours. Meet at Abbey Car Park. Bring packed lunch
. Info & Booking:             07779 113452

Friday 11th May: £55 (SOLD OUT)
Stonehenge with Robin Heath – 4pm – 9pm

Private Access to Stonehenge, with excursion to the Cursus, several Tumuli, Durrington Walls and Woodhenge. (inc private access to Stonehenge)

Monday 14th May:£50
Avebury & the Valley of the White Horse – 9am – 5pm

An exclusive tour around megalithic Avebury, the largest stone circle in the world, West Kennett Long Barrow, Silbury Hill and more with Peter Knight.

Tuesday 15th May: £50
Sacred Avalon Walking Tour – 9am – 1pm
with Anthony Thorley
Visiting the Tor, Glastonbury Abbey, Michael & Mary energy lines
Tuesday Afternoon: (inc in above price)
Cadbury Castle & Burrow Mump - 2.30pm – 6pm
A guided visit to two of the most impressive earthworks in Somerset

Wednesday 16th May: £50
Dartmoor Stone Circles and Avenues – 8am – 6pm

A five-hour walk around the incredible landscape of megalithic Dartmoor, Devon, visiting stone circles, megalithic avenues, menhirs and tracking earth energies. 90 min drive both ways. Bring packed lunch.
(NOTE: if you are going on the Cornwall Tour, you must be on this tour)

Link: http://www.megalithomania.co.uk/

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

Merlin says “This conference is wirth every penny and a good excuse to spend a couple of days in Glastonbury”

Merlin at Stonehenge





Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum Tour Company

27 03 2012

Local Tour Operator launches daily audio tours of Stonehenge and ancient Wiltshire sightseeing tour.

Join them on a journey as they travel back 5000 years in time.
Daily at 09:30 from the centre of Salisbury our “Magical History Tour” sets out to discover the mysteries of Stonehenge.  This is a great alternative to joining a coach tour from London.

Driven by our friendly fully qualified Driver. Enjoy 3 hours visiting some of the most mysterious places on earth. Be entertained and informed listening to a detailed commentary transmitted simultaneously in English, German, French and Italian.

On your return you will have seen some of the most beautiful English countryside, been fascinated by Stonehenge, seen Old Sarum the iron age fort which was the earliest settlement here and finally viewed the Cathedral from a special place, missed by most tourists.

They look forward to welcoming you on board. Why not catch a train from London and join this local tour.

Shrouded in mystery the World Heritage site at Stonehenge attracts people
from all over the world.

Salisbury Stonehenge Sarum Tours

Salisbury Stonehenge Sarum Tours

Our experience at Salisbury, Stonehenge & Sarum Tours ensures that you return home with lasting memories of the day when you stepped back in time. We have a selection of tours to meet all tastes from Cruise Guests with limited time to the visitor wanting to enjoy all the wonderful sites more leisurely. We also have our “Magical History Tour” to Stonehenge, which runs daily at 09:30. Commentary in English, German, French and Italian.

No tour to England would be complete without a tour of Stonehenge. Where is Stonehenge? Stonehenge is situated near Salisbury in the county of Wiltshire. Stonehenge is a Neolithic stone circle which even today is still shrouded in mystery.

Salisbury Stonehenge and Sarum Tours specialise in arranging multilingual tours of Stonehenge and surrounding places of interest including Salisbury and Old Sarum.
Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum Tour Guides are all local people who have been especially trained to achieve our “Yellow Badge” standard.

We meet our guests in the mediaeval city of Salisbury and you travel to Stonehenge in one of our modern vehicles.

The Stonehenge Tour from Salisbury Stonehenge and Sarum Tours will no doubt be one of your most memorable trips. So when you travel in England make sure that you take one of our tours to Stonehenge. We are also specialists catering for Southampton cruise passengers and their airport transits.

The Magical History Tour - English - German - French - Italian - simultaneously

The tour lasts 3 hours during which time you will have available multi lingual commentary in English, German, French and Italian. Disposable earphones are provided but feel free to bring your own personal ones with you. You will be given a tour program with maps describing you tour.

Firstly we drive along the picturesque Woodford Valley along a route too narrow for large buses where you will pass through traditional English villages with thatched cottages. You will see the homes of some very interesting and diverse residents. We shall tell you more about this as we drive along. Before we arrive at Stonehenge the bus will make a short stop so you can see the location of the newest discovery: Blue Stonehenge. Upon arriving at Stonehenge your guide will take you to the entrance where you will receive a multi lingual audio tour. You may now spend time pondering the mysteries of this World Heritage Site, buy souvenirs and purchase refreshments. We shall stop here for 60 minutes, but if the weather is bad guests find that 45 minutes is sufficient. We now drive across “Salisbury Plain” on our way to “Old Sarum”. This area has become a “Hotspot” for “crop circles” and UFO’s”. In spring and early summer it is quite possible that you could spot a crop circle but UFO’s might be more difficult to find. At Old Sarum, the original Iron Age settlement of Salisbury you will learn how the Celts, Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans all lived here. Look and enjoy the magnificent 360° vista and look down on the medieval city of Salisbury. Our last stop is at the “Harnham Mill” because it offers wonderful views of the magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral. Regrettably many tourists never see the Cathedral from this aspect, often being bussed into the city from London before being “whizzed” off to their next destination. It is from here that the respected English artist John Constable chose to depict Salisbury Cathedral in his famous paintings. At this point we offer you the option of leaving the tour and walking along the town path, through the water meadows, into the City. It is a gentle and flat 1,200 metre stroll which takes no more than 15 minutes. Your Tour Program highlights the interesting wildlife, which can be seen in the water meadows, which is a  nature “Preservation Area”. For those returning to Salisbury with the bus, our drive takes 5 minutes and we shall drop you off where we started, in the Guildhall Square.

The tour starts and returns from the Guildhall Square at 09:30 – see map. You will see our Guide on the steps of the Guildhall carrying a large psychedelic umbrella.
Stonehenge for 60 minutes, WC, refreshments and shop
Old Sarum for 30 minutes WC and shop
Harnham Mill for 15 minutes

The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website 





1st Exhibition of Mesolthic Amesbury – 3000 years before the Stones

24 03 2012

Resulting from the Amesbury 2012 initiative lead by Mayor Andy Rhind-Tutt and supported by Amesbury Town Council, local people and our Druids we are pleased to announce that Amesbury Town Council, have completed the purchase of the Melor Hall in Amesbury (Opposite the Antrobus Arms) and will now move to the process of planning and building the Town its first ever Museum and interpretation centre.

This will tell the Story of Amesbury and interest a percentage of those millions of tourists that visit our Stonehenge, bolstering the local economy and mutually supporting the two existing museums of Salisbury and Devizes and Stonehenge.
Amesbury Museum

On the Easter weekend, the existing hall will be used for an exhibition highlighting the Mesolithic rich heritage that is being found. This will feature live archaeology taking place locally at one of the most exciting dig sites in Britain today.

Meet the archaeologists, ask questions, handle finds and discover for yourselves the wonders of the Mesolithic Salisbury Plain.

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

Merlin says “This is great news for Stonehenge, Amesbury and Wiltshire Tourism 2012.  See you at the Easter Weekend event”

The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Stonehenge was based on a ‘magical’ auditory illusion, says scientist

17 02 2012

The layout of Stonehenge matches the spacing of loud and quiet sounds created by acoustic interference, new theory claims

Two flutes playing the same continuous note set up a pattern of interference that apparently echoes the layout of Stonehenge. Photograph: Jason Hawkes/Getty

Two flutes playing the same continuous note set up a pattern of interference that apparently echoes the layout of Stonehenge. Photograph: Jason Hawkes/Getty

The Neolithic builders of Stonehenge were inspired by “auditory illusions” when they drew up blueprints for the ancient monument, a researcher claims.

The radical proposal follows a series of experiments by US scientistSteven Waller, who claims the positions of the standing stones match patterns in sound waves created by a pair of musical instruments.

Waller, an independent researcher in California, said the layout of the stones corresponded to the regular spacing of loud and quiet sounds created by acoustic interference when two instruments played the same note continuously.

In Neolithic times, the nature of sound waves – and their ability to reinforce and cancel each other out – would have been mysterious enough to verge on the magical, Waller said. Quiet patches created by acoustic interference could have led to the “auditory illusion” that invisible objects stood between a listener and the instruments being played, he added.

To investigate whether instruments could create such auditory illusions, Waller rigged two flutes to an air pump so they played the same note continuously. When he walked around them in a circle, the volume rose, fell and rose again as the sound waves interfered with each other. “What I found unexpected was how I experienced those regions of quiet. It felt like I was being sheltered from the sound. As if something was protecting me. It gave me a feeling of peace and quiet,” he said.

To follow up, Waller recruited volunteers, blindfolded them, and led them in a circle around the instruments. He then asked participants to sketch out the shape of any obstructions they thought lay between them and the flutes. Some drew circles of pillars, and one volunteer added lintels, a striking feature of the Stonehenge monument.

“If these people in the past were dancing in a circle around two pipers and were experiencing the loud and soft and loud and soft regions that happen when an interference pattern is set up, they would have felt there were these massive objects arranged in a ring. It would have been this completely baffling experience, and anything that was mysterious like that in the past was considered to be magic and supernatural.

“I think that was what motivated them to build the actual structure that matched this virtual impression. It was like a vision that they received from the other world. The design of Stonehenge matches this interference pattern auditory illusion,” said Waller, who described his research at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

“It’s not a complete structure now but there is a portion of the ring that still has the big megaliths arranged in the circle. If you have a sound source in the middle of Stonehenge, and you walk around the outside of the big stones, what you experience is alternating loud and soft, loud and soft, loud and soft as you alternately pass by the gaps and the stone, the gaps and the stone,” he added.

“So the stones of Stonehenge cast acoustic shadows that mimic an interference pattern.”

Waller argues that his findings are not mere coincidence and says local legend offers some support for his thesis. Some megaliths are known as pipers’ stones, while stories tell of walls of air forming an invisible tower, and two magical pipers that enticed maidens to dance in a circle before they turned to stone.

Stonehenge was built in several stages, with the lintelled stone circle constructed around 2,500 BC. The site was originally a burial ground, but may also have been a place for healing.

In 2009, Rupert Till, a music expert at Huddersfield University, used a full-scale replica of Stonehenge and computer analyses to show that repetitive drum beats and chanting would have resonated loudly between the standing stones.

Timothy Darvill, professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University, said that while sound played an important role in events at Stonehenge, the monument was probably not designed with acoustics in mind.

“The main structure is a replica in stone of what was normally built in wood,” he said. “They used the same techniques. The positioning of the main components is all about the construction of a framework, a building if you like, as the setting for ritual adventures that included the use of the bluestones brought over from Wales.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/16/stonehenge-based-magical-auditory-illusion?newsfeed=true

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

Merlin says “Trippy stuff man………”

Merlin at Stonehenge 
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website 

 





Stonehenge Tour – Ancient ceremonial landscape of great archaeological and wildlife interest

16 02 2012

Explore the wider Stonehenge World Heritage Site with a guide and discover hidden histories, ancient mysteries and winter wildlife. February 18th 2012

Stonehenge landscapeWithin the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares (2,100 acres) of downland surrounding the famous stone circle.

Walking across the grassland, visitors can discover other prehistoric monuments, including the Avenue and King Barrow Ridge with its Bronze Age burial mounds.

Nearby, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. While Durrington Walls hides the remains of a Neolithic village.

The best approach to the famous stone circle is across Normanton Down, a round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC.





Community bus could take tourists from Amesbury to Stonehenge

27 01 2012

AMESBURY’S community minibus will be used to ferry tourists from the town centre to Stonehenge as part of a move to improve the connection between the town and the world heritage site.

Stonehenge signAs the Journal reported last week, Amesbury Town Council has called for public transport links to be restored after the town was rebranded as Historic Amesbury and signs were put up welcoming people to the home of Stonehenge.

Visitors have been arriving in Amesbury expecting to see the ancient stone circle to be told the only way to reach it is to walk or go by taxi as the Wilts & Dorset operated Stonehenge Bus Tour does not stop at Amesbury bus station.

Now mayor of Amesbury Andy Rhind-Tutt has put forward plans for the community bus to be used to take people to Stonehenge.

He hopes to trial the scheme on Wednesdays, which is market day in Amesbury.

“It would be great for both tourists and local people,” he said.

“People could come and park in Amesbury and then the bus will take them up Countess Road, to Woodhenge, along Fargo Road, through Larkhill and on to Stonehenge.

“They could spend a couple of hours there and then get the bus back to Amesbury for lunch or some shopping.

“It will also provide a service for the people of Countess Road and Larkhill who lost out when Wilts and Dorset changed its bus routes.

“We are a historic town and we do have a lot to offer but we need to help people to get into Amesbury from Stonehenge.”

Initially it is hoped the service will be free while the new bus route is publicised.

It will travel a circular route and run on an hourly basis, and Mr Rhind-Tutt hopes to get it up and running before the Easter holidays.

“We hope that it will increase footfall in Amesbury which will boost local businesses,” he said.

“I understand the difficulty that Wilts a& Dorset would have running a service along the A303 due to the traffic, but this way we could use our community bus to further benefit Amesbury.”

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

Merlin says “At last, tranport from Amesbury – save me walking”

Merlin at Stonehenge








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,300 other followers

%d bloggers like this: