Calls for remains to be returned to Stonehenge

1 11 2009

A DRUID protester is calling for remains taken from the Stonehenge World Heritage site to be returned – and has collected thousands of signatures on a petition backing his call.

King Arthur Pendragon

King Arthur Pendragon says to take the ancient remains permanently away from, what was intended to be, their final resting place would be undignified and should not be allowed.

He said: “There is no dignity left if they can just take them away and not care they were living, talking human beings at one stage.

“You wouldn’t dig up your grandmother, so what’s the difference?”

The remains were removed from the site last year for tests to be carried out as part of The Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project.

The project, supported by National Geographic under the leadership of Professor Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield, led to new insights into the possible uses of the site.

Radiocarbon dating of human cremation burials at the ancient monument suggested it was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000BC until well after the large stones went up around 2500BC.

Many archaeologists previously believed people had been buried at Stonehenge only between 2700 and 2600BC, before the large Sarsen stones were raised and the new dates provide strong clues about the original purpose of the monument.

But the Druids say they will not rest until the remains have been once again laid to rest. A spokesman for English Heritage, which manages the site, said permission to excavate is only granted when the applicant can show the benefits in the increased knowledge are likely to outweigh the damage done by the work and that excavation of human remains is regulated under the Burial Act.

The spokesman said: “Scheduled monument consent was duly granted early in 2008, with appropriate conditions to safeguard the site and ensure what was found was appropriately studied,published and deposited in a museum.

“Human burials and human remains are an important part of the record of our shared past. English Heritage believes they should always be treated with respect, and that decisions about excavation, study, display and reburial should be based on the balance of benefit and harm, giving due weight to the views and interests of all those involved.”





Stonehenge plan moves forward –

1 11 2009

PLANS have been submitted for the long awaited new visitor centre for Stonehenge.

An image of the proposed new visitor centre

English Heritage has now submitted a planning application for the centre, which will be located one-and-a-half miles from the monument.

It has been designed to blend in with its surroundings, and the centre will not be visible from the stones themselves.

The exhibitions, café, shop and toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas – one glass, the other timber-enclosed – sitting beneath a gently undulating roof. The centre will be linked to the Stones by a low-key transit system.

English Heritage’s Stonehenge project director Loraine Knowles said: “The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape which visitors will pass through on their way to the Stones.

“It will provide enhanced opportunities for education and interpretation, and have first class facilities in keeping with Stonehenge’s status as a world-renowned tourist attraction.” Wiltshire Council will now undertake further public consultation as part of the formal planning process. Further details of the application are available from Wiltshire Council. Alongside the planning application, English Heritage is supporting Wiltshire Council with their proposals for a Traffic Regulation Order restricting motorised traffic on the A344.





Visitor centre plans unveiled for Stonehenge October 2009

1 11 2009

PLANS for a new visitors’ centre for Stonehenge have been unveiled.

Visitor centre plans unveiled for Stonehenge

English Heritage has now submitted a planning application for the centre, which will be located one-and-a-half miles from the monument.

It has been designed to blend in with its surroundings, and the centre will not be visible from the stones themselves.

The exhibitions, café, shop and toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas – one glass, the other timber-enclosed – sitting beneath a gently undulating roof. The centre will be linked to the Stones by a low-key transit system.

English Heritage’s Stonehenge project director Loraine Knowles said: “The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape which visitors will pass through on their way to the Stones.

“It will provide enhanced opportunities for education and interpretation, and have first class facilities in keeping with Stonehenge’s status as a world-renowned tourist attraction.”

Stephen Quinlan, director of architects’ Denton Corker Marshall, said: “Designing a visitor centre at a site of such importance is both a major challenge and a serious responsibility. Our proposal, above all, seeks not to compromise the solidity and timelessness of the Stones, but to satisfy the brief with a design which is universally accessible, environmentally sensitive, and at the same time appears almost transitory in nature.

“If once back at home, a visitor can remember their visit to the stones but can’t remember the visitor centre they passed through on the way, we will be happy.”

Wiltshire Council will now undertake further public consultation as part of the formal planning process. Further details of the application are available from Wiltshire Council. Alongside the planning application, English Heritage is supporting Wiltshire Council with their proposals for a Traffic Regulation Order restricting motorised traffic on the A344.





£10m investment for Stonehenge visitor centre

1 11 2009

THE planned visitor centre for Stonehenge has received a £10m boost from the Government.

Stonehenge

The move has been confirmed today by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw.

Mr Bradshaw said:‪ “Stonehenge is one of our best known historic attractions, but facilities for visitors are below par.

“This will mean Stonehenge will be ready to cope with all the extra visitors expected because of the Olympics.

“The capital investment announced today means that our most iconic World Heritage Site will finally be able to welcome visitors in a way that is fitting to its international importance.”

Welcoming the announcement, Baroness Andrews, Chair of English Heritage, said: “English Heritage is delighted at this financial commitment from the Government to secure the future of Stonehenge. “Thanks to this investment, Stonehenge will finally have a setting which is worthy of its significance.”








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