Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2010

28 05 2010

Open Access at Stonehenge

Date:  Monday 21st June 10
Location:  Stonehenge, Wiltshire – MAP
Cost:  FREE (including FREE car park)
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There are 3 weeks and 3 days until Stonehenge 2010

English Heritage are again expected to provide “Managed Open Access” to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice. Please help to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the conditions (see below).

The car park (enter off the A303 from the roundabout – it’s signposted) will open at around 7pm on Sunday 20th June, and close at around noon on Monday 21st June. Note that last admission to the car park for vehicles is at around 6am.

Access to the stones themselves is expected to be from around 8.30pm on Sunday 20th June until 8am on Monday 21st June.

There’s likely to be casual entertainment from samba bands & drummers but no amplified music is allowed.

Van loads of police have been present in the area in case of any trouble, but generally a jovial mood prevails. Few arrests have been made in previous years, mostly in relation to minor drug offences.

Toilets and drinking water are available and welfare is provided by festival welfare services. There are normally one or two food and drink vans with reasonable prices but huge queues, all well away from the stones themselves.

Sunrise is at around 4:45am.

Rules include no camping, no dogs, no fires or fireworks, no glass bottles, no large bags or rucksacks, and no climbing onto the stones. Please respect the rules so that we’re all able to enjoy the solstice morning at Stonehenge for years to come.

More information will be here when available.

English Heritage Message

English Heritage is pleased to be providing Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice.  Please help us to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the Conditions of Entry.

Please note that a high volume of traffic is anticipated in the Stonehenge area on the evening of Sunday 20th June.

Getting To Stonehenge

Where possible, please travel to Stonehenge using public transport.  The local bus company, Wilts & Dorset, will be running a service from Salisbury railway and bus stations to Stonehenge over the Solstice period.  This bus service will commence at 1830 hours (6.30pm) on Sunday 20th June and run regularly until 0115 hours (1.15am) on Monday 21st June. A service taking people back to Salisbury will start again at 0400 hours (4am) and run frequently until 0945 hours (9.45am). Access to Stonehenge from the bus drop off point is through the National Trust farmland.

The buses will stop at any recognised bus stop along the line of the route, which is via Amesbury.

Bus Service Information

Wilts and Dorset Bus Company
Tel: 01983 827005 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01983 827005      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Train Information

South West Trains
Tel: 0845 6000 650 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0845 6000 650      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Web Site

Stonehenge: How Did The Stones Get There?

14 05 2010
We  explain how the myth of the stones transported from south Wales to Salisbury Plain arose and why it is wrong.

History is full of enjoyable myths but Stonehenge has too many. They mutate. Hardly had modern scholars got rid of the pre-Roman druids than those soothsayers reappeared in the guise of 3rd-millennium BCE astronomer-priests who are said to have designed the great circle as a celestial computer for the prediction of eclipses.

There are other common fallacies. The Greek explorer, Pytheas of Marseilles, who provided the first written account of Britain when he visited the islands c.300 BCE, is sometimes said to have visited Stonehenge. In fact, he landed near the splendid circle of Callanish in the Outer Hebrides 500 miles to the north. Just as mistakenly, Stonehenge is  described as a British stone circle though it is not this at all, but rather an imitation in stone of a lintelled timber ring, with architectural influences from Brittany.

Perhaps the most persistent of these myths is that men ferried scores of enchanted Welsh stones hundreds of miles. Returning across the Irish Sea from the Wicklow mountains to their home in southern Britain some time after 3000 BCE, a group of gold- and copper-prospectors are said to have steered towards the landmark of the Preseli mountain range in south-west Wales. Regarding the Preselis as magical and their bluestones life-enhancing, the crews felt compelled to plunder them one by one for an intended megalithic sanctuary on Salisbury Plain. The romance has been repeated ….
Hear all the latest theories, myths and legends from a Stonehenge tour guide – try the excellent  local based ‘HisTOURies UK’ private tour company or Premium Tours based in London

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

Crop circle found next to Stonehenge

13 05 2010

A huge intricate crop circle sculpted in a sea of barley has appeared near an ancient British burial mound in Wiltshire

As many other crop circles previously spotted in the area, it seems to follow the Yin and Yang theme Photo: APEX

The formation, measuring approximately 350ft (100 metres), seems to depict a Yin Yang pattern and appeared on May 25 beneath Windmill Hill, near Devizes.

It was captured on camera at an area close to the great man-made mound of Silbury Hill, Wiltshire.

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  • As many other crop circles previously spotted in the area, it seems to follow the Yin and Yang theme.

    The green and then golden fields of the world’s crop circle capital of Wiltshire have spawned an array of patterns in the past that have fascinated those who seek them out.

    Enthusiasts and experienced crop pattern hunters have often spotted formations appearing close to these sacred sites.

    The crop circle season extends from April to harvesting in September, and is believed to be worth millions of pounds to the local economy.

    Windmill Hill is thought to date to the Early Neolithic period some 5000 years ago, 3700 BC and was constructed as a causeway enclosure. It is the largest known of its kind measuring 21 acres (8.5ha).

    It consists of three rings of concentric ditches, which were probably dug out in the same manner as the deep Avebury ditch, using antlers and oxen shoulder blades.

    It was a major task taking many man-hours over many years.

    It is thought that the camp was at its most important as a farming community during a relatively peaceful and prosperous time of approximately 3000- 3500 years until the advent of the Romans when their presence is evidenced by traces of a villa found on the western slopes of the mound.

    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

    Stonehenge Crop Circle – May 10th 2010

    11 05 2010

    Wow – look at this!  A guide for Histouries UK, a tour company based in Salisbury has sent reports of this amazing crop sircle directly opposite Stonehenge Stone Circle.  There are further
    reports of more in the area – watch this space……….

    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

    Two great hoaxes: Piltdown Skull and Bluestone Quarry?

    10 05 2010

    Some see a bluestone quarry — others don’t.
    Some see a Missing Link — others see a hoax.

    There was a piece on the telly the other day about the Piltdown Man hoax of 1912. One thing struck me in the commentary — namely the “fertile ground” which existed in Britain at the time, providing perfect conditions for the hoax to take root, to flourish and eventually (in spite of the reservations of some experts) to become part of mainstream thinking. This is what one web site says about the hoax:

    “Perhaps the most famous hoax was Piltdown man. In 1912, at a time when Darwin’s evolutionary theory was new, and people were looking for missing links between humans and apes, someone planted two fake skulls which came to be known as Piltdown Man.
    The part medieval man, part Orang-utang fossil was found, in the very English village of Piltdown in Sussex. Piltdown man’s scientific name, Eoanthropus dawsoni, reflected its finder’s name Dawson. To get a flavour of those times, the British Empire was still riding high, and Germany had their Heidelberg man fossil, Britain was desperate for a more important ‘ missing link’ between man and monkey.”

    The key to this is national pride, and a desire in Britain to demonstrate that whatever important discoveries there were in Germany, Britain had even better ones, showing the world what wonderful ancient civilizations we had here, and what brilliant archaeologists we had to uncover them and to expound new theories of evolution to the world…… OK, petty, nationalistic, xenophobic and even absurd, but that was the world around the time of the First World War. Germany had Neanderthal Man, and now Britain had the “Missing Link” — even more important.

    So what about HH Thomas and the bluestones? Well, I have suspected for some time that Thomas might have been guilty of simplification and selective citation of his samples and his rock identifications, in order to flag up the Carn Meini area as the source of the bluestones. I have also expressed my amazement in earlier posts that he “got away with murder” in that NOBODY seems to have seriously examined his evidence or questioned his wacky idea that the stones had been hauled by tribesmen all the way from Presely to Stonehenge in a totally unique feat of Stone Age long-distance transport. And why did people not scrutinize his theory more closely? Why, because there had been great discoveries about megalithic structures in Germany, and because British archaeologists were desperate to show that in these islands we had even more advanced prehistoric civilisations and even cleverer engineers and technicians.

    Sounds absurd? I don’t think so — and a number of other authors have suggested that Thomas’s idea was carefully put together around the time of the First World War as part of a national “feel good” strategy, and that the whole nation (and not just the archaeologists) just loved the idea when he announced it, and were disinclined to examine it carefully.

    So Thomas became famous, then the bluestones became famous, and the “bluestone transport story” entered the mythology of Britain. It is still trotted out ad infinitum, even though there is even less evidence for it now than there was in 1920. And anybody who dares to question it, or to undermine our cosy assumptions about the extraordinary skills of our Neolithic ancestors, is likely to get short shrift from the archaeology establishment. Look at what happened to poor Geoffrey Kellaway…….

    So was the Carn Meini / bluestone quarry / human transport story all a hoax? I think it’s a distinct possibility. How much longer will it be before the whole mad idea about human transport is finally consigned to the scrapheap? Not long, I suspect, since the new geology being done by Rob Ixer and colleagues in the Stonehenge area is revealing so many new sources for the stones and fragments at Stonehenge that we are going to have to talk about 20 quarries all over western Britain, rather than one. And that would be to stretch things to a rather extraordinary degree……

    All hoaxes have their day, and eventually bite the dust, leaving senior academics looking very foolish.

    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

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