Proposals for the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre

16 11 2010

English Heritage’s plans are the culmination of months of working closely with a range of stakeholders and engaging with local residents.

Well worth a look!
Click here for the new English Heritage Stonehenge Proposal Video


Wot no roads ? Future aerial view of Stonehenge

The scheme fulfils a long standing ambition to improve the facilities on offer to the many hundreds of thousands who visit each year and to restore a sense of dignity to the setting of one of the world’s most loved ancient monuments. It includes:

  • a new environmentally sensitive visitor centre 1.5miles away at Airman’s Corner with high quality exhibition and education facilities;
  • a low-key visitor transit system that will transport visitors from the visitor centre to a drop-off point close to the Stones;
  • removal of the current car park and facilities at the Stones. The area will be returned to grass, leaving only a minimal operations/security base and emergency toilets;
  • closure of the A344. Wiltshire Council will apply to restrict motorised vehicles on the A344 from the Stones to Airman’s Corner (with exemptions) and also on byways within the World Heritage Site; and
  • an upgrade of the Airman’s Corner road junction to a roundabout. The Highways Agency will also make improvements at Longbarrow Crossroads to mitigate the effects of the A344 closure.

Comments and links from the Heritage Journal

Forget the new Visitor Centre (who knows if it will be like that or built there or built at all this side of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro) but look at the rest! It certainly looks excellent. 

We do have a few concerns – the land train for one. It looks a lot better and less intrusive than we feared it might – or still could but it would be nice to know it will look like that and there’s no question of it doing other than going from A to B and back and that having it buzzing all over the WHS won’t be considered.

We also wonder if this seductive vision of no fences, no ropes and apparently full access to the stones, that we’d all like, can actually prove viable? What about erosion? And security? How are they going to be dealt with?

But most of all we wonder about the fact the government has said all the good stuff like closing part of the road can’t happen unless the new Visitor Centre gets built! The latter doesn’t seem exactly a definite which means the good stuff might not happen either.

We’re certainly not alone in seeing the road closure as terribly important in it’s own right. Rescue and the Stonehenge Alliance for two! Surely, after all these years, a way can be found to treat the closure and grassing over of the road adjacent to the stones as THE UK heritage priority?

And just DOING it?

(And if money’s a problem, just run a public appeal. It would probably be one of the best supported ones in history!)

Progress at last…………..

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

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