Hurrah for the Winter Solstice celebrations!

13 12 2013

See you on the Solstice!

The Heritage Journal


Harmless, simple, elegant and inclusive. It’s a shame that it won’t be going to Stonehenge this year. But next year it will. Surely?

(Incidentally, the Disabled ramblers’ Winter Solstice ramble at Stonehenge has also been called off – due to parking problems. That’s two highly worthy, harmless Stonehenge solstice events cancelled this year.)

View original post

1913-2013: 100 Years of Protecting the Past.

11 12 2013

This year, the centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act, will culminate in the opening of English Heritage’s new Stonehenge exhibition galleries and visitor centre on 18th December.

“A Monumental Act”

2013 is the centenary of a landmark moment for England’s heritage.


The passing of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act in 1913 recognised for the first time that there are physical remains of the nation’s history which are so special and so significant that the state has a duty to ensure their continued survival.

Preservation Orders and Scheduling

The Act did three new things. It introduced a system whereby the Office of Works could issue a compulsory ‘Preservation Order’ when a monument or building of sufficient ‘historic, architectural, traditional, artistic, or archaeological interest’ was at risk of demolition by a private owner.

Each order would need an Act of Parliament to confirm it, making it an unwieldy instrument, but the Act did at least establish the principle that some buildings in private ownership might, if they were important enough, warrant the intervention of the state to save them.

The second major innovation was the ‘scheduling’ of monuments. This involved compiling a list, or schedule, of monuments which were deemed by an expert board to be of ‘national importance’. Once a site was on the list and the owner informed, it became a crime to damage it.

Under the Act, the Office of Works could give free advice to an owner regarding the treatment of an ancient monument on their land and could oversee any works free of charge. Scheduling considerably widened the scope of protection to the thousands of monuments on private land rather than just those in Government or local authority care.

These two initiatives – the preservation order and scheduling – established the statutory protection of those parts of the nation’s heritage in private hands. It would develop in future years through the listing system and a rapidly evolving planning system.

Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge – whose culture?

10 12 2013

The Heritage Trust

Merlin Building Stonehenge
Manuscript illustration, England, second quarter of the 14th century (British Library, MS Egerton 3028, fol 30)
The International Council on Monuments and Sites UK has announced details of its Annual Christmas Lecture and Reception for 2013. This year’s event will take place in London on the 12 December with a lecture entitled Stonehenge – whose culture? delivered by Julian Richards, archaeologist, writer and broadcaster –
Stonehenge is the most important and studied prehistoric site in Europe, yet still remains an archaeological enigma. But it is also an international cultural icon, its stones instantly recognizable, providing inspiration for medieval manuscript illuminators, artists such as Turner and Constable, among others, and generations of writers, photographers and craftsmen. It seems as if everyone has wanted a piece of Stonehenge, literally so in past centuries, and today the question of ‘Stonehenge – whose culture?’ is as passionately argued…

View original post 28 more words

Countdown to a New Dawn. New Stonehenge Visitor Centre opening on 18th December 2013

6 12 2013


The new Stonehenge visitor centre will open on the 18th December, in time for the winter solstice. Over the festive period you can visit Stonehenge without booking and from 1st February 2014, entrance to Stonehenge will be managed through timed tickets and advance booking is strongly recommended.

For the first time ever at the site, they will be able to learn more about this complex monument in a stunning, museum-quality permanent exhibition curated by English Heritage experts.

“The exhibition will change the way people experience and think about Stonehenge forever”

The £27m project also includes grassing over the A334 alongside the ancient monument and closing another section of the busy road.

Exploring the past: The impressive new visitor centre will open on 18 December

Exploring the past: The impressive new visitor centre will open on 18 December

The visitor centre and museum will be located about a mile-and-a-half from the stones.  Visitors will be shuttled to Stonehenge by a little train, pulled by a Land Rover.

The first part of the long-awaited environmental improvements to Stonehenge will be the unveiling of a new visitor experience. This includes the new visitor centre and exhibition facilities to enhance your visit to the Stones.

A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter a gallery presenting the facts and theories surrounding the monument through various displays and nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts.

The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge. All were found inside the World Heritage Site and many are on public display for the first time.

Set in Stone? How our ancestors saw Stonehenge, will be the first special temporary exhibition. It will chart more than 800 years of ideas and debate – from 12th-century legends to radiocarbon dating reports in the 1950s – on who built Stonehenge and when, and features objects on loan from many national museums.

Down the road: An aerial view of the site shows how developers have managed to place the site nearby, without spoiling the immediate surroundings of Stonhenge

Down the road: An aerial view of the site shows how developers have managed to place the site nearby, without spoiling the immediate surroundings of Stonehenge

In Easter 2014, visitors can look forward to the opening of a group of reconstructed Neolithic houses. The Neolithic houses are the highlight of the outdoor gallery and will be built from January 2014 onwards by volunteers based on houses where the builders of Stonehenge may have lived, complete with furniture and fittings.

Advance booking will be available shortly to give you guaranteed entry on the day and at the time of your choice.

Please note: road access to Stonehenge has changed and permits are being issued to vehicles driving on the A344 to Stonehenge until the new visitor centre opens at Airman’s Corner.  Please go to the Directions page for more details.

Stonehenge Links:
Stonehenge on Twitter:

The Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge: International team of broadcasters and experts to collaborate on new two-part documentary

5 12 2013

They are recruiting for film extras: Stonehenge Empire film extras wanted. Neolithic Male/Females to play pre-historic man.

The Heritage Trust

The Heritage Trust
Realscreen reports yesterday that –
BBC2, France 5, the CBC, Smithsonian Channel, Australia’s ORF and ZDF Germany are among the broadcasters uniting for Stonehenge Empire, a two-part doc looking at Britain’s ancient Stonehenge site (pictured). The 2 x 60-minute production is being made by UK indie October Films with Canada’s Lightship Entertainment and Austria’s Interspot Film.
Davidson, the BBC’s commissioning editor for history and business programming, added: “This is a really exciting project which will, using drama, CGI and the latest archaeological discoveries, allow us to properly understand the achievements and character of the people that built it; people who mastered deep mining, sophisticated engineering, textile manufacturing, ship-building, ‘micro’ gold-working, metallurgy, glass making, overseas trade and complex astronomy and mathematics.”
Full article here.

View original post

Visit Avebury and Stonehenge: Explore these World Heritage Sites with the new English Heritage Map

3 12 2013

The Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site is internationally important for its outstanding prehistoric monuments. This new map would make a great Christmas gift!

Stonehenge and Avebury MapStonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest.  Around them lie numerous other monuments and sites, which demonstrate over 2,000 years of continuous use.

Together they form a unique prehistoric landscape. There is no better way to learn about and experience the monuments than to go out and explore the World Heritage Site on foot.  This map is ideal for walkers and others wishing to explore the fascinating landscape of the two areas of the World Heritage Site.

The map uses an Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 base and draws upon information from the English Heritage Archive and recent archaeological investigations.  With Stonehenge on one side and Avebury on the other, the map shows and describes both visible and hidden remains, with information about where you can find out more. The map is divided into two parts on a durable double sided waterproof sheet.

A great Christmas Gift! You can purchase a copy now at the excellent Wiltshire Museum in Devizes: The Museum shop is located in the entrance hall and sells a variety of items.  Non-Museum visitors very welcome to go in, browse – and hopefully purchase.

You can also pre order a copy of the book on Amazon:

Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle Links:

Stonehenge and Avebury were inscribed together on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1986. The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site was one of the UK’s very first World Heritage Sites

The Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site (English Heritage):

Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle guided tours:

Wiltshire is proud to be the home of Stonehenge and Avebury which form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and our mystical landscape.

Stonehenge News on Twitter:

The Stonehenge News Blog

Phase 2 begins!!!!!

3 12 2013

Stonehenge Neolithic Houses

After a long break it was great to see some familiar faces arrive in Garston Woods. We are beginning the harvesting of materials needed to construct the buildings at the new Visitor Centre.

Our coup is very close to the one that we harvested last time and it was great to see the hazel growing back strongly. We are coppicing in the same way as the first phase of the project with all of the collected rods being tied into bundles. This makes the job of counting the number collected easier and also allows the rods to be transported more efficiently.

The main difference this time is that all of the experiments are complete and so we are now trying to harvest efficiently because we have a lot of material to collect.

The first week has flown by with all our volunteers working incredibly hard, fuelled of course, with tea…

View original post 2 more words

%d bloggers like this: