2nd Historic Stonehenge – Amesbury Lantern Procession along the original Avenue

22 11 2012

AMESBURY will be holding its second lantern parade on Friday, December 21st

Following the success of last year’s event, the parade has been organised to bring the community together before Christmas.

More than 500 people are to hold a procession from Stonehenge to Amesbury

More than 500 people are to hold a procession from Stonehenge to Amesbury

The 2nd Lantern Parade from Stonehenge to Amesbury will take place on Friday 21st December 2012 (not the 20th as we suggested earlier). This year’s route will be different to the one taken last year too. From the heel stone it will follow the original Avenue route to Kings Barrow Ridge, turning left on to the byways to join Countess Road (North) at the junction with Byway 9a & 37 and then following the footpath in to Amesbury to the Methodist Church.

Tickets cost £5 including bus travel from Amesbury to Stonehenge and a lantern, which can be decorated, with a prize for the best one.

If people already have a lantern they can take it along and buy a bus ticket for £2

There will be no parking at Stonehenge for the event and refreshments will be available after the procession, which starts at 4pm.

More information and tickets are available from the Bowman Centre or the Amesbury Community and Visitor Centre, call Alice Membery on             01980 622999       or emaildeputyclerk@amesburytc.org.uk.

More about the Lantern Parade

The parade, along the original processional route of the avenue, is believed to have been started centuries ago when the ancient monument was first built.

“We’ve just discovered that life began in Amesbury as early as 8,250 years ago with a settlement by the River Avon,” said Mr Rhind-Tutt.

Sun sets
“And the processional route would have been the route that led people from Amesbury to Stonehenge.”

During the winter solstice the sun is closer to the horizon than at any other time in the year, meaning shorter days and longer nights.

And the recreation of the procession has been timed to leave Stonehenge as the sun sets on the eve of the longest night of the year.

“It’s about a mile-and-a-half but it isn’t like walking down a road,” said Mr Rhind-Tutt.

“In daylight you can do it an hour – in the dark it may take up to two hours but it’s proving extremely popular and we’ve even got a stilt walker signed up.”

Link Source:
 http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-16284687
https://heritageaction.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/stonehenge-this-years-lantern-procession-details/

Stonehenge news blog sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’  www.StonehenegTours.com

Merlin says “It was a fantastic experience last year and I look forward to the procession this Solstice”

Merlin @ Stonehenge





New light on Stonehenge. Latest theories about when and why Stonehenge was built

8 11 2012

Tuesday 13 November 2012. A talk by Professor Mike Parker-Pearson, University of Sheffield. This lecture will present new findings by the ‘Feeding Stonehenge’ project about the people who built Stonehenge, and about the sources of its stones in Wales and north Wiltshire. It will examine the latest theories about when and why Stonehenge was built, and will present new discoveries from Wales as well as the Stonehenge area.

image credit : Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam

image credit : Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam

Prof. Mike Parker-Pearson is leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project and author of Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery, published by Simon & Schuster in June 2012. (see below)

7.00 pm refreshments, 7.30 pm lecture.

 

Please note this lecture is at the Guildhall (Market Square)not the Museum. A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April. Please note earlier start time for this particular lecture. This particular lecture requires booking. This is a fundraising event.

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk


Booking:  Booking required. Please contact the Museum to book.

Cost:  In Advance: £8.00; On the Night : £10.00.

Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery

Our knowledge about Stonehenge has changed dramatically as a result of the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2003-2009), led by Mike Parker Pearson, and included not only Stonehenge itself but also the nearby great henge enclosure of Durrington Walls. This book is about the people who built Stonehenge and its relationship to the surrounding landscape. The book explores the theory that the people of Durrington Walls built both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, and that the choice of stone for constructing Stonehenge has a significance so far undiscovered, namely, that stone was used for monuments to the dead. Through years of thorough and extensive work at the site, Parker Pearson and his team unearthed evidence of the Neolithic inhabitants and builders which connected the settlement at Durrington Walls with the henge, and contextualised Stonehenge within the larger site complex, linked by the River Avon, as well as in terms of its relationship with the rest of the British Isles. Parker Pearson’s book changes the way that we think about Stonehenge; correcting previously erroneous chronology and dating; filling in gaps in our knowledge about its people and how they lived; identifying a previously unknown type of Neolithic building; discovering Bluestonehenge, a circle of 25 blue stones from western Wales; and confirming what started as a hypothesis – that Stonehenge was a place of the dead – through more than 64 cremation burials unearthed there, which span the monument’s use during the third millennium BC. In lively and engaging prose, Parker Pearson brings to life the imposing ancient monument that continues to hold a fascination for everyone

Sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’ – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Lasers at Stonehenge. British Archaelogy

12 10 2012

At last, after all these years, we’ve got the very first comprehensive study of the actual stones at Stonehenge. As part of its research into Stonehenge and its landscape that will feed into displays at the new visitor centre, English Heritage commissioned Greenhatch Group surveyors to produce the first complete, high resolution 3D digital model of Stonehenge and its immediate landscape, using lasers and a bit of photogrammetry. (http://mikepitts.wordpress.com/)

At last, after all these years, we’ve got the very first comprehensive study of the actual stones at Stonehenge

Then Marcus Abbott (ArcHeritage) and Hugo Anderson-Whymark (freelance lithics specialist) analysed the data, created new digital images and news ways of seeing them, added some of their own photos and spent time amongst the real stones.

In one sense the results are not surprising: it was obvious to anyone with eyes that that we could learn a lot about Stonehenge with a proper study of the stones. And yes, we have learnt a lot. But just about all the details are revelatory.

There are four different areas where new things are really going to change the way we think about the monument:

  • how the stones were dressed and what the original monument looked like
  • prehistoric carvings – difficult to see and unknown to visitors: the new discoveries have doubled the number of such carvings known in the whole of Britain
  • damage by tourists: the scale of damage done by souvenir collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries had not been recognised before
  • graffiti: dates range between 1721 and 1866, though most were carved 1800–1850 – and they’re almost everywhere.

And this must be just the beginning. There are more details yet to see (there is still scope for new and higher resolution survey), and new things to think about in the vast data set.

http://mikepitts.wordpress.com/

If you know Stonehenge, from this alone you can see at once how much new information has been revealed. Amongst other things, it seems fair to draw from this (and other new data) that the sarsen circle probably WAS complete; and that the whole thing was designed to be seen from the north-east, approaching up the Avenue – so the implication follows that the setting midwinter sun you’d be facing to the south-west was the key alignment.

British Archaeology also published the pioneering Stonehenge laser study done in 2002.

Please follow Mike Pitts excellent archaelogy Blog: http://mikepitts.wordpress.com/
L
ink: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba73/index.shtml
L
ink: http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/

 

British Archaeology magazine

 

The Council for British Archaeology’s award-winning bi-monthly magazine is the authoritative, in-depth source of information and comment on what’s new, interesting and important in UK archaeology.
Link: http://new.archaeologyuk.org/british-archaeology-magazine

Blog sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’ www.StonehengeTours.com

The Stonehenge News Blog





Your guide to the August night sky, Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire

1 08 2012

Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire.  Big, open skies are a defining feature of the countryside and on a clear night you can see some 4,000 stars sparkling in our universe.

Situated on the edge of Salisbury Plain, the prehistoric ceremonial landscape of Stonehenge occupies a large, sparsely populated area of ancient downland ideal for star gazing. The monuments here are directly connected to the skies above, with stones aligned to moonrises and moonsets, in addition to the Midsummer and Midwinter solstices. Keep an ear out for the Stone Curlew’s haunting ‘coo-ree’ bird call, particularly in autumn.  Terrain and safety: The route to the star-gazing spot follows regular tracks through the fields. Grassy areas are fairly smooth; off the worn route grass can be tall and tussocky. Be aware that the Cursus Barrows field is grazed by cattle. Byway 12 has some large potholes, becoming deep puddles after rain.
 Location: 2 miles west of Amesbury, near the junction of the A303 and A344. Stonehenge car park closes in the evening, but it is possible to park nearby. Grid ref: SU120420

Your guide to the summer night sky, Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire
In prehistoric times the night sky would have looked very different. The stars were much clearer and stories about them were likely to have been included in a rich oral history, now lost. Today, light pollution makes it difficult to see all but the brightest stars (© Tony Evershed).  Enter a prehistoric ceremonial landscape: hundreds of monuments with physical and visual connections to each other, to the land and to the skies above. All this lies on the edge of Salisbury Plain, a large, sparsely populated area of downland good for star gazing.

The August skies are filled with all manner of interesting objects that can be viewed in dark sky conditions. Arrive before sunset to see the ancient earthworks at their best in slanting evening light. The banks of the 4,000-year-old Stonehenge Avenue can be seen leading north-east, away from the stone circle.
The Perseid meteor shower is set to peak around 12/13 August, but it’s well worth keeping an eye out for meteors any time from July 23 to August 22. The thin, crescent moon will be out of the way early, setting the stage for a potentially spectacular show.
For best viewing, pick a cloudless night and look to the northeast after midnight.
Overhead there is the summer triangle starting with Vega (a bright white star which is almost overhead, part of the constellation Lyra), Deneb to the left in Cygnus (the swan constellation) and Altair, south east in Sagitta/Aquila. These stars can be used as pointers to other stars. Go to Vega and look westward to find the bright reddish star Arcturus, part of Bootes the Kite. The pretty group of curved stars to the east of Arcturus is Corona Borealis, a cornet of stars. The Plough/Big Dipper is in the north west sky and becomes the tail and rear end of the Great Bear/ Ursa Major.
If the sky is dark and clear of any clouds you should be able to make out the Milky Way, a ribbon of millions of stars threading its way across the heavens. If you are using binoculars this really is a stunning sight.

Download the National Trust Stonehenge Guide (PDF) here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/servlet/file/store5/item479325/version1/w-walk-stonehenge_dark_skies2010.pdf
More Night walks: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/activities/walking/view-page/item479320/

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

Merlin says “Neolithic Britons might have held objects of the sky as gods, and predicting the will of the gods was something essential to their existence, thus mixing the concepts we distinguish from each other today – religion and astronomy.”

Merlin @ Stonehenge





A New Dawn for Stonehenge

26 07 2012

Stonehenge Improvements: Work Starts On Site

Work to realise the long-held vision to return Stonehenge to a more tranquil setting and improve its visitor facilities has officially started. Successful fundraising also means that virtually all of the total project cost has now been secured with only £500,000 left to raise, English Heritage has announced.

School children from Greentrees Primary School near Salisbury on a recent visit to Stonehenge.

School children from Greentrees Primary School near Salisbury on a recent visit to Stonehenge.

Contractor VINCI Construction UK has taken possession of the site at Airman’s Corner, 1.5 miles to the west of the Stones, to start construction of the new exhibition and visitor building out of sight of the stone circle. In September, the Highways Agency will start work to upgrade Longbarrow Roundabout prior to the closure of the A344 in April 2013.

The £27-million project is financed almost entirely by Heritage Lottery Fund money, commercial income and philanthropic donations including significant gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Linbury Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

A new dawn

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “A new dawn at Stonehenge is truly upon us. Though the stones themselves have never failed to awe visitors their setting has been a national embarrassment and disgrace. After nearly 30 years English Heritage finally has a scheme that will transform the setting of the stones and our visitor’s experience of them. The restoration of the landscape together with a major new exhibition on site will finally give our greatest and most famous monument the treatment it deserves.

“Almost all the money to achieve our vision comes from commercial or private sources. We are tremendously grateful to have so many partners and private sector sponsors supporting us along the way.”

Heritage Minister John Penrose said:  “People have been talking about the project for nearly 30 years and so I’m absolutely delighted that work is finally underway to preserve this internationally recognisable prehistoric World Heritage Site, and to improve the visitor experience for those who come to marvel at it too.”

Transforming the setting of Stonehenge

The project, developed with the support of the National Trust, Wiltshire Council, the Highways Agency, and Natural England, will transform the setting of Stonehenge. The section of the A344 which currently runs past the monument – almost touching the Heel Stone – will be closed and grassed over, reuniting the stone circle with its ancient processional way and the surrounding landscape. The remaining part of the A344 will be closed to public vehicles, and will become the route of a new visitor shuttle service to the stones.

The existing outdated facilities, car park, fences and clutter near the monument will be removed. Visitors will be welcomed at the new facilities located at Airman’s Corner and, instead of approaching the stone circle from the east on a busy road, they will approach over chalk downland from the west either via a 10-min journey on the visitor shuttle, or on foot.

New exhibition, education rooms and more

A visit to the stones will, for the first time, be enhanced by a large exhibition which will tell the story of this complex site and its relationship with the wider landscape. It will feature important objects excavated near Stonehenge on loan from the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Sensitively designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the low-key visitor building also features education rooms and much improved amenities with full disabled access.

Visitor centre opens Autumn 2013

The Stonehenge project will be completed in two phases:

  • In autumn 2013, the new visitor facilities and galleries will open and the A344 will be closed to traffic. (The section of the A344 adjacent to the stones will already have been closed earlier in 2013.) Visitors will be taken to near the stones on a low-impact shuttle, with the option to disembark mid-way at a landscape viewpoint and walk to the stones from there.
  • By summer 2014, the existing car park, toilets, shop and fencing near the stones will have been removed and restoration of the landscape will be well underway. Visitors will be able to walk and enjoy the wider landscape and other outstanding prehistoric monuments.

Throughout the construction, Stonehenge will continue to welcome visitors as normal at its existing facilities. An opening date for the new visitor building will be announced in 2013, and the switch-over to the new facilities will be overnight so that there will be no disruption to visitors.

Visit the English Heritage website for more details: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk

Sponsored by ‘The Stonhenge Tour Company’ – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge





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





Stonehenge visitor centre preparation work begins

26 06 2012

Preparation work has begun ahead of building a new multi million-pound visitor centre near Stonehenge.

Pre-construction tests are being carried out at the site and work on the centre itself will begin next month.

The visitor centre is expected to open in autumn 2013

The visitor centre is expected to open in autumn 2013

The tests aim to see if a ground water source can provide sufficient drinking water and energy for a year-round heating/cooling system for the centre.The centre, about a mile-and-a-half (2.4km) west of the prehistoric stones, is expected to open in autumn 2013.

A Grade-II listed Airman’s Cross memorial at nearby Airman’s Corner will be re-sited in the grounds of the centre.

Link source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-18590301

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/our-plans/

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

Merlin @ Stonehenge

 





A new dawn at Stonehenge – A Monumental Journey

10 05 2012

An exhibition about the ways in which Stonehenge has been presented and experienced over time -as a place of wonder, religious pilgrimage, tourist curiosity, celebration and protest. Exhibits include information about how the monument will soon be released from the ‘roads triangle’ that currently surrounds it and reconnected with the wider landscape.

Stonehenge: Monumental Journey (9 May – 24 June): For centuries, Stonehenge has been a place of wonder and of religious pilgrimage, of celebration and of protest, of music festivals and of tourist curiosity. This exhibition will show how the monument has been experienced and presented over time and how Stonehenge will soon be freed from the “roads
Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/wellington-arch-reopens/

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ – www.StonehegeTours.com

Merln says “Taking the family on Saturday, heard good reports

The Stonehenge Stone Circle News Blog





‘Supermoon’ Alert: Biggest Full Moon of 2012 Occurs Today over Stonehenge

5 05 2012

Skywatchers take note: The biggest full moon of the year is due to arrive over Stonehenge tonight.

Situated on the edge of Salisbury Plain, the prehistoric ceremonial landscape of Stonehenge occupies a large, sparsely populated area of ancient downland ideal for star gazing and viewing the Supermoon.

Supermoon over Stonehenge

Supermoon over Stonehenge

The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5th) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year’s biggest.

The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.

And not only does the moon’s perigee coincide with full moon this month, but this perigee will be the nearest to Earth of any this year, as the distance of the moon’s close approach varies by about 3 percent, according to meteorologist Joe Rao, SPACE.com’s skywatching columnist. This happens because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular.

This month’s full moon is due to be about 16 percent brighter than average. In contrast, later this year on Nov. 28, the full moon will coincide with apogee, the moon’s farthest approach, offering a particularly small and dim full moon.

Though the unusual appearance of this month’s full moon may be surprising to some, there’s no reason for alarm, scientists warn. The slight distance difference isn’t enough to cause any earthquakes or extreme tidal effects, experts say.

However, the normal tides around the world will be particularly high and low. At perigee, the moon will exert about 42 percent more tidal force than it will during its next apogee two weeks later, Rao said.

The last supermoon occurred in March 2011.

To view this weekend’s supermoon to best effect, look for it just after it rises or before it sets, when it is close to the horizon. There, you can catch a view of the moon behind buildings or trees, an effect which produces an optical illusion, making the moon seem even larger than it really is.

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

 Merlin says “Lets hope the skies are clear – Howllllllllllllll……….”

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle News Blog





Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Day Tour

1 04 2012

Celebrate World Heritage Day and the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention with a fascinating exploration of the Stonehenge and Avebury Landscapes.  Join our experts and discover these extraordinary prehistoric landscapes and how World Heritage Site status is helping to conserve them.
Stonehenge
This is a tour with a mixture of walking and travelling by coach.  You will be led by Dr Nick Snashall, the National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.  Also taking part are Sarah Simmonds, the Avebury World Heritage officer (Wiltshire Council) and Beth Thomas, the Stonehenge World heritage Site Coordinator (English Heritage). This tour is being organised in partnership with English Heritage, National Trust and Wiltshire Council and open to members of both organisations and non-members.
Please note: this is a tour of parts of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site; there will be some walking so appropriate clothing and footwear essential. This tour will not be suitable for those with limited mobility; please let us know if there are any special needs. Older children would be acceptable (e.g. 12+ years).  Need to be able to listen to the talk and not disrupt group. The National Trust will supply parking permits for the car park.  These will be available on the day or in advance if time. Tour ticket will include FREE entry to Alexander Keiller Barn and Stable Galleries and Stonehenge. Tour ticket will include: morning coffee, light lunch and snack in the afternoon. Please let us know of any special dietary requirements. Sites visited include Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury Henge, West Kennet Avenue, Stonehenge, Durrington Walls and Woodhenge.

When ?
Date: Wed 18 Apr 2012

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–>How to BookPurchase your tickets today by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm).

Prices

All inclusive tour includes: car park fee in Avebury; morning coffee, light lunch and afternoon snack; mini-coach travel from Avebury to Stonehenge and return.

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/stonehenge-and-avebury-world-heritage-day-tour-s-18-apr/

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

Merlin at Stonehenge








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