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

The Stonehenge prehistoric landscape. A Satellite view,

30 03 2012

I found this wonderful image on the stone-circles web site.  See it here:
 Satellite image of the Stonehenge Landscape

It shows the “ritual” and non-ritual features in the Stonehenge area — with the features themselves overlaid onto a satellite image of the district.  Click to enlarge.


Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’

Merlin says “Stonehenge is so much more than a Stine Circle and I encourage you all to explore this prehistoric Landscape”

Merlin @ Stonehenge Stone Circle 

Stonehenge tunnel idea resurrected.

17 01 2012

The idea of building a tunnel under Stonehenge has been resurrected by a consortium of council leaders from across the South West.

Stonehenge tunnel planWiltshire was among the authorities represented at a summit meeting to discuss A303 improvements, organised by Somerset County Council last week.

They discussed ways to raise the £1billion needed to widen the remaining single lane sections of the road between Wiltshire and Devon.

The tunnel, which would have cost more than £500million at the last count, is one of five separate schemes they believe are needed.

Somerset’s leader Ken Maddock believes there is scope to seek new funding in the light of Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement, which said that pension funds could be used to fund up to £20billion of infrastructure schemes.

He said: “This is a fabulous opportunity to put a joint bid together that will bring huge benefits to the whole of the West Country.”

The 2.1km tunnel plans were shelved in 2007 after the government said the soaring cost was not justified.


Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ –

Stonehenge tunnel “Why not plant a hedgerow along the A303 ?  It would reduce road noise, prevent accidents because of people looking at the monument whilst driving and considerable cheaper and quicker”

Anyone agree with me ?

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

Haulage companies set to by bypass Stonehenge

5 11 2011

Fleet drivers will have to seek alternative routes when travelling through the county of Wiltshire later next year, following an announcement that roads around Stonehenge will be closed.

The news came after roads minister Mike Penning backed plans for a £3.5 million investment in diverting traffic away from Stonehenge in a bid to reduce congestion in the area.

Under the plans, the 879m length section of the A344 and its junction with the A303 will be closed.

Along with this, a 263m length segment of the B3086 and its junction with the A344 are also set to be closed under the scheme.

According to Mr Penning, further improvement will see “increased capacity delivered on the A360/A303 at Longbarrow Crossroads”, to compensate for the stopped up roads around Stonehenge.

The move was greeted positively by English Heritage, with Stonehenge project director Lorraine Knowles calling it “necessary in order to enable the Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project to proceed”.

“It will significantly improve the experience of visitors to the Stonehenge monument and facilitate greater access to the wider World Heritage Site landscape,” she said.

At present, the Highways Agency is set to finish improvements to the Longbarrow roundabout in the area before closing the roads near the site from next year

Hope that will stop them ‘honking’ their horns as they travel passed as well (noisy bas***ds)

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’

Where will they go ?

Merlin ‘ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

Stonehenge A344 road closure approved

1 11 2011

Plans to close a main road running past Stonehenge have been backed by the government following a public inquiry.

An aerial view of Stonehenge without the A344 road

An aerial view of Stonehenge without the A344 road

English Heritage wanted to stop traffic from travelling close to the stones and “restore the dignity” of the World Heritage Site by closing the A344.

Following a public inquiry, an independent inspector recommended part of the road could be closed off.

Roads minister Mike Penning has approved the plans and £3.5m will be used to improve nearby roads.

In June 2010 Wiltshire Council granted planning permission for a new visitors centre at Airman’s Corner, 1.5 miles (2km) west of Stonehenge.

At the public inquiry, opponents claimed the plans would give English Heritage a monopoly on access to the site.

The scheme will see an 879 metre section of the A344 from its junction with the A303 closed.

Part of the B3086 from its junction with the A344 will also be closed and “increased capacity” added at Longbarrow Crossroads.

A decision over the remainder of the A344 and other byways will be decided by Wiltshire Council.

“This is an important contribution to improve the setting of the monument and ensure its preservation as an iconic World Heritage Site,” said Mr Penning.


Sponsored by the ;Stonehenge Tour Company’

Merlin @Stonehenge

Stonehenge news. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World ?

16 08 2011

Stonehenge may not be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but that’s probably only because Heroditus never came to Britain. If he came here now, he’d be appalled by the site of the stones – sandwiched as they are between two busy main roads, a car park complete with portaloos, and a visitor centre that makes you wish you were visiting something else.

A “national disgrace” is what a committee of MP’s called it more than a decade ago, and nothing much has changed since then. Until now that is. After years of wrangling over a series of schemes involving tunnels, by-passes and road closures, the Government believes it may finally have a plan that does Stonehenge justice. Others, including several prominent archaeologists, are not so sure and have set up The Stonehenge Alliance to fight the proposals.

When Sir Jocelyn Stevens took the reigns at English Heritage in 1992. He vowed to make Stonehenge his top priority, to “sort out” the mess of roads criss-crossing the site, and the inappropriate and inadequate visitor facilities that had been branded a national disgrace by the Public Accounts Committee:
From the top of the King Barrows Ridge heading south on the A303 it’s easy to see what the problem is. The road itself, and the smaller A344 that forks off to the right, dominate the landscape as the raised bowl in which Stonehenge sits opens out in front of you. The view of the stones is a good one – and is much appreciated by motorists – but it’s hardly an appropriate setting for such an historic monument.

Buried in the down right beside the stones themselves the bunker-like concrete visitor centre, with it’s shop, ticket office, take-away cafe, and portaloos, is little better. Everyone agrees something must be done. The question is what?

Earlier plans, for a 4 kilometre tunnel bored under the entire site were rejected by the then Conservative government in 1996 on the grounds of cost. The current proposal, the “master plan” as it’s called, is backed by both English Heritage and the National Trust which owns much of the land. The idea is to bury the A303 in a 2 kilometre cut-and-cover tunnel, to close and green-over the A344, and to re-locate and improve the visitor facilities at a site outside the boundary of the World Heritage Site:

Kate Fielden, is a founding member of the Stonehenge Alliance. The problem with the master plan is that a shorter tunnel, although missing the stones, would both start and finish well within the boundaries of the wider World Heritage Site. Opting for cut and cover construction rather than a bored tunnel would more than halve the cost, but means digging up the ground along its entire length. An act of archaeological vandalism the alliance says beggars belief:

And the Stonehenge Alliance is not alone. In July ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, urged the Government to “pay due regard to the World Heritage Site as a whole, and not just that part closest to the stones”. And now even the National Trust’s support for the scheme is under attack from within. A motion before this month’s AGM calls on the charity to abandon its position. The Trust’s Mark Harold accepts the master plan is far from perfect, but he believes, its a good compromise:

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehehenge Tour Company’ –

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

Bulldozed Stonehenge would incur monolithic backlash

3 07 2011

So why has the eradication of the 4,000-year-old prehistoric Priddy Circles site not caused more national interest?
Priddy Circle Map

Hands-up folks, which of you had even heard of the Priddy Circles before last week? I would not anticipate there to be a large number of people, even locals, who had and I’m afraid to admit that I would not be among them.

It’s not surprising that they’re so little known as any reference to them makes only vague speculation as to their former purpose. The same could also be said to be true of Stonehenge, but, as any users of the A303 will attest, the mysterious splendour Stonehenge has captured the imagination of many, whereas Priddy Circles have remained unacknowledged by most.

I align them with Stonehenge because academic research on the phenomenon has claimed that ‘although no dating evidence has been found, they appear to be contemporary with Stonehenge’.

They are also said to probably be ‘Neolithic ritual or ceremonial monuments similar to a henge, they are external rather than internal ditches makes them unique in Britain and all this makes the circles the most important surviving Neolithic sites in Somerset’.

The recent rise in interest of the site is as a result of discoveries that English Heritage experts have been investigating claims that one of the four Priddy Circles has been obliterated.

Land near the circles appears to have been recently re-seeded and tree saplings have been planted close by.

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 makes it a criminal offence to destroy or damage a scheduled monument including agriculture, forestry, flooding and tipping.

If you want to view the site for yourself, they can be located using the map above – you are looking for an arrangement of four circular earthwork enclosures. The circles, each nearly 200m across, are best seen from the air. The damaged circle was the most clearly defined of the four. The total arrangement covers roughly 1.2km.

Other eyewitness accounts can be found at the Modern Antiquarian website. English Heritage has refused to be drawn on the extent of the alleged damage at this stage. 

To see the full extent of the damage from an aerial perspective, check-out these astounding photos by Pete Glastonbury.

Sponsored by the Stonehenge Tour Company –

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website

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