Stonehenge visitors to ‘experience’ standing in the ancient circle

25 03 2013

A 360 degree cinema is being developed so visitors to Stonehenge can experience standing inside the ancient circle.

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site Photo: Christopher Jones for the Telegraph

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site Photo: Christopher Jones for the Telegraph

Access to Stonehenge has been fiercely contested for decades, with campaigners arguing that they should be allowed into the stone circle.

Now, English Heritage has developed a possible solution, a virtual visit in a 360 degree cinema where visitors can “experience” standing in the ancient circle.

It will be the centrepiece of a new £27 million centre at the site and is one of a number of audio visual attractions being built to bring the prehistoric monument to life.

These will include a 32ft “landscape wall”, on to which computer generated images of the countryside around the circle and other ancient earthworks will be projected.

In addition, there will be five “people films”, shown on screens in one of the two vast pods being built to house the visitor centre. These will provide information about the monument and prehistoric items on display

There will also be films exploring the conflicting theories over the establishment and use of the circle.

Outside the centre, replica Neolithic dwellings are being built, where visitors will be able to see how early inhabitants of the sites lived.

The plans for the centre are revealed in a series of tender documents from English Heritage, seeking firms to provide the technological content for the audio visual displays. The documents describe the “immersive 360 degree projected film” as the “most important and high profile piece of audio visual ever undertaken by EH”.

The new auditorium’s 100ft circumference will compare with about 300ft in the actual stone circle.

Robert Campbell, the head of interpretation at the centre, said: “It’s meant to give people a sense of what it is like to stand in the middle of Stonehenge because most people just won’t be able to do that. It won’t feel like you are standing in a computer programme. The idea is to take our visitors back in time.”

The virtual visits may not win over all campaigners including Pagans and Druids who want open access to Stonehenge, which was created about 5,000 years ago.

When it was first opened to the public, it was possible to walk among and even climb on the stones. However, they were roped off in 1977 due to problems with erosion.

Visitors are now kept a short distance away, although English Heritage does permit access during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox. Some access visits early in the morning or late in the evening can also be booked.

Stonehenge receives one million visitors a year and is a World Heritage Site. The multi-million project is being built 1.5 miles from the stones.

By , and David Barrett (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Merlin at Stonehenge
The Stonehnege News Blog

 





A Pilgrim’s Guide to Stonehenge. The Winter Solstice Celebrations, Summer Solstice and Equinox Dawn Gatherings

13 12 2012

The Winter Solstice Celebrations, Summer Solstice and Equinox Dawn Gatherings

‘The Pilgrims Guide to Stonehenge‘ has been developed as a guide for anyone wanting to visit Stonehenge during the four annual times of Managed Open Access, the summer solstice celebrations, winter solstice and equinox dawn gatherings. Its aim is to provide information for anyone wanting to know more about what goes on and how the quality of the experience can be enhanced through ritual and understanding. As a result, this book focuses on ideas, suggestions and information about what to expect. This pilgrim’s guide has been clearly designed to help the modern visitor to become more of a proactive participant. Apart from wandering freely amongst the stones, much of the information can also be applied to the normal visiting times throughout the rest of the year. Also included is an overview of the historical context, a proposal to reveal the Altar Stone and an examination of how the summer solstice could potentially be developed in the future. Contains over seventy photographs and illustrations.

pilgrims-guide-stonehenge“The notion of people gathering together under their own terms is in some ways a lost art in Britain outside the confines of major sporting occasions, concerts, weekend shopping trips and nights out on the town. Major royal and civic events could also be added to this list. The festival scene however, has given more alternative gathering a real boost. The nature of celebration is to have a joyous time and it is interesting to note that the United Kingdom has amongst the least number of public holidays in Europe. We work increasingly long hours and stresses of modern living can take a toll on the body, as well as the mind. There is certainly a market for a successful summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge for people intending to free their spirits in a communal gathering at an age-old and identifiable site.”

A Pilgrims Guide to Stonehenge (book review)

 Its aim is to provide information for anyone wanting to know more about what goes on during Managed Open Access (Summer Solstice Celebrations, Winter Solstice and Equinox Dawn Gatherings) and how the quality of the experience can be enhanced through ritual and understanding. Much of the information can also be applied throughout the rest of the year. Includes photographs, illustrations, visitor information, ritual guide, historical context, solstice chart and discussion on the future.

This has come from Jim Raynor’s experience of having attended MOA. He felt there was a need for a pilgrim’s guide that enabled the modern visitor to become more of a proactive participant. As a result, this book focuses on ideas, suggestions and information about what to expect. Apart from wandering freely amongst the stones, much of the information can also be applied to normal visiting times throughout the rest of the year. Also included is an overview of the historical context, a proposal to reveal the Altar Stone and an examination of how the summer solstice could potentially be developed in the future.

Search Amazon “Pilgrims-Guide-Stonehenge-Celebrations” to find and buy a copy.
Historical link: https://blog.stonehenge-stone-circle.co.uk/category/pilgrims-guide-to-stonehenge/

Merlin says” This book has been developed as a guide for the modern day Stonehenge pilgrim.”

Winter Solstice updates: Follow Stonhenge on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

Merlin @ Stonhenge





Herders rather than farmers, built Stonehenge

10 09 2012

The ancient builders of Stonehenge may have had a surprisingly meaty diet and mobile way of life. Although farming first reached the British Isles around 6,000 years ago, cultivation had given way to animal raising and herding by the time Stonehenge and other massive stone monuments began to dot the landscape, a new study finds.

Stonehenge in southern England may have been built by herders, not farmers, suggests a new analysis of crop remains from the last several millennia.

Stonehenge in southern England may have been built by herders, not farmers, suggests a new analysis of crop remains from the last several millennia.

Agriculture’s British debut occurred during a mild, wet period that enabled the introduction of Mediterranean crops such as emmer wheat, barley and grapes, say archaeobotanists Chris Stevens of Wessex Archaeology in Salisbury, England, and Dorian Fuller of University College London. Farming existed at first alongside foraging for wild fruits and nuts and limited cattle raising, but the rapid onset of cool, dry conditions in Britain about 5,300 years ago spurred a move to raising cattle, sheep and pigs, Stevens and Fuller propose in the September Antiquity.

With the return of a cultivation-friendly climate about 3,500 years ago, during Britain’s Bronze Age, crop growing came back strong, the scientists contend. Farming villages rapidly replaced a mobile, herding way of life.

Many researchers have posited that agriculture either took hold quickly in Britain around 6,000 years ago or steadily rose to prominence by 4,000 years ago. In either case, farmers probably would have assembled Stonehenge, where initial work began as early as 5,500 years ago, with large stones hauled in around 4,400 years ago (SN: 6/21/08, p.13).

But if Stevens and Fuller’s scenario of British agriculture’s ancient rise, demise and rebirth holds up, then small groups of roaming pastoralists collaborated to build massive, circular stone and wood structures, including Stonehenge. Shifts from farming to pastoralism, sometimes accompanied by construction of stone monuments, occurred around the same time in parts of Africa and Asia, the researchers say.

“Part of the reason why pastoralists built monuments such as Stonehenge lies in the importance of periodic large gatherings for dispersed, mobile groups,” Fuller says. Collective meeting spots allowed different groups to arrange alliance-building marriages, crossbreed herds to boost the animals’ health and genetic diversity and hold ritual feasts. At these locations, large numbers of people could be mobilized for big construction projects, Fuller suggests.

“A predominantly pastoralist economy in the third millennium B.C. accords well with available evidence and provides a suitable backdrop to the early development of Stonehenge,” says archaeologist Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University in England. But he believes many large stones were brought to Stonehenge during a later upswing in cereal cultivation, as pastoralism receded in importance.

Stevens and Fuller compiled data on more than 700 cultivated and wild food remains from 198 sites across the British Isles whose ages had been previously calculated by radiocarbon dating. A statistical analysis of these dates and associated climate and environmental trends suggested that agriculture spread rapidly starting 6,000 years ago. About 700 years later, wild foods surged in popularity and cultivated grub became rare.

Several new crops — peas, beans and spelt — appeared around 3,500 years ago, when storage pits, granaries and other features of agricultural societies first appeared in Britain, Stevens and Fuller find. An influx of European farmers must have launched a Bronze Age agricultural revolution, they speculate.

Stevens and Fuller’s analysis offers only a general breakdown of how farming and pastoralism developed in Britain, asserts archaeologist Alasdair Whittle of Cardiff University in Wales. The scale of cultivation, even during times characterized by relatively abundant remains of domesticated plants, remains uncertain, Whittle says.

Even if farmers didn’t built Stonehenge, cultivators erected plenty of massive stone monuments, Whittle holds.
Bruce Bower
Link source: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/343984/title/Herders%2C_not_farmers%2C_built_Stonehenge

Sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’ www.StonehengeTours.com
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge. Henge Diggers – Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

8 09 2012

Saturday 8 September 2012 – Saturday 12 January 2013. This photographic exhibition captures the actions and emotions of archaeologists from universities across Britain whilst they carried out ground-breaking new work to reinterpret the Stonehenge landscape.  Bill Bevan was resident photographer on site for three years during the excavations of the internationally important Stonehenge Riverside Project (2004-2010).  His photographs and the accompanying text offer the visitor an unusual and revealing vantage point from which to view the archaeologists at work. 

Stonehenge Riverside Project is a joint collaboration between archaeologists at the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, UCL and Bournemouth.   This exhibition has been funded by Arts Council England and Manchester University in partnership with Salisbury Museum.

Henge Diggers

An exhibition of how archaeologists work on-site, Themes of the exhibition include the working practices of archaeologists, the brief deposition of tools that mimic the ancient tool deposits they excavate, the repetitive nature of excavation and notions of time and space. All photographs are from the Stonehenge Riverside Project. Thank you to the directors of the project for generously given access to the excavations. More information about the project can be found here –www.shef.ac.uk/archaeology/research/stonehenge

Check out http://www.billbevanphotography.co.uk/ for more information about Bill’s projects.

picture credit: In The Shadow 1 by Bill Bevan, 95 x 70 cms, (c) Bill Bevan


Booking:  No booking required.


 

 

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

Merlin says: “Went today with the kids, well worth a visit!”

Merlin @ Stonehenge Stone Circle
The Stonehenge News Blog

 

 





Visiting Stonehenge for the 2012 Summer Solstice ? Use it, Don’t abuse it!

19 06 2012

Respect the Stones and Respect each other!

Stonehenge is an ancient pre-historic site. It has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Summer Solstice since time immemorial.   Use it ! Dont abuse it!

WE HOPE THE WEATHER WILL BE KIND AND WISH YOU A PEACEFUL AND CELEBRATORY SOLSTICE. 

Get off our Stones!

Get off our Stones!

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 and guidelines set out on the following pages. We have a duty of care to ensure public safety and are responsible for the protection of Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments. If we are to ensure that future access is sustainable, it is essential that everyone observes and abides by these Conditions of Entry

Timings for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

SOLSTICE CAR PARK OPENS 1900 hours (7pm) Wednesday 20th June ACCESS TO STONEHENGE 1900 hours (7pm) Wednesday 20th June LAST ADMISSION TO SOLSTICE CAR PARK  0600 hours (6am) Thursday 21st June STONEHENGE CLOSES 0800 hours (8am) Thursday 21st June SOLSTICE CAR PARK TO BE VACATED 1200 hours (12 Noon) Thursday 21st June – see the pages on Travel and Parking for further information on travel and parking arrangements.

Sunset and sunrise occur at the following times: Sunset on Wednesday 20th June 2012 is at 2126 hrs (9.26pm) Sunrise on Thursday 21st June 2012 is at 0452 hrs (4.52am)

CAMPING:
Please remember camping is NOT permitted at Stonehenge, in the Solstice Car Park, or anywhere in the surrounding National Trust land.   There are four local campsites. Please check availability and entry conditions in advance.   Stonehenge Touring Park Orcheston, Nr Shrewton, Salisbury SP3 4SH 01980 620304

Salisbury Camping & Caravanning Club Site Hudson’s Field, Castle Road, Salisbury, SP1 3RR 01722 320713

Coombe Caravan Park Coombe Nurseries, The Race Plain, Netherhampton, Salisbury, SP2 8PN 01722 328451

Stonehenge Campsite Berwick Road, Berwick St James, Salisbury, SP3 4TQ 017880 746514

Tourist Information Centres  

Tourist Information Centres for local area are:
Amesbury Tel: 01980 622833
Salisbury Tel: 01722 334956 www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury
Devizes Tel: 01380 800400
Andover Tel: 01264 324320 www.touruk.co.uk/hamp/ham_and.htm

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Information Hotline  

For further information about the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, please telephone English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Information Hotline on 0870 333 1186

Travelling to Stonehenge for Summer Solstice

Stonehenge is approximately 2½ miles (4 kms) from the town of Amesbury. The nearest bus and railway stations are in Salisbury, which is 12 miles (19 kms) away from Stonehenge.   As the roads around Stonehenge will be very busy, it is recommended that you leave your car at home and travel to Stonehenge using public transport.

Stonehenge by bus  

The bus service will commence at 1830 hours (6.30pm) on Wednesday 20th June and run regularly until 0115 hours (1.15am) on Thursday 21st June. A service taking people back to Salisbury will start again at 0400 hours (4am) and run frequently until 0945 hours (9.45am). The collection point for the return service is in the same location as the drop-off point.   The walk to Stonehenge from the bus drop-off/collection point is 1½ miles (approximately 2½ kms) – about a 20-30 minute walk and is through National Trust farmland. Sensible footwear might not be fashionable but is definitely advisable as the land is agricultural and the route includes some sloping ground. Also the route is not lit and you may wish to bring a small torch (not naked flame though!!).   To help you plan your journey to Stonehenge, bus timetables and fares are available from the following links:

For bus service information:

Wilts & Dorset Bus Company www.wdbus.co.uk Tel: 01983 827 005

 

Stonehenge by train and bus  

Trains run regularly to Salisbury from London, Bristol/Bath and Southampton and the local bus company, Wilts & Dorset, will be running a special service, from Salisbury railway and bus stations to a drop-off point near Stonehenge. The buses will also stop at any recognised bus stop along the line of the route, which is via Amesbury.   For train information:

South West Trains www.southwesttrains.co.uk Tel: 0845 6000 650

First Great Western www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk Tel: 0845 7000 125

National Rail Enquiries www.nationalrail.co.uk Tel: 08457 48 49 50

 

Stonehenge by car  

A high volume of traffic is anticipated in the Stonehenge area on the evening of Wednesday 20th June. The Summer Solstice parking facilities close to Stonehenge are extensive but also finite.   Although traffic, as you approach Stonehenge, maybe slow, please do not be tempted to abandon your vehicle and park it either on the A303 or other neighbouring roads and public rights of way. Cars parked illegally will be towed away by the Police or Wiltshire Council.   Please also be aware that a number of road closures will be in operation to ensure safe pedestrian passage to Stonehenge and to allow unimpeded access in the event of an emergency. As you approach Stonehenge, signage will be in place to direct you to the Solstice Car Park.   Please see Parking for further information.

 

Cyclists  

It is not advisable to bring cycles to Stonehenge as they cannot be accommodated at the Monument and they will not be permitted beyond the Solstice Car Park (which is located approximately 1 km west of Stonehenge). Please bring your own locking device and park your cycle in the designated area in the Solstice Car Park. Ask a steward at the Solstice Car Park entrance for assistance.

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/summer-solstice/

 Merlin says “Happy Solstice and respect the Stones!  See you there”
Follow me on Twitter for updates and pics:  http://twitter.com/#!/st0nehenge
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





Tasteful architecture – CheeseHenge

3 05 2012
Totally crackers … food artist Prudence Staite made Stonehenge out of cheese and biscuits

Food artist Prudence Staite made some of the UKs most iconic landmarks out nothing but FOOD.

Totally crackers … food artist Prudence Staite made Stonehenge out of cheese and biscuits

Caters News Agency

By EMILY FAIRBAIRN
Food artist Prudence Staite, 32, has meticulously hand-crafted some of the  UK’s most iconic landmarks using dairy and other food snacks.

The collection includes a Stonehenge that’s built from chunks of Cheddar, Red  Leicester and Stilton cheeses set on a green salad platter with crackers  forming the perimeter.

Full story – http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4292408/Food-artist-Prudence-Staite-creates-iconic-British-landmarks-out-of-food.html

Merlin says “NEVER has something so cheesy been so brilliant”

Sponsored by The Stonehenge Tour Company – www.StonehenegeTours.com

 








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