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:
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/
http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/explore/stonehenge-and-avebury/stonehenge-visitor-centre
Stonehenge on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE

The Stonehenge News Blog





Multi-million pound Stonehenge visitor centre to open in time for winter solstice

1 10 2013

Visitors to Stonehenge will get the chance to  explore an impressive new visitor centre close to the ancient site later this  year.

English Heritage today announced that the  first phase of its long-awaited £27million improvements  to the area will be launched to the public on 18 December, in time for  winter solstice on 21 December.

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 new visitor centre will house a permanent  exhibition that will offer visitors the chance to learn more about the famous  monument.

They will be able to ‘stand in the stones’  thanks to a 360-degree virtual experience before they enter a gallery where they  will be able to view nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts and displays that reveal  facts and theories about the ancient monument.

Many of the archaeological finds – which are  on loan from various museums including the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum  – will be on public display for the first time.

Ancient artefacts: A permanent exhibition will feature nearly 300 prehistoric objects

Ancient artefacts: A permanent exhibition will feature nearly 300 prehistoric objects

The first temporary exhibition will chart  over 800 years of theories about who built Stonehenge – from 12th-century  legends to radiocarbon dating reports in the 1950s.

The environmentally-friendly building,  which  has been designed by Denton Corker Marshall,  features a café, shop, dedicated  education space and visitor’s car park, and will offer tourists free audio  guides.

The centre is 1.5 miles from Stonehenge and  visitors will be transported to the monument on a special shuttle  service

Ambitious: The £27million project features three stages, the first of which is the opening of the visitor centre

Ambitious: The £27million project features three stages, the first of which is the opening of the visitor centre

English Heritage’s chief executive Simon  Thurley said: “This world famous monument, perpetually described as a mystery,  finally has a place in which to tell its story.

“The exhibition will change the way people  experience and think about Stonehenge forever – beyond the clichés and towards a  meaningful inquiry into an extraordinary human achievement in the distant  past.”

 

Easy access: The centre will be 1.5 miles from Stonehenge and visitors will be transported between the sites on a shuttle service

Easy access: The centre will be 1.5 miles from Stonehenge and visitors will be transported between the sites on a shuttle service

 

Volunteers will begin work on the  construction of a group of Neolithic houses in January. The buildings, which are  expected to be finished by Easter, will be based on houses where the builders of  Stonehenge may have lived, complete with furniture and fittings.

The final phase of the project – the  restoration of the landscape around Stonehenge – will be completed by next  summer.

The Avenue, Stonehenge’s ancient  processional approach, has been reconnected to the stone circle after  being  severed by the A344 road for centuries.

The £27million project has been financed  almost entirely by Heritage Lottery Fund money (£10million), English Heritage  commercial income and donations.

From 18 December, entrance to the site will  be managed through timed tickets and online booking opens on 2  December at www.english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge.

Stepping back into the past: Construction of a group of Neolithic houses will begin in January next year

Stepping back into the past: Construction of a group of Neolithic houses will begin in January next year

Stonehenge, which was constructed between  3,000 BC and 1,600 BC, attracts around 900,000 visitors a year, and is  particularly popular during the summer and winter solstice.

It is still shrouded in mystery as nobody is  sure how or why the giant boulders were transported hundreds of miles to be  constructed at the site.

However, scientists now believe that  Neolithic engineers may have used ball bearings in the construction of  Stonehenge.

The same technique that allows vehicles and  machinery to run smoothly today could have been used to transport the monument’s  massive standing stones from Wales to Wiltshire more than 4,000 years ago,  according to the theory.

Full story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2438896/Stonehenge-visitor-centre-open-time-winter-solstice.html
By  Travelmail Reporter

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog

 

 








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