English Heritage will launch a new special exhibition at Stonehenge in October 2017

6 09 2017

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW OF THE STONEHENGE FEAST

English Heritage will launch a new special exhibition at Stonehenge in October 2017 revealing the diet and lifestyle of the people who built Stonehenge. In the 4th special exhibition since the opening of the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, we reveal the fascinating results of the Stonehenge Riverside ‘Feeding Stonehenge’ project.

Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries and ground breaking science, the Feast! exhibition will tell the food stories of the people who built Stonehenge and how they lived. Find out more about this fascinating project and exhibition with an exclusive talk from our historian on the background of the project, followed by a talk from one of our collections conservators who was involved in overseeing the objects on display in the exhibition.

Following this, enjoy an exclusive tour of the exhibition, led by one of our experts and see some of these objects close-up. To finish your morning, enjoy our demo: Neolithic “Ready, Steady, Cook!” where you will be shown what ingredients were available during the Neolithic period what might have been done with them to create nutritious and tasty food.

DATEeh-feast

Friday 20th Oct 2017

TIME

10am – 1pm

LOCATION

Stonehenge

SUITABLE FOR

Adults

 

Visit the English Heritage website for more details

National Trust also have events in September and October including ‘Stonehenge Landscape Walks

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Durrington Walls: The largest henge monument in Britain

20 05 2017

Immediately to the north of Woodhenge and spanning the A345 road is the largest henge monument in Britain – a massive banked and ditched enclosure over 400m across and nearly 1.5km in circumference.

Durrington Walls Aerial View

Long recognised on old maps as an ancient British Village, Durrington Walls’ true importance only became apparent in the late 1960s when the road through it was realigned on a straighter path. You can see the line of the old, smaller, road in the aerial photo running to the left of the new road.

A massive rescue archaeological dig carried out in advance of the roadworks, making use of large earthmoving equipment for the first time (rather than only spades, trowels and brushes), revealed the existence of two timber circles within, as well as evidence for a settlement dating back to the late Neolithic around 2,500BC.

Durrington Excavation Aerial

The scale of the ditch and bank is enormous – the ditch being over 6m deep, 7m wide at the bottom and 18m wide at the top, and the bank being over 3m tall and in places almost 30m wide.

Further excavations in the mid-2000s by the Stonehenge Riverside Project discovered the remains of Neolithic houses just outside the southeast entrance to the henge, other buildings – perhaps ceremonial in purpose – in the western half of the enclosure, as well as a short Avenue leading down to the Avon in the direction of the winter solstice sunrise.

Reconstructions of the houses were created at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre, accurately based on the design and layout of those found at Durrington.

neoliothic houses

The archaeological evidence suggests that the settlement at Durrington Walls, which may have supported several thousand people, was relatively short-lived and perhaps was in use for only 50 years or so. The period of peak activity corresponds with the time when the large sarsen stones were erected at Stonehenge and so it’s believed that this was the place where the builders and their families lived while that monument was being constructed.

Careful study of the colossal amount of midden material left behind at the site shows that large gatherings were taking place, probably around the mid-winter time, with huge numbers of young pigs being eaten and their remains being deposited in feasting pits. Stable isotope analysis of tooth enamel proves that some of the animals were coming from as far away as the northeast of Scotland, Cornwall and the Lake District. This means that people were converging at Durrington from all over Britain, and suggests that Stonehenge was a “national” project rather than a local one.

A major geophysics research effort by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, carried out in the last few years, discovered the existence of about 200 large features underlying the bank at Durrington Walls. The traces were such that they seemed to indicate the possible presence of buried stones all around the perimeter of the site.

In August 2016 a team of archaeologists excavated an area over two of these features to find out what the geophysics was telling them. Would the features prove to be large sarsen stones, which would overturn many ideas about the relationship of Durrington Walls to Stonehenge, or something else?

It rapidly became clear that in fact these features represented large pits with ramps leading into them which had been used to erect posts about 0.5m in diameter and perhaps 5m tall. Then these posts had been removed, after what seems to have been a very short time – perhaps less than a year—and the chalk blocks from the bank and ditch construction had fallen in, filling up the pits so that they appeared highly reflective features to the geophysics equipment.

The entire area was strewn with animal bone, including antler picks presumably used to excavate the pits in the first place, as well as pottery sherds and flint tools.

One interpretation is that as the settlement was going out of use, the people decided to memorialise the site by surrounding it with 200 large wooden posts but then changed their minds and embarked on a closing down project of constructing a huge henge bank and ditch instead, withdrawing the timbers for use elsewhere. It’s hard to be sure, especially since only two of the features have been exposed.

Durrington Walls is an integral part of the Stonehenge landscape and has a significance that were are only just beginning to appreciate. Trying to make coherent sense of its use by the people of the time is an ongoing task and there will be much more that we can learn in the coming decades.

For now, and to most people, it’s just a large field containing some sheep – but if you know a little bit about what lies beneath the surface it becomes a fascinating spot where you can walk in the footsteps of our ancestors from 4,500 years
Article by guest blogger and local Stonehenge historian Simon Banton

More ways to explore the Durrington Walls and the Stonehenge landscape.
The Stonehenge Travel Company based in nearby Salisbury are considered the local experts and offer archaeological guided walking tours of Woodhenge, Durrington Walls and the greater Stonehenge landscape. Stonehenge Guided Tours offer tours from London and Bath including private group walking tours .  London Walks offer guided tours from London via the train. Stonehenge Walks offer 1 – 5 hour guided tours from the Stonehenge visitor centre throughout the year.  The Wiltshire Museum also offer guided walking tours throughout the year.

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Jewellery from the mysterious ‘queen’ of Stonehenge goes on display: Stunning pieces were found in the grave of a high-status woman 200 years ago

24 03 2016
  • Woman’s remains were found in 1808 in a grave overlooking Stonehenge
  • Collection includes amber earrings, buttons from a cloak and pendants that indicate the woman had social status
  • Her identity is unknown it is unclear why she was given such a lavish burial
  • Objects are going on display for first time at Stonehenge Visitors Centre

In the early 19th century, William Cunnington discovered a burial site near Stonehenge.

In one of the barrows he excavated at Normanton Down, the remains of a woman were found alongside some of the most well-preserved jewellery historians have ever seen.

Now, more than 200 years later, these artefacts are going on display for the first time.
visitor-treasure

Mysterious jewellery and belongings (pictured) of a woman so important she was buried at a prime spot overlooking Stonehenge are going on display for the first time. Archaeologists are still baffled by some of the items found alongside the body of a female interred in a burial chamber on a ridge

In the early 19th century, William Cunnington discovered a burial site near Stonehenge.

In one of the barrows he excavated at Normanton Down, the remains of a woman were found alongside some of the most well-preserved jewellery historians have ever seen.

Now, more than 200 years later, these artefacts are going on display for the first time.

The treasures that will go on display include amber earrings which are the earliest items found in Britain to show signs of being worked with a lathe.

Buttons from a cloak and pendants also indicate the woman had social status, although her identity has never been established and it is not known why she was given such a lavish burial.

The objects were discovered in the early 19th century by William Cunnington.

‘No barrow that we have yet opened has ever produced such a variety of singular and elegant articles,’ archaeologist Sir Richard ‘Colt’ Hoare wrote at the time.

This Easter the objects are going on display at the Stonehenge Visitors Centre.

By ABIGAIL BEALL FOR MAILONLINE
Read the full story and see the gallery on the Daily Mail website

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Walking the Dead: Exploring the Stonehenge Ceremonial Landscape

20 02 2016

A guided tour of the amazing collections of the Wiltshire Museum, followed by a guided walk from Durrington Walls to Stonehenge. This full day tour will be led by Museum Director, David Dawson.

10:30 am, Saturday, 21st May, 2016

walking-deadThe morning visit to the Museum starts at 10.30am and the walk begins at 2pm. We should reach the Stonehenge Visitor Centre at about 5.30pm.

The day begins with coffee and a guided tour of the Wiltshire Museum. The early story of Wiltshire is told in new galleries featuring high quality graphics and leading-edge reconstructions. On display are dozens of spectacular treasures dating to the time of Stonehenge and worn by people who worshiped inside the stone circle.

The tour is followed by a light lunch,

The walk will take approximately 3.5 hours, and starts at Durrington Walls and Woodhenge, close to the River Avon. The route passes the Cuckoo Stone, a megalithic standing stone, before following the Apple Track – a WW1 light railway. The route then passes the prehistoric Cursus, before passing the Bronze Age barrows of Kings Barrow ridge.

The route then follows the Avenue – the Neolithic ceremonial route that leads to Stonehenge following the line of the solstice.

At Stonehenge, you have three options:

1. Visit Stonehenge. This is free for English Heritage and National Trust members, but is not included in the cost. If you are not a member, then you should book your visit online from the English Heritage and you should choose a timed ticket for about 4.30 pm. You can then take the English Heritage shuttle bus to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.
2. Continue to the Cursus barrows and the Western end of the cursus, before continuing to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.
3. Take the English Heritage shuttle bus to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and purchase a well-earned snack and cup of tea.

At about 5.30pm, at the end of the walk, there will be car-share transport back to your car at the start of the walk, or back to the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.

Cost: £35 (WANHS member), £40 (non-member)

Booking: Visit Wiltshire Museum Website

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Essential.
Please note that the cost does not include entrance to Stonehenge.





Visit Stonehenge for half term fun.

23 10 2015

This half term Stonehenge is hosting an interactive, theatrical performance which will take families back 100 years to the dramatic auction of 1915 where Stonehenge was put up for sale!~

stoneman2Last month English Heritage marked the 100th anniversary of Stonehenge – the most iconic prehistoric monument in Europe – being sold at auction to local Wiltshire man Cecil Chubb. The auction marked a turning point in the care of the ancient monument. A series of major restorations and excavations began a few years later and Stonehenge went from isolated ruin to national treasure. Today it is cared for by English Heritage, and thanks to extensive work now sits within a restored landscape that gives a sense of its original setting.

Bring the family this half term and play a part in bringing a monumental historical moment to life in this centenary year, with this fun theatrical performance – specially developed for English Heritage by historical theatre compan Time Will Tell.The play is in two parts and will take place outside the visitor centre by the Neolithic Houses, every day of half term from Monday 26th October to Sunday 1st November, between 10am and 4pm

What better way for kids to step into England’s story than exploring a World Heritage Site and its prehistoric monuments? The Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre will entertain the most inquisitive of minds and there is plenty of outdoor space to work off extra energy, run and picnic. Pick up a family audio tour, explore our reconstructed Neolithic Houses and imagine what life would have been like for a Neolithic family four and a half thousand years ago!

Article by jspiteri  – Blackmore Vale Magazine

Entrance to Stonehenge is now managed through timed tickets and advance booking is the only way to guarantee entry on the day and time of your choice. By booking in advance you will also benefit from an advanced booking discount.
Click here for opening hours:

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Stonehenge Opening Hours Summer 2015

21 07 2015

You now park over a 2 kilometres from Stonehenge itself, out of sight of the Stonehenge monument. Here there is a modern visitor centre and excellent exhibition and education facilities plus a spacious cafe and souvenir gift shop. A Stonehenge shuttle bus transports you between the visitor centre and the Stone Circle.  English Heritage advise to budget for a visit of around 2 hours. The Visit Wiltshire App is a must for those visiting Stonehenge and the surrounding area.

Last admission time is 2 hours before the advertised closing time.

Entrance to Stonehenge is now managed through timed tickets and advance booking is required. Booking is the only way to guarantee entry on the day and at the time of your choice. Advance bookings are advised!

A temporary coach park will be built near to Stonehenge, Wiltshire Council has agreed

This includes FREE visits by English Heritage and National Trust members (applicable to members of the National Trust in England only – does not include National Trust Scotland or other National Trust affiliated organisations).

1 JUNE – 31 AUGUST 2015

Monday 9:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 9:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 9:00 – 20:00
Thursday 9:00 – 20:00
Friday 9:00 – 20:00
Saturday 9:00 – 20:00
Sunday 9:00 – 20:00

1 SEPTEMBER – 15 OCTOBER 2015

Monday 9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 19:00
Thursday 9:30 – 19:00
Friday 9:30 – 19:00
Saturday 9:30 – 19:00
Sunday 9:30 – 19:00

16 OCTOBER 2015 – 15 MARCH 2016

Monday 9:30 – 17:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 17:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 17:00
Thursday 9:30 – 17:00
Friday 9:30 – 17:00
Saturday 9:30 – 17:00
Sunday 9:30 – 17:00

HOLIDAY OPENING TIMES FOR THIS PERIOD

Christmas Eve
24 Dec 2015
Closed
Christmas Day
25 Dec 2015
Closed
Boxing Day
26 Dec 2015
10:00 – 16:00
Boxing Day Bank Holiday
28 Dec 2015
9:30 – 17:00
New Year’s Eve
31 Dec 2015
9:30 – 17:00
New Year’s Day
1 Jan 2016
10:00 – 16:00

Please visit the English Heritage Website for details and current prices

Visit Wiltshire Official Website
Salisbury Museum
Devizes Museum
Amesbury Museum
Stonehenge Transport from Salisbury
Stonehenge Guided Tours from London

Enjoy your visit to Stonehenge!

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2015 Stonehenge Summer Solstice News

21 05 2015

Stonehenge will close its normal visitor operation at 1500hrs (3pm) on Saturday 20th June and all day on Sunday 21th June 2015.

Detailed Information
• Last admission to Stonehenge on Saturday 20th June 2015 will be 1300hrs (1pm)
• The Stonehenge Visitor Centre will close at 1500hrs Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunrise(3pm) and will remain closed for the period of Managed Open Access
• Sunset on Saturday 20th June 2015 is at 2126hrs (9.26pm) and sunrise on Sunday 21st June 2015 is at 0452hrs (4.52am)
• Stonehenge re-opens for normal admissions at 0900hrs (9am) on Monday 22st June 2015
Please note that the Stonehenge coach park will be closed during Managed Open Access for Summer Solstice and we will not be able to accommodate any commercial coaches on site during this time.

English Heriitage Top Tips for Group Visits
• Please remember to call or email with your booking well in advance to secure your preferred time slot
• Please ensure your final numbers are confirmed correctly – no refunds can be made once payment has been received or an invoice raised
• Please arrive at Stonehenge within your designated time slot. If your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes due to exceptional circumstances, call with a revised arrival time so we can do our best to accommodate you
• If your group wishes to go off separately ensure your tour leader/guide/driver agrees a meeting point and time for the group within your timescales for the visit
• English Heritage offer coach drivers, tour leaders/guides and Blue Badge Guides one complimentary hot drink (excluding luxury hot chocolate) at Stonehenge. This is limited to one coach driver and one tour leader/guide or Blue Badge Guide per group and only available when accompanying groups

For all Stonehenge group bookings and enquiries, contact the exclusive Stonehenge line –
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00
Tel: + 44 (0) 370 333 0604 (charged at local rates)
Email: stonehenge.traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk

For all general Travel Trade enquiries, contact the English Heritage Travel Trade Team –
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7973 3529
Email: traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk

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