It was in the news recently–the town of Esperance in southwest Australia plans to build a Stonehenge replica in order to attract tourists. Sounds mad, of course, but it isn’t the first town to make such an announcement. A Canadian town said much the same thing last year, and right there in Australia two years ago March a determined gentleman named Ross Smith announced his intention to have one built by the winter solstice (21 June down there).
And that is where this gets interesting. It turns out that a quarry quite near to Esperance was where the stones for the Ross Smith henge were being cut, and when that effort ran into financial trouble it was stuck with most of an unassembled Stonehenge that no one wanted. The stones were then offered to the town of Esperance at a discount and after some controversy the town has said yes. (The picture above indicates they intend to build the monument as it is thought to have looked at its height.)
This is a Stonehenge replica first! No other full-sized stone replica, in fact no other replica at all as far as we know has been bought at discount after being cut for someone else. This is Clonehenge history AND recycling history taking place before our very eyes! This world is a place of infinite novelty.
The stone is being called pink, but it is actually a kind of rosy brown. The website of the granite company shows the colour at the left for the Esperance granite. This has not stopped the pink jokes, of course, and one prominent megalith expert in a quip suggested the name “Gayhenge.” Tsk tsk! Shocking! ;-) Anyone knows that in Australia that would be Poofhenge!
It is unfortunate that some people and articles are calling this the “only full-sized stone replica in the world.” Ahem . . . it’s called Google, people. Use it! Certainly the Montana Stonehenge, which was carefully built to scale and made of limestone, qualifies. It’s possible that one of the Japanese Stonehenges is also of stone. And what about Connecticut’s granite Circle of Life? Well, there is still room for it to be the most accurate if they pay attention to detail. Only time will tell!
We of course enjoyed this quotation from one article: “I understand there are two or three replicas of it around the world but they are all made from things other than granite rock,” he said.
Two or three–at least! We hope people are bombarding them with links to Clonehenge. Let them find their place in the litany of replicas. They have a chance to do something terrific here. And Esperance means Hope!
*[Is that George W. Bush with a fake moustache??]
Note: Here is an update on this replica.