Video Update on Achill Henge: It Still Stands!

Recent video report on Achill Henge

Just a brief note. The link above leads to a great bit of video about Achill Henge, on the island of Achill, in County Mayo in Ireland. For those who don’t know, this was built surreptitiously by Joe McNamara, possibly to represent the tomb of the Celtic Tiger, the days of Ireland’s great prosperity. Mr. McNamara is the only person we know of to be arrested for henging, and he has since been ordered to take the henge down, so far, apparently, not complying. We have done a number of posts on Achill Henge and the controversy surrounding it. Here is the first: Achill Henge.

Not only does the video contain an interesting discussion of the monument itself, but the video of Achill and the sea around it is stunningly beautiful! If we could manage it, we would organise a Clonehenge tour to Achill!

We hope to have another post up by Valentine’s Day. Wish us luck! And until next time, friends, happy henging!

Achill Update and Pictures Without Stories

photo by seequinn on Flickr, used according to permissions

News on Joe McNamara’s structure on the Irish island of Achill, nicknamed Achill Henge. Mr. McNamara has been ordered to take down Achill Henge, pending a planning board ruling on whether the structure should be exempt from the need for planning permissions.  We like the last sentence of the article: “Locals in Achill have speculated that it is ‘unlikely’ that McNamara will take the structure down.”

We know, we know, it’s none of our business, and people have a right to have their laws followed, but we just want to know what it was for and what the henge was suppose to look like when completed! Plus, let’s face it, where else in the world is there a greater advocate of Stonehenge replicas than here on Clonehenge? Our motto: Bringing you global news and intelligence on Stonehenge replicas in the internet since 1784!

Signpost to Achill Henge, again by seequinn on Flickr (We love this!)

1784 was a good year on the net. We remember the first time we got Wolfgang-rolled…  But enough nostalgia.

While we’re posting for the first time in a while, we thought we would pass along some henge pictures posted for us by Facebook friends of the blog but without much provenance. If you can help by bringing us more information on these, please do. You can reach us on the Clonehenge Facebook group or at the email address on the sidebar.

A glass trilithon posted to the Clonehenge Facebook group by Bruce Bedlam of Stonehenge-is-a-building fame. Elegant.

and this cakey henge was sent us by friend of the blog Jez Reell. All we know is that it was created by Dominic Wilcox for Jaffa Cakes out of Jaffa cakes. What we like best about this is the reflection of the circle of trilithons on the plate. Well photographed! [Update May 8, 2012: We found the back story for this one here, thanks to Mike Williams--the shaman-y one.]

One more note before we go. We actually received an email from someone at CBS Sunday Morning, a news program in the States, asking to interview us in relation to a piece about what is real and what is fake. We sent our contact information, but they never got back to us. We now suspect that what they wanted was not an interview but a replica of an interview. They were right not to call back. Interview replicas would be a whole other blog!!

So keep your eyes open for new henges. Whether or not you are in County Mayo, have a good Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow. And until next time, happy henging!

P.S.: If anyone knows the lastest news about or the current state of Achill Henge, a comment about it would be much appreciated. Thank you!

BBC Stonehenge Replica Department Reports on Achill Henge

Stonehenge replicas making the news again, this time at the BBC. We have done several (some might say enough) posts on the mysterious henge at Achill in Ireland, starting with this one. We’re still curious to see what he meant to put in the center. Regardless of what happens, we love seeing Stonehenge replicas in the news. Just last month, Carhenge got its picture in Fortean Times Magazine!

Henging is coming up in the world. Make one yourself and have it featured here: your number one source for all things henging: Clonehenge the blog about Stonehenge replicas hither and yon.

We kid you not!

[P.S.:  Shouldn't the Beeb be throwing us a little sugar for the research they borrowed for that unusual Stonehenge replica sidebar? Just lookin' for our propers, folks!]

News Bulletin: The Latest from Achill–New Update!

Note: as of February 7, the court was adjourned for three weeks. Achill Henge is still standing and will be for a while longer!

Earlier news: The Mayo News says that the motion for an exemption that would allow Achill Henge to remain standing, and to be finished (we’re still dying to know what is to be put in the center!), has been denied, but the decision is being appealed.

Mr. McNamara, we are still cheering you on!!

As Long As We’re in Ireland–Newgrange Replicas!

photo from Newgrange.com

While we’re hanging out in Pollagh waiting to see what happens with the henge and what Mr. McNamara has planned for the center of his circle, we may as well pop over to the eastern side of the fair isle and have a look at the magnificent (if perhaps not completely accurate in restoration) passage tomb of Newgrange in the Boyne Valley.

Although this is a blog about Stonehenge replicas, regular readers (it’s a harmless fantasy–permit us to keep it!) know that from time to time we post replicas of other megalithic sites. As a matter of fact, one our favourites has also been Irish–the wonderful bouncy dolmen modeled after the Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare. The Newgrange site, part of a larger Stone Age landscape in the Boyne Valley that includes the Knowth and Dowth mounds as well as other elements, is one of the oldest and best known Irish sites, so there are bound to be replicas.

And here we see something unique–a  full-scale model built right alongside the original! The description of the Newgrange Lightbox Project on Newgrange.com reads: “Niall Martin from the RTE TV programme Nationwide conceived a project to re-create the Newgrange lightbox, passage and chamber at the Winter Solstice. The Lightbox is an opening above the entrance to Newgrange, Archaeologists refer to it as a roofbox. The Lightbox and passage are aligned to direct the light from the rising sun around the Winter Solstice down the passage, lighting up the main chamber.

The picture at the top of this post is the replica and the second picture is the real entrance to the passage tomb. Nicely done! In the picture on the left you can see the project in construction right beside ancient Newgrange itself.

Unfortunately it appears that Ireland’s notoriously changeable weather did not cooperate with the researchers, but as Clonehenge we are more interested in the look of the thing. We think they did a lovely job not only on the entrance portal, but also on the famous entrance stone, a stone that we found fascinating a full forty years ago and which is still one of the most extraordinary bits of rock art in the world. This stone single-handedly (if stones have hands) made the triple spiral a symbol of Celtic culture, completely disregarding the fact that the building of Newgrange took place at least a thousand years before Celtic culture reached verdant Hibernia!

And while we’re on the topic, look at this! True, it is not so much a replica of Newgrange as a sort of jazz improvisation on the idea of Newgrange. Still, when we ran across this in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago outside a shop that sells things from Ireland, we were delighted. It isn’t often that we actually see a replica of a megalithic site in person. And despite the liberties taken, it still has that Boyne Valley feel! We liked seeing an imitation of the glorious entrance stone. We’re told that the creator of this bit of whimsy is named Neville Chandler. Well done, Neville! And thank you.

Anyone wanting to see the stunning light effects at the real Newgrange around winter solstice should have a look at this page. No chance for this year, but you can already sign up for a the lottery fora chance at a visit next year. Or why not start working on a replica of your own! We have resorted to noticing where the winter solstice sunrise light falls in our kitchen at home. After all, every inch of the earth is just as old as it is in the Boyne Valley and on Salisbury plain, right? Be your own sacred site!

Until next time, friends, have a lovely pre-solstice season, and–happy henging!

Joe McNamara Henge, Achill, Ireland–Guerilla Henging Taken Up a Notch!

photo from the Mayo News

Over the weekend, guerrilla henging was taken up a notch–actually, many notches!– as the construction above was put up in very short order. We will do a proper post another day, but for now we quote the article:

A massive Stonehenge-esque structure has appeared on an Achill hilltop over the weekend. The man behind the clandestine project, the purpose of which remains unclear, is Achill native Joe McNamara, also known as ‘The Anglo Avenger’. The structure – dubbed Achill-henge – was built without planning permission. Towering nearly 15 feet from its base, it is 30 metres in diameter and has a circumference of close to 100 metres. Over 30 articulated trucks arrived in Pollagh on Friday from Galway carrying pre-cast concrete, and work began in mid-morning

Reportedly over six months in planning, the enormous circular structure, which is located on commonage land above Pollagh, was erected at great speed but with a high level of precision. A group of men, with McNamara in charge, worked long hours over the weekend on its construction. The projected cost of its manufacture and installation is believed to be in excess of €1 million.

It is believed that the sun will rise and shine through the gaps between the ‘stones’ to light up a centre-piece on the site – a centre-piece yet to be built or revealed. What can be seen in the centre is a semi-circular outline for some sort of structure, but what shape or form that will take is unclear. It is believed that it won’t form part of the current development at Achill-henge but may be installed later.

Fascinating! We eagerly await further developments. And, Mr. McNamara, we would not object to an exclusive Clonehenge interview. How often does henging meet the law? Any guerilla henger is a friend of ours! Henging–is it a new way to Occupy?

Our thanks to Barry Teague and Pete Glastonbury for alerting us to this news. If it is allowed to remain there, this will, of course, be added to our list of large permanent replicas, our first in Ireland.

Until next time, friends, happy henging!