Wiltshire Museum Models: Replicas for Learning (and for Tourists!)

Stonehenge model, photo by Pete Glastonbury, used with permission

Stonehenge model, photo by Pete Glastonbury, used with permission

One of the things that have become apparent in the last ALMOST FIVE YEARS that we have been posting on the Clonehenge blog is that there are many different categories of Stonehenge replicas—many reasons for making them, many sizes, many materials, many styles, many places where they are made and where they end up. Generally, each replica falls into several categories, for example: small, carrot, before-it-was-ruined, just-for-fun; large, metal, partial, sculpture/art, or full-sized, edible, citrus, trilithon, parade float (with druid).

There are several kinds of museums that may have Stonehenge replicas (large or small), as we have shown in posts over the years. A clock museum may depict Stonehenge as an early time piece. Astronomical museums often have replicas as examples of how even our distant ancestors were fascinated by the movement of the sun, stars. and planets. Archaeological and historical museums, of course, depict and talk about Stonehenge and the light it sheds on the lives and thoughts of early civilisations.

The Wiltshire Museum, in Devizes, Wiltshire, UK (formerly known as the Wiltshire Heritage Museum), falls more or less into the last category. We’ve shown you some of their Stonehenge and Avebury (and West Kennet Long Barrow and Marden Henge) models before, as well as their stunning and unique “Celtic” Cabinet, all courtesy of friend of the blog and fine photographer of ancient sites, Pete Glastonbury.

Avebury model, photo by Pete Glastonbury, used with permission

Avebury model, photo by Pete Glastonbury, used with permission

Well, HERE ARE MORE! More model, more label, more learning, more fun! The photo at the top is a labeled model of Stonehenge as it may have looked at its height, including station stones, the slaughter stone, and the ditch and bank that (almost) make Stonehenge officially a henge. (Technically it isn’t, quite, but you can look that up yourself.) We don’t know what the model is made of or who made it, but as you can see, this is a very good model.

The lower photo is of Avebury as it may have been at its height in the Bronze Age, with the South and North Circles, including the Cove, and beginnings of the avenues that lead to the Longstones at Beckhampton, and to West Kennet Long Barrow. Nice!

While things like the shapes of individual stones seem not to be addressed (do we even know what shapes the stones were thousands of years ago?), these are about as close as we get to definitive models. The anonymous model makers would probably be offended by our units of reward, but we nevertheless give these models a 7 druids score! Very good score, considering their size.

Models like this aren’t as whimsical or exciting as many of the others we’ve posted, but they are still Stonehenge replicas and our blog would be incomplete without them, and that, friends, cannot be allowed.

Our deep gratitude once again to Mr. Pete Glastonbury! Remember, as Christmas approaches and you need something unusual for your discerning family members and friends, Pete’s unique photographs of Stonehenge, Avebury, and Silbury Hill make great gifts! And if you’re truly interested in knowing more about Stonehenge and the surrounding ancient landscape, AND you have iBooks, you’ll enjoy the unusually broad spectrum of knowledge in his Stonehenge Guide. [Spoiler: he actually admits he knows us!]

We don’t make any money from those promotions, but when you buy something because we said so, it gives us a false feeling of power and importance. We need that gratification, people!

Thank you for reading, and until next time (when we have a new large permanent replica to share), happy henging!

Candy Corn Henge Redux, with Instructions: Happy Halloween from Clonehenge!

A quick post to share this post from Food52, not only showing the henge, but telling how to create it!

Attending a Halloween party soon? Unable to attract as much attention as shapely she-devils, vagina masks, and Boston terriers dressed as walruses? Now you can be the life of the party and wow everyone with your candy corn Stonehenge creation!!

Okay, it’s true, people may still completely ignore you, but you’ll be doing your part to bring back that old time religion and put the Samhain back in Halloween, so there’s that!

And you can send Clonehenge your photos afterward!

See another candy corn henge from 2009. And here’s another Halloween post on Clonehenge: the Witch Henge. And possibly our scariest post of all was about the Caelum Moor sculptures in Texas!

Keep safe, bring a costumed dog to your party, and until next time, friends, Happy Halloween henging!

A Gerald Hawkins Model, Long Before Spinal Tap!

Model built for Gerald Hawkins at Boston University

Model built for Gerald Hawkins at Boston University

First off, let us say:

If, before reading this, you already had an opinion about Stone Number 11 at Stonehenge, or even if you have just thought of arguments against someone else’s opinion on the subject, then even if we never get to meet you, you are one of our favourite people in the world! Clonehenge loves you and henceforth wants to make itself a better blog for you.

As part of that effort, today we offer you some Stonehenge model history.  For those who are not familiar with his name, Gerald Stanley Hawkins was a British archaeoastronomer best known for his 1963 (1965? sources differ) book, Stonehenge Decoded, in which he advanced the now well-known ideas about Stonehenge being a precise astronomical observatory. We won’t go on more about that, but if you’re curious, Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo can help you out!

Shot of the model showing stone shapes

Shot of the model showing stone shapes

Dr. Hawkins was chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Boston University in the States from 1957 to 1969, and during that time he had the above model built for him to use in teaching undergraduate university students and for use in documentary films and television shows. The model is now at Boston University and we show it here by the kind permission of Quinn Sykes, the very generous help of Vance Tiede, and of course, the inspiration and tireless work of Hengefinder General Extraordinaire Mr. Pete Glastonbury (Is that the brilliant Wiltshire photographer and author of the must-have Stonehenge Guide ebook, you ask? Yes, friend, none other than!) . Clonehenge thanks you, dear sirs!

It is clear that this is a brilliant model of a sort very rarely built any more. These days archaeoastronomers prefer computer models for their demonstrations of how light would shine on ancient sites and what stars were visible where at various times of year. But back then, something like this was the only option. The description, by Mr. Vance Tiede, is as follows:

The model appears made of plaster and each quadrant measures roughly a 24″ on a side or 16 feet square in total area. The detail is very good, even with individual post holes to the NW of the Heelstone. Stone 57* is missing, as the model was made before the hole for a Stone 57 was discovered. Stone 11 is two times too big and the lintels should be removed.

And there it is:  Stone 11. Stop everything! What is he talking about?

Well, Gentle Reader, we thought you would never ask! It turns out that there is a controversy about Stone 11. Mr. Tiede, when we asked him about it, answered:

“…the two lintels shown above Stone 11 should be removed, as Atkinson pointed out, Stone 11 is one-half the width and height of the other 29 uprights of the Sarsen Circle. The is a highly significant astro-architectural detail as the total number of uprights is literally 29.5 stones, i.e., one stone for every day of the Moon’s Synodic Period of 29.53 days. Similarly, Stonehenge’s 30 Y-Holes and 29 Z-Holes together represent the Double Month (later used in Athens, ca. 500 BC) of alternating 30 and 29 Days (and still used in the Jewish Liturgical Calendar) also producing an average of 29.5 days.

So there is a short stone in the outer circle, Stone Number Eleven, and Mr. Tiede thinks it never had lintels. Another opinion we have run across is that Stone 11 was short on purpose, as Mr. Tiede says, but that it still had lintels, and may even show the marks where they would have fit. Meanwhile, Sue Greaney, Senior Properties Historian with English Heritage, says that recent laser survey analysis suggests the stone is short because it is broken, and therefore may have been just as large as the others at the start.

Who’s to say? But it’s something to keep in mind when you make a replica. Find a chart showing where each numbered stone is at Stonehenge and make number 11 short if you want.

Before ending the post we should add  that there is reason to suspect that this model had another part. Another model we have seen Gerald Hawkins use on a television show had an alternate center circle in which the stones stood pretty much as they stand today, a ruined Stonehenge that could be switched in and back out again to show differences between how it looks now and how it may have looked in its heyday. This may have included something similar.

Score? Because of its historic association with Dr. Hawkins, and the detail such as good stone shapes, the Aubrey holes and outlier stones being included, we award this miniature Stonehenge 8 druids! Well done, indeed!

One more thing to consider. Someone recently told us that the outer sarsens were once uniform in size and shape, and only the wear of thousands of years has given each its idiosyncratic shape. To us it is hard to believe that the beautiful oddities of Stonehenge were not a part of it in its youth, but who knows? Many little mysteries: Stonehenge continues to guard its secrets.

And there is your Stonehenge history lesson for the day! There is a lot to learn about this little pile of stones. Until next time, friends, Happy Henging!!

*As to the comment about Stone 57, see the correction in the comment below, by Mr. Simon Banton, who knows Stonehenge well.

New Stonehenge Cakes: A Quick Post to Catch Us Up!

Stonehenge cake at Stonehenge Drove, spring equinox

Stonehenge cake at Stonehenge Drove, spring equinox

The Stonehenge cake, a sub-genre of the Stonehenge=you-can-eat category, is one of the most popular forms of small Stonehenge replica. And this brilliant photograph also falls into the rarified category of Stonehenge replicas AT Stonehenge, one of only three that we can remember, including Straw Echo Henge, and a film including a small trilithon model used by Stonehenge scholar Professor Richard Atkinson to demonstrate how he thought Stonehenge was built. Rarified company indeed! So far we know the henger of this cake only as Tracey’s sister, but we will NOT REST until we have wrested the truth from wherever it lies!!! Well, we might actually rest. One needs sleep, after all, and anyway, most of you (pretending here that our theoretical readers have any basis at all in reality) probably do not care a whit who made it. Still.

Another picture of the cake, made for the birthday of one ONj Le ChAØs

Another picture of the cake, made for the birthday of one ONj Le ChAØs

Quite a nice cake! Note the trilthon horseshoe facing the three-lintel stretch. One wonders, did they read Clonehenge first?? Score: 8½ druids, to match our former winner, which was made by Sharon Barwell of Iced Moments, Nottingham! Our thanks to Hengefinder Francis Stoner for bringing it to our attention!

While we’re on about cakehenges and Stonehenge cakes, here is another recently posted on the wall of the Clonehenge Facebook group, which is where you can see pictures of most of the things that end up here well before they, well, end up here.  (Yes, we know how bad Facebook is, how it’s killing our bees and forcing corporate seed ownership and cutting down rainforest, killing indigenous children, clubbing baby seals and fracking the land, thus poisoning our water [We MAY have got it mixed up with a few other corporations there. Never mind. We work in broad strokes], but, hey, it is also convenient, so we’re all in!) And anyway, much more important than anything in those parentheses, here is the other henged cake.

From the Archaeology Tea Club, made by Kaitlin Mckenna

From the Archaeology Tea Club, made by Kaitlin Mckenna

This cake is, obviously, lovely, and by all accounts it was scrumptious, too. The new twist here is on the sides of the cake: remains of those who were buried at Stonehenge, skulls and all! Clever, we must say. Our 8½ to the others forces us to give this one 8 druids, the buried remains almost making up for the limitations of space on top and the resulting limits to realism in henge form! Our thanks to Nicola Didsbury for bringing this one to our attention!

Lovely cakes, and proof that henging is nothing like an all-male obsession. It has been brought to our attention that it would be useful for us to post lists of all of the henges we have posted, according to category, for example, a listing called Edible Henges with categories under it like Cheesehenges, Cirtushenges, Cakehenges, etc. There must be some edible henges that don’t begin with the letter C! Carrothenges? Damn. Aaaanyway, yes, we should do that. We could list miniature outdoor henges, planetarium henges, woodhenges, gardenhenges, and so on. If only we were that kind of people, that Organised Kind of People! Alas, we are not. That’s why there is a search box at the right of the blog!

Our concession will be to list the cakehenges we have listed so far. Mind you, we have not posted every Stonehenge cake we’ve ever seen, so any list will be partial in the larger sense. We will proceed to do so, any day now, on the end of this post, so watch this space! We mean it. Come back in a day or so and be amazed!

Until then, kind friends, happy henging!

Addendum: Cakehenges We Have Known:

Cakehenges come in two main categories: a) Primitive lintels-over-uprights constructions, and b) sculptured Stonehenges. When we started out, we gave great scores to the first kind because we had never seen the second kind. We begin this list with the simpler variety and work up to the works of art.

1. A Cakehenge for Morris Dancers, posted in December 2009.

2. Let’s Call it Cakehenge, posted in July 2009.

3. Cupcake-henge: You Know You Want It!, posted in March 2009.

4. Cakehenge, Done Right!, posted in April 2009.

5. Gingerbreadhenge, An October Classic, posted in November 2009.*

6. Celebrating Sixty: A Battenberg Cakehenge (by our royal celebrity guest blogger!!), posted in October 2012.

7. Icing Henge: Perhaps the Ultimate Stonehenge Cake!, posted in January 2010. (With this one, we leap with both feet into the second category!)

8. Cakehenges and Word Fields, posted in June 2011. (Actually 2)

9. Best Stonehenge Cupcakes Ever!, posted in August 2011.

10. Let Them Henge Cake: Sweet Stonehenge from the Land of Robin Hood!, posted in May 2012.

and…

11. A Little Stonehenge, Cucumber, and Eleven!, posted in January 2010. (Its own genre of Stonehenge cake, based on Spinal Tap.)

*seems to us there have been more gingerbreadhenges, but enough is enough!

There you have it, folks! And that doesn’t include sconehenges or that one of French toast wrapped in bacon.

Brazilian White Quartzite Stonehenge on Live Moss, from Brazil: Small but Fine!

Sergio Greif, henge, and curious dogs

Sergio Greif, henge, and curious dogs

Olá! We greet you from Brasil, como Brasileiros! Yes, it is literally true that we are in Brazil, given the modern usage of the word literally! Poor word, it has a bad case of inflation. But—back to the henge! (Great titles for a book, there: Back to the Henge. You’re welcome.) The miniature Stonehenge in the picture above was sent to us by charming reader Sergio Greif of somewhere in Brazil. We have been meaning to post it since February, but, well, we didn’t, so now we are. (Is it just us, or do those dogs look like they are eager to celebrate the solstice?)

This is not our first henge from Brazil, not even our second. Very early on, we posted the beautiful mosaic fruit jelly henge:

fruit jelly stonehenge

And about a year and a half ago we posted our first South American permanent replica in São Paulo, Brazil at the Center for the Study of the Universe (!!). So Brazil appears to be a pretty happening place, hengewise.

Quartzite henge on moss

Quartzite henge on moss, another view, with fewer distractions ;-)

As some of you may know, we had two email apocalypses, and unfortunately the original email from Mr. Greif has been lost, but part of it was preserved on the Clonehenge Facebook group and read as follows:

Here is a Brazilian Stonehenge, made in white quartzite and natural live moss specifically at December 23, 2012. Hope you like it.

 all the best, Sergio Greif

As you can see, we don’t actually know much about this henge, the why of it, especially, but it is lovely, and we’re curious about the source of the quartzite. Did Mr. Greif somehow cut those pieces to size? Were they left over from some other project? The live moss is certainly a nice touch, bringing it close to falling into the miniature garden category that has become so popular.

Score? We give it 6 druids! That might seem a little high to some, but this thing has a charm about it, and we like the presentation, with the flower petals in one picture and such cuteness in the other (referring to the dogs, of course. Well, mostly… ) Thank you, sir. Some very nice henging going on in your country!

While we’re on the topic of smaller Stonehenge replicas, the Henge Collective is still hard at work, and posted a set of pictures depicting Fimohenge, a small henge of a kind of modeling clay. Eventually, we are told, this model will be the basis of an animated Henge Collective movie! The planet holds its breath in anticipation. In the future, all art will be henge art.

That is literally true!

Keep sending in your pictures, or posting them on the Clonehenge group or page on Facebook. You can even find us at @Clonehenge on Twitter. We haven’t made the move to App.net, but we will if people start switching over! We go where you go, to bring you the henges you need, when you need them!

Until next time, friends, happy henging!

Stonehenge at the Moscow Planetarium: Our First Russian Henge!

Stonehenge replica at the Moscow Planetarium

Stonehenge replica at the Moscow Planetarium

We don’t mean to brag (LYING!!!), but on our page of the 76 large, permanent replicas, we asserted, “Surely Russia and India must each have at least one!” Well, guess what, you sweet little hengers? We found one in Russia, OH YES WE DID! Well, sort of. It is permanent, but calling it large might be stretching the truth. A bit. As seen here: (What shirt?)

waist high

waist high

In the past we have pointed out, for the benefit of would-be hengefinders, that planetariums are great places to look for Stonehenge replicas, because their designers and builders like to reference mankind’s observation of the stars throughout history and prehistory, and, right or wrong, Stonehenge is understood by many to have been an astronomical observatory. Great justification for science-types to let their mystical side out a little!

The Moscow Planetarium Henge is a  fairly standard planetarium replica, in the precise placement and clean lines of the stones. It is a little stiff and overly uniform, although we must give them credit for noticing the basic shape of the stones, and including not only the inner trilithon horseshoe, but also the bluestones inside it. They did, however, skip the inner bluestone circle, which is a shame. Afraid of tourists tripping over them, perhaps.

Still, we like it overall, an eye-pleasing take on the idea of what Stonehenge may have looked like originally but leaving out a couple of lintels and part of at least one sarsen in order to give visitors easy access to the inner space. Letting people walk around inside it is a plus!

Moscow Planetarium and replica

Moscow Planetarium and replica

Score? We award 8½ druids for this lovely bit of sculpture, to which we might give the title Stonehenge as Designed by Steve Jobs. If you go to Moscow, it’s worth a visit!

Before we go, we’ll add a photo of a Russian Stonehenge-building craft set from toy website Igranadom.ru .

Stonehenge craft set

Stonehenge craft set

We doubt sets made at home will look like this, but the makers did get a nice result here! Worth 6½ druids, we think. It’s good to know that Russians make Stonehenges just like people do all over the world. Stonehenge replicas make all of us family. This could be the key to world peace! Don’t forget to hug a henger today!

Coming up soon (ha ha jk!) we have an enigmatic Stonehenge replica in Illinois, USA, the new one in Alabama, USA (eventually), some small replicas sent in by readers (Thank you! Send moar!), and eventually another European henge-ish public sculpture. Judging by the number of people who search “How to make a Stonehenge model” and thus find Clonehenge, there won’t be a shortage of things to post on this blog for a very long time to come! Remember, keep your eyes peeled for Stonehenge replicas, and until next time, friends, happy henging!

P. S.: Asking for opinions: should this one be added to the list of large permanent replicas, or is it too small?

21 December, 2012: Apocalypse No!

Poster from Allan Sturm's LoveSmack Studios

Poster from Allan Sturm’s LoveSmack Studios

Greetings, henge lovers everywhere, and a happy solstice to you all from your friends at the Clonehenge blog!

Yes, you read the poster right. It says, “Dance inside a giant to-scale Stonehenge!” Yes, it says other things, too, but we are not the sexism police. We are the Stonehenge replica fandom. Focus! We have before us an exciting henging first–the Stonehenge dance floor!

This is a poster for an End of the World Party. (Apparently at the end of the world, fonts turn into zombies and parts of them begin to fall off. But once again, focus!) The end of the world. Ish. As of this writing, it is 21 December in Europe and Great Britain, but there have been no signs of the world ending. How Stonehenge ties in with the end of the world we’re not sure, either, but who are we to blow against the wind? Let’s see a few of the other pictures posted on the Clonehenge Facebook group recently as the apocalypse approacheth.

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Friend and recent poster on this blog, Simon Burrow, posted this artistic citrus henge two days ago. Mr. Burrow is known for henging with unusual materials and with some frequency. If there were a thing like a henging problem, this henger might be said to have one. BUT there is not! So onward.

Photo posted by Bob Carlson, not sure who did the henging

Photo posted by Bob Carlson–not sure who did the henging

Ah, the days when Stonehenge was beset by eldritch creatures of the sea! Who wouldn’t want to make a replica of those epic times? Here’s one, a little short on lintels, but impressive nonetheless, posted by the mysterious Bob Carlson. We don’t know much about him, but anyone who henges AND speaks Welsh is all right by us!

A snowhenge, posted by Rufus T. Firefly

A snowhenge, posted by Rufus T. Firefly

And from R. T. Firefly of Henge Collective fame we have this snowhenge from another year. Don’t let that smile fool you–the creature shown here has teeth like a piranha and a temperament to match! If you see one at a henge, turn and run for your life. You have been warned!

miniature Stonehenge garden by Two Green Thumbs Gardens

miniature Stonehenge garden by Two Green Thumbs Gardens

And, yes, we have posted this last one before, but its popularity never dies–the miniature Stonehenge garden by Janit Calvo at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. We include it again because she has furnished the curious with a blog post called How to Make a Miniature Stonehenge Garden for the End of the World. Timely! Briefly. Even better, she mentions us!!!

So there is our solstice/apocalypse post. Another year gone by, another turn of the sun, another special day for henges and hengers. It is also the last day for submissions to our henging contest. If you don’t know how to submit your entries, leave a comment on this post and we’ll answer.

Until next time friends, in this world or the next, happy henging!

Small Henges and a Henge Spotter’s Time Out

photo from modelermagic.com

Today–more small Stonehenges for the home. Above is the Larson Designs 1/72 scale Stonehenge model, a pre-made resin model that sells for between $50 and $75.

It has its faults but over all it is not a bad model. Many stones are in the right places including the trilithon horseshoe faces the three-lintel segment of the outside circle, always a sign that someone actually looked at Stonehenge before making it. And that IS desirable. (We learned that Larson Designs makes or at least made a Firefly Class freighter model. Also desirable.)

And this little set is made by Mosaic Mad Romans, a UK company that makes simple mosaics for children. This kit does need assembly. The company claims it is made of marble, which outclasses the real monument to a considerable degree. We are not certain how this qualifies as a mosaic, but it is charming, and once again the trilithon horseshoe/three-lintel stretch thing happens, so we’ll overlook that small detail.

There is no shortage in the world of Stonehenge sets and kits for home use. How many households include one (or more), we wonder? Stonehenge continues to proliferate its offspring by infecting and re-infecting the human mind in a natural reproductive process. It is awe-inspiring to watch, although we could do with David Attenborough to do it justice.

While the creation of Stonehenge replicas never takes a rest, Clonehenge will be going on hiatus for a month or so. (Unless we receive or stumble upon an example we cannot resist posting. We’re weak like that!) We don’t even plan to post the Friday foodhenge for a while. It even could be longer than a month until we return to the task. We shall see. We stand confident in the conviction that we will not be missed.

If you do get a twinge, the world is full of materials for making Stonehenge replicas. Go to it! Or just keep your eyes open. You know they’re out there. Always take a camera. So until next time, friends, happy henging!

Cornwall World in Miniature Replica: A Clonehenge Speed post

photo by Lizard-Lady

OMG! We have a hurricane headed straight for us! This made us stop and think–what if we perished? What Stonehenge replicas would we be most sorry about not posting? A few came to mind, so today instead of doing a long post, we’ll do a few short ones. This is a long-sought miniature Stonehenge that we saw a picture of when we first started out, a picture that did not say where this was. We finally know this is part of another park full of miniature world landmarks and buildings, Miniature World, formerly Miniatura Park, in Cornwall. The park is now closed, but people are working to reopen it to tourists.

We can’t see this replica well enough to judge it, but it looks like a 7½ druid circle, give or take a half druid. Not sure why, but we like that it’s on the little hill. Yay! Finally posted it.

 

3D Paper Model Stonehenge (and a small mystery solved)

box_stonehenge

photo from Paper Landmarks promotional webpage

We may not get to post for a day or two, so a quick post this morning. You may remember some time ago we posted a page of links to replicas we didn’t have photo permissions for, Henges We Admire. One of them was a neatly done model of Stonehenge in its original state, which  we thought was of wood. It now appears that it may have been of paper, made from this kit. (For those who might enjoy horrifying the Clonehenge blog, this company also sells kits for Easter Island heads to add to your Stonehenge display!)

Of course, we aren’t looking at anything like the stone-by-stone detail of the Cardboard Stonehenge kit shown on the Cardboard Stonehenge blog, a great read featured here earlier. At the other end of the spectrum is this (to us) humourous item, in which you just cut out all but the base of the ‘stones’ and stand them up, made by a company with the evocative name L’Instant Durable. Ah, if only it were!

Still, this is an impressive model and if we’d had one we might have kept busy making it and avoided the embarrassment of starting Clonehenge. Alas for the world–one annoyance that might so easily have been averted!

Paper Landmarks‘ Stonehenge score: 7½ druids. Note that you can get it in several colours including gold, although why you wouldn’t choose the stone colour is beyond us. Unless you were just going to set it on fire anyway. In that case, do it safely! And send us pictures!

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