Columcille–Megaliths and Dreams

our own photos

Okay, so we’re low on Stonehenge replicas right now, except those we’ve been tweeting about (we may just do a post on that remarkable cheesehenge from last week, whether or not we hear back from the one who posted it.), so here’s a place we’ve kept back for just such an occasion: Columcille Megalith Park on the side of the mountain outside Bangor, Pennsylvania.

There is no Stonehenge replica there, but there is at least one trilithon, stone circles and an imitation long barrow. You could describe it as a replica of a sacred landscape (a funny term–as if all landscape isn’t sacred!) There’s also a dolmen, many standing stones (note the young red tail hawk on the stone in the picture on the left), some of them quite large, and a chapel.

We have studiedly avoided posting the many modern megaliths in Great Britain,  across the States, and around the world because our focus is Stonehenge replicas only, but there is something special about this one: it is near enough to us for us to visit.

It’s a funny thing, this modern megalith phenomenon. It seems to be all tied up with something in the common psyche, and it has to do with spiritual things, nature, poetry, dreams and, of course, druids and Celtic peoples. You can tell people that the Celts were over a millennium too late to have erected any of the standing stones in Great Britain and they don’t want to hear it, even though all it means is that someone else , probably equally connected to the earth, the landscape and the magic and mystery of it all. put up the stones they admire so much.

It’s true, visiting a modern megalithic site like this is a little like going to a Renaissance Fair, but it also reminds us of something modern people tend to forget. There is magic in the earth, in the stones, in the landscape. We arose from it, we still depend on it and one day we’ll be part of it again.

So we recommend finding your local modern megalithic site and visiting it this spring if there’s one near you. Walk around, allow yourself some reverie and dreaming. Maybe the heart of the place will touch your heart somehow. It doesn’t have to be in England, you know. Every inch of the earth is as old as Stonehenge–in fact much, much older!

Let yourself be awed by that once in a while.

Pittsburgh’s Foxhenge: Stone Garden Replica


photo from last August’s Pittsburgh Magazine

We know the word Foxhenge sounds exciting, but think about it–how would you keep the foxes still?! This one is called Foxhenge, jokingly, because it is in a garden called Fox Chapel, built by Stephen and Kathleen Guinn. The article says, “the circle is composed of seven uprights, two of which are connected by a lintel to form a gateway.” A trilithon.

We’re not sure of the trilithon’s size, but we’re pretty sure this part of the article is true:  “While Stonehenge was surely an engineering feat in its time, the invention of the backhoe made Foxhenge somewhat less labor-intensive.” That is, unless it turns out Merlin did transport the sarsens magically!

ornament_foxhenge3The “henge” includes five other uprights. We include it to show that you can incorporate Stonehenge-like elements in your garden without being too literal about it. It’s not a real Stonehenge replica, but it certainly looks like a cool, peaceful place to be on a hot summer day.

Score: only 4½ as a Stonehenge replica. But we’re hoping we’ll see more garden megaliths as time goes on. We would also like to mention the Columcille Megalith Park near Bangor, Pennsylvania. Their beautiful megaliths are truly mega, including a wonderful trilithon, although it’s not a Stonehenge replica. A post on that will have to wait until the truer replicas run out–no time soon, it seems!

Stonehedge Gardens, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania


photos from the Stonehedge Gardens website

This one isn’t really hengy enough. Still, its name is worth discussing and outdoor stone replicas are getting harder for us to find. Our searches meet with diminishing returns, although, truth to tell, we did find two today that we hope to post in the future!

stonehedge21The site says: “The mission of Stonehedge Gardens is to provide a healing, sacred, inclusive environment for the cultivation of personal and community transformation and wellness through the gardens and nature, the arts and holistic education.” The gardens are said to be beautiful, but why Stonehedge? Perhaps to meld the spiritual implications of Stonehenge with the garden word hedge. We do think they spelled it that way on purpose, unlike some. (See the 3rd comment below for the real explanation.)

Stonehedge is the most common misspelling of Stonehenge, surpassing Stongehenge and Stonhenge. And there are others: Stongehedge, Stonhedge and the obvious Stone Henge. The internet has created an age when  researchers must find all possible misspellings of their key words.

The benches here are meant to gently suggest a Stonehenge theme, not form a Stonehenge replica. It wouldn’t be fair to score them. We just wanted to discuss their name. Shame on us! Out of guilt, we’ll throw a handful of druids their way. Score: 5 druids. All this reminds us of a cartoon: [link]. Gardening time is upon us, folks–time to build your henges!

Stroudhenge: Clonehenge goes on assignment


Some partial lists of Stonehenge replicas, including that on Wikipedia, mention Stroudhenge on the campus of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, but tantalizingly there were no pictures except for a fuzzy aerial Google Maps shot. This was unacceptable: even the Stonehenge replica at the Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur has a photo on the net! So today Clonehenge itself went on a field trip to East Stroudsburg to ferret out the truth. What you see above is what we found. (Note the Clonehenge-mobile in the background.)

A single trilithon with an odd assemblage of blocks scattered around it, this ‘henge’ turned out to be a sculpture by Ernest Shaw, entitled Arch Homage (Stonehenge), and not a true henge replica at all. Standing alone as it did, the trilithon caused us to reflect that the real Stonehenge might be seen as a series of gates or portals, each opening toward a different world. It would be interesting to know how students have interacted with Stroudhenge over the years. There was certainly no shortage of mud on the high ‘steps’ we climbed and no doubt the stones are cool places to sit on hot days.

Our score: 4 druids, but it is a nice sculpture for the grounds of the school.