Big News: BBC Replica Trilithon Rediscovered—Just in Time for Clonehenge’s Sixth Birthday!

1996 concrete trilithon replica

1996 concrete trilithon replica

We are [please choose one: surprised/confused/incredulous/amused/shocked/spannered] to announce that today is the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Clonehenge blog!

Timothy Daw, BBC Wiltshire's Karen Gardner, and Julian Richards with the concrete uprights

Timothy Daw, BBC Wiltshire’s Karen Gardner, and Julian Richards with the concrete uprights

And to celebrate it, recently renowned Wiltshire farmer and long barrow builder Mr. Timothy Daw, along with well known television presenter and Stonehenge scholar, Mr. Julian Richards, have inaugurated a new and historic project: the resurrection of a 1990s BBC concrete replica Stonehenge trilithon! You can see the original completed concrete trilithon in the photo above.

Truth time: something in the above paragraph is not strictly true. Can you guess?  Okay, yes, it is the assertion that the project had anything at all to do with Clonehenge’s anniversary. It did not. However, it is such a lovely fantasy that we wanted to see it in print. [insert unicorn emoji]

But back to the truth. In the words of the increasingly famous Stonehenge caretaker Tim Daw,

“Twenty years ago Julian Richards led a programme where they dragged and erect a full size replica of the Great Trilithon of Stonehenge. The concrete stones were recently discovered to be in danger of being destroyed and so we have saved them and they are now at All Cannings Cross near the Long Barrow. Next year we hope to remake the programme using neolithic methods to raise it again, and leave it standing.”

The finding and transporting of the pieces of this trilithon has been such an event that BBC Wiltshire actually posted a set of pictures called Replica Stonehenge (!!!) showing the concrete “stones” being moved and transported with crane and lorries. The text reads:

the trilithon pieces at Cannings Cross Farm

the trilithon pieces at Cannings Cross Farm, photo by Andy Burns

A replica Stonehenge has been moved across Wiltshire. The giant concrete stones have been transported to Canning Cross Farm near Devizes. Farmer Tim Daw will use them to test the different theories on how the Neolithic monument was put together 4,000 years ago.

Only a few times in the six years of its existence has the Clonehenge blog covered actual Stonehenge replica news. There was the story of the pink Granite Stonehenge in West Australia, its stones being left at the quarry when the man who commissioned it ran out of money, and its subsequent acquisition by the Beales and installation on their cattle farm; and then of course there was, and remarkably still is, the only full-sized illegal guerilla henge, Achill Henge on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland. That one was supposed to be taken down immediately, but three years later is still standing!

And now we have this romantic story of the concrete trilithon lying in pieces in a car park since the 1990s, only to be discovered, claimed, and transported, with plans for its resurrection—on the Wiltshire farm of the discoverer of the missing Stonehenge stone parch marks, Stonehenge caretaker, and long barrow builder, the budding megalithic superstar himself, Mister Timothy Daw. (Is it true that he was asked to search for his ancestors on Who Do You Think You Are, where he hoped to discover that he was directly descended from the people who ordered the original Stonehenge built back in the Neolithic, but was dismayed to learn that in fact their most direct living descendant was one Simon Banton, who was of course far too modest and self-effacing to appear on television? Inquiring minds want to know!)

We are looking forward to next year, watching the progress as various transport methods are used to move the concrete stones, and the trials are filmed for television. (By then no doubt Mr. Daw will be forced to stop every few moments to give autographs, which could slow things down a bit. Haha, we certainly hope he is a good sport.) This is a wonderful project, and we thank all involved, for photos, information, and for giving our whole staff here at Clonehenge something to crow about as we complete our sixth year of nonsense. The smiles you see on all three people in the picture above are the smiles that Stonehenge replicas create wherever they are found. We have loved recording them and being party to this odd corner of human nature for so many years! We see no sign that henge building is slowing down or going out of style.

We know we haven’t been posting much here on the blog lately. Some people tell us they no longer have time to read blog posts and they now only track their Stonehenge replica news on our Facebook group, Facebook page, or on Twitter. Of the three, we would have to recommend the Clonehenge Facebook group, because the most action and up-to-the-minute reports take place there. But once in a while we’ll return here to record something special.

And until the next time comes, dear friends, we wish you some very happy henging!

Goodwood Revival Stonehenge: White-robed Druids, Cardboard Obama, and Then We Digress!

Stonehenge in Sussex, at the Goodwood Revival.

Stonehenge in Sussex, at the Goodwood Revival.

A Stonehenge replica was built for the Goodwood Revival, an annual festival of motor racing in the mode racing’s heydey, in the middle of the last century.* We don’t know much about this replica: what it was made of, just whose idea it was, but here is some promotional text from the Goodwood Revival website:

“You can’t just build a full-scale replica of Stonehenge for no reason, so if you can’t build one in the 50th anniversary year of the founding of Britain’s Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids when can you do it at all?

Yes, we’re continuing Goodwood’s tradition of stunning displays and authentic set dressing with the most extreme example to date, in the shape of a magnificent Stonehenge installation at the entrance to the Rolex Drivers’ Club.

Commissioned by Lord March to be larger than the original (for greater visibility as there will be more people at the Goodwood Revival in September than lived in the entire UK 5,000 years ago), the installation will also be a celebration of the pre-historic monument’s 99 years in safe hands, after it was bought at auction in 1915 by Cecil Chubb for £6,600 (£500,000 in today’s money).”

An article published during the Revival said,

“Sussex or Salisbury Plain? When the sun rose this morning you could be forgiven for wondering as the first rays of a beautiful September morning illuminated the famous stones of Stonehenge.

Well it was at least a very fair representation of the world famous monument. Complete with a host of white-robed Druids. And one cardboard cutout of Barack Obama…

A druid and President Obama, with possibly an altar stone behind them

A druid and President Obama, with possibly an altar stone behind them

Druids, but no virgins, at least! The druids were actors, and the cut-out was a reference to the U.S. president’s recent visit to Stonehenge. Listen: do you think this could be a new trend? Where once there were Easter Island heads (called moai) placed in or near Stonehenge replicas, will there now be representations of US President Barack Obama?? Stay tuned. We’ll be monitoring this for you around the clock!

At any rate, having a look at the Stonehenge itself, we see that although the entrance trilithon is much too wide, the stones are realistic, and it appears that the three lintel stretch of the outer circle may have been included. This looks to be an exceptionally good replica as far as it goes—true, no bluestones or inner trilithon horseshoe—but capturing the general shapes and look of the old stones as they have counts for a lot. And as you all know, we have a weakness for the sheer ridiculousness of the druid connection, not to mention a cardboard cutout of, well, anyone, really. That’s new in henging.

Score: 8 druids! We still question whether it is actually larger than the original, but why quibble? The real question is, where is it now?? Was it sold, stored, shipped to the White House? True, probably not, but just think how it would look on the lawn there! Come to think of it, Buckingham Palace could use a Stonehenge… How about Red Square? And who built this? Are they building more? Inquiring minds want to know.

Before we go, the mention of moai reminded us of a crucial but unrelated issue to chew over. How many of you use or have used emoji? You know, those little pictures 🍯 🚀🎩 that people pepper their online conversations with? We have discovered an abominable fact: Apple’s, and perhaps every company’s, emoji include an Easter Island head 🗿, but do not include any kind of Stonehenge image!!! Who makes these choices? We mean, does that seem right to you?? More importantly, how can we get it fixed? Your advice is welcome!

And people say we don’t address important issues on our blog! This is one that’s worth marching in the streets for. But until then, or until the next time, gentle readers, happy henging! 👽

*Thought: wouldn’t the Cursus actually work better for racing?

 

Sweet EH Stonehenge: A Perfect Gift!

Stonehenge of chocolate trilithons by @SchPrehistory

Stonehenge of chocolate trilithons by @SchPrehistory

We heard all about that powerful, world famous person going to Stonehenge today, no doubt in search of ancient wisdom. All we want to know is: did he get any chocolate trilithons or other little Stonehenge replicas to take home as gifts? In other words, IS THERE A STONEHENGE REPLICA IN THE WHITE HOUSE???

Is that so much to ask?

Our thanks to Schools Prehistory, @SchPrehistory , for the above henge, made from chocolate trilithons bought at the English Heritage gift shop at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, and for the photo!

Until next time, happy henging—and we mean you, Malia and Sasha!

P. S.: We have since learned that he didn’t go into the shop at all. *SOB*

P. P. S.: It has been pointed out that the original title to this post could be taken in a different way than was EVER intended, so it has been changed. It has been further pointed out that we got one of the girls’ names wrong. Our apologies. Posting quickly is obviously not our forte. We will return to our glacier-slow method of doing posts in the future!

[BTW, here is the official White House video of the Stonehenge visit. Regardless of what you think of this man, he seems to have a feel for the stones.]

Stonehenge and Littlest Pet Shop, a Match Made in…the Oven!

Littlest Pet Shop/Stonehenge cake, photo used with permission

Littlest Pet Shop/Stonehenge cake, photo used with permission

Stonehenge replicas? You must be weary of us bleating on about them. We’ve decided that for the next few posts we will talk about other, more widely varied things, like a children’s show called Littlest Pet Shop, some handmade glass marbles, the game of crazy golf, and a housing complex in the States, then maybe even a festival dedicated to old time car racing. That should get us out of our rut!

EXCEPT—there’s something that all of those things have in common. What could it possibly be? Hmmm… *drums fingers against head* Oh. Right—the picture at the top may already have given it away: STONEHENGE REPLICAS!!!! Surprise! We’ll bet you weren’t expecting that. Heh.

Yes, people of all gender identities, please observe the picture above. Behold the cake that is a mash-up of the children’s show Littlest Pet Shop and the millennias-old Stonehenge monument! A kawaii cakehenge. Who would do such a thing, you ask? The Ebola virus? A member of Parliament? Kim Jung Un?

No, it was made by a lovely lady called Alycia Maltby, who then posted a picture of it on the Clonehenge Facebook group (as all hengers should. It’s the law, you know.), seemingly with no fear of reprisal! She had two birthdays in her family, her father’s and her niece’s, and she decided to please them both with just one cake. We’re going to assume her niece is a Stonehenge fan, and her father watches Littlest Pet Shop religiously, but we could be wrong.

We confess we have, in the past, suggested the possibility of a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Stonehenge. This is not so far off from that. At first glance, we admit, we thought we glimpsed good old Twilight Sparkle. But this is even more remarkable for being original, and being a cake!

Score: 6 druids! When we started the Clonehenge blog many years ago, it wasn’t because of beautiful Stonehenge models rendered so truly to the real monument that it took our breath away. No, it was the result of having seen a Vienna sausage henge and then a cheese puff henge, and thinking, “All of humanity should see this!!!” (We think with a lot of exclamation  points, okay? Neuro-punctuation experts are even now researching how to extract them.)

To this day we continue to award extra druids for being in the spirit of Clonehenge, and in this case, that more than makes up for the odd, leaning, partial Stonehenge we see before us. Cakes are only so big, after all. All of the work is beautifully done and the flowers and butterflies are, shall we say, the icing on the—er—rather, the cherry on top.

Our thanks to Alycia Maltby, her niece, and her father. May this inspire more, similarly wacky, people!

Don’t forget—we suggested the Godzilla/Hello Kitty mash-up a long time ago, and it’s still up for grabs!

Until next time, friends, happy henging!

Now You Can Live Near Stonehenge—in China!

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China  (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

This is a new (to us) large permanent replica: number 79 for our list! We thank Hengefinder Extraordinaire Pete Glastonbury for finding it for us—and it’s a good one! This remarkable replica is in the Chinese town of Hefei, associated with a housing development. Hey, who wouldn’t want to live there???

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

We have posted Chinese replicas in the past, small ones in those parks that are so popular there, with replicas of famous buildings from all over the world. They tend to be unusually well done, sometimes actually resembling Stonehenge itself, something that, oddly, is not that common among Stonehenge replicas.But this has them all beat. If only we knew who designed it, who built it, whose idea it was in the first place, whether it aligns with the sun’s movements, and what it’s made of. But no.

So this is brief. Score: 8 druids! Very well done! The sheer variety of Stonehenge replicas and reasons to build them continues to amaze us. Oh, the humanity! What even are we? Is Stonehenge building the true meaning of life? [hint: But, of course!]

Until next time, friends (and it may not be so long this time), happy henging!

Stonehenge For Sale! In Australia!

 

Stonehenge Esperance, from the Real Estate listing

Stonehenge Esperance, from the Real Estate listing

We don’t usually list real estate on Clonehenge, but we’ve learned that in the realm of Stonehenge replicas, nothing is out of the question. Today there is a full-sized Stonehenge for sale, in conjunction with a cattle farm and luxury home, in Western Australia! And although we are posting this on April 1, this is not a joke. The real estate video (enjoy the music!):

We followed the building of this henge from when its stones were commissioned by Ross Smith, through the awkward stages of when he didn’t have the money to build it to when the Beales bravely decided to erect the abandoned stones on their property, watching that process as it progressed until it was built, and, as some said, better than the original, and now the “pink Stonehenge” is up for sale! Who will buy it? What will they do with it? Stay tuned for the news at 11:00!

Stonehenge Esperance, from the real estate site

Stonehenge Esperance, from the real estate site

So if you have $5 million Australian—and who doesn’t these days?—the dream is yours. You might miss the sheep, but on the other hand, you get an ocean view! And, as one site reminds us, “Unlike the English Stonehenge … this one is not broken.

Good luck in the bidding, and we don’t think we need to remind you, we have a very important birthday coming up. Hint hint!

Sountil next time, generous friends, happy henging!

Chip Henges: They’re the Latest Thing!

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Stait

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Staite

This won’t be a long post. We just want to keep you informed, Gentle Readers!Lately friends have drawn our attention to a couple of chip henges, or as the crasser parts of the globe might say, French fry henges. And we want to share them with you here, to enjoy with a fine ale and perhaps some fried fish (or, if you must, a burger).

The one pictured above was created by artist Prudence Staite, not to be confused with Firefly‘s wonderful Jewel Staite. Ms. Staite also created a cheesehenge a couple of years ago. Perhaps we should interview her on the blog! To quote the article that featured the photo, “Ms Staite’s edible art was commissioned to celebrate Chip Week 2014, which is organised by the Potato Council.” It reached our attention via Visit Wiltshire and the revered friend of the blog Rian Edwards, and very nearly by author Mike Williams as well. Thank you to them all!

Perhaps Chip Week was equally the inspiration for the other henge we’re featuring in this post:

Chip henge from the BBC's Room 101

Chip henge from the BBC’s Room 101

Not having seen the piece from which this chip henge was extracted, we don’t have any context for it. But it was sent to us by alert friend of the blog Ms. Emma Evans. Thank you, Emma!

They are similar and of similar quality, but we would be amiss not to draw your attention to the lemon sunrise in the photo at the top. A definitive touch! The mushy peas are, of course, definitively British as well.

We will keep you no longer. You are dismissed to go on to more weighty matters, like trying out the Megabits beta, or, well, eating chips and drinking heavily. Chip henges are not worth spending too much time on. They just show how Stonehenge replicas are an integral part of the Zeitgeist. As Clonehenge should be!

Don’t be afraid to make a chip henge or French fry henge part of your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Not that Stonehenge has ANYTHING to do with Ireland or Celtic people, but chips are very good when you’re drinking too much. So, whether in your cups or suffering with hangovers, dear friends, happy henging!