Wine Rack Henge

Posted by Simon

It is the curse of the henger.  I was building a new wine rack for the hall closet and the nicely shaped maple pieces suddenly started talking to me.  And what they were saying was “we are a henge.”

And they became a henge.

Then the spirits intervened (it is a wine rack after all) and the sunlight reflected of the car window shone directly through the southern trilithon.

A clear message that the Mayans were wrong and the world will go on after the winter solstice.

This is my first entry in the Clonehenge End of the World Festival contest as announced on October 23, 2012.  Life is Good.

Thank you Nancy for letting me “guest blog” on Clonehenge.  I feel like I am typing on sacred ground.  Well not exactly “sacred ground” maybe “sacred pixels.”

You can see more of my hengish contributions here.

How Can You Bring Stonehenge into Your Life? Let Us Help.

photo from daddytypes.com

So many people wonder (apparently), “How can I bring Stonehenge into my life?” Luckily for them, there are so many ways! Above you see Muji’s Mysteries in a Bag, a small wooden set that includes not just Stonehenge but a pyramid, the Sphinx, the Parthenon, Nessie, one o the Nazca line drawings, and, oh yes!, Easter Island heads or moai. Moai, despite coming from the other side of the world, are associated with Stonehenge replicas with alarming frequency.

We quote daddytypes.com‘s comments, “Forget Stonehenges in danger of being crushed by a dwarf; now you can have a Stonehenge in danger of being swallowed by a toddler. [And yeah, it's worth noting that all these things have small-to-tiny pieces. Personally, I worry less about easy-to-swallow than I do about choke hazard, but either way, heads up.]” We see the tiresome crushed by a dwarf reference all the time, this fellow used it well, in our (not so) humble opinion.

Another way to acquire a Stonehenge for your home or business can be found on Amazon (what can’t?). This piece is advertised as a “StoneHenge 180cms Lifesize Cardboard Cutout” but, let’s face it, 180 cm is not half the height of the shortest sarsens and this is just a trilithon. (StoneHenge–capitalisation of that H grates a little, doesn’t it?) The most striking thing about this Stonehenge is the £34.99 price for cardboard, even if it is “photo-quality” and has a “fold-out strut to the rear, which means its entirely self supporting”. Not everyone who has a strut to the rear is entirely self supporting…

This is another children’s Stonehenge, this time produced with the help of someone who actually knows something about Stonehenge, Mr. Julian Richards (We’ve mentioned him before, here. This is a clever book with good information to help you introduce your child, or someone else’s, to Stonehenge. (It almost hurts us when something is too good to make fun of.)

And this is a resin Stonehenge trilithon replica, 8 cm high and painted to look, not like stone, but, curiously, like metal. We spotted it on ebay some time ago, but its time has since expired. Striking looking.

No scores in this post. We’re just biding our time until our reader in New Jersey sends us the photograph we’re waiting for. We also have a nice pinhole picture Stonehenge model, complete with parking lot, in the works. People are making Stonehenge replicas much faster than we can post them.

Other ways to bring Stonehenge into your life, of course, many of which we have posted here in the past, include pre-made and make-it-yourself models, jewellery, cakes, small garden henges, photographs and more, including, of course, subscribing to Clonehenge or following it on Twitter or Facebook. When we remember we post a foodhenge to Twitter on Fridays.

There you have it. We managed to cop out and strike 4 items off our lengthening list at one blow. Someone recently told us that they think numbers of Stonehenge replicas will increase faster as we approach December 2011.  We need a young padawan. Does anyone want to send us their child to have him or her learn the Stonehenge-replica-posting trade? Calling for a Clonehenge apprentice! We promise to pay as much as we pay ourselves.

The New Jersey photo has just come in. Look for it next week. Until then, as always, happy henging!

H is For Henge: The Salisbury Hospital Trilithon

photo by Matt Penny, aka @Salisbury_Matt (but heartlessly cropped and altered by evil Clonehenge elves)

When we receive an email with the subject line, “Does this count?” it appeals to our considerable megalomaniacal tendencies. That is correct, minions! It is completely up to us. We alone decide what is henge-sufficient and what is not. Ha. And this time friend of the blog Mr. Matt Penny, knowing our weakness for flattery, played on it in order to be given the prestigious name of Discoverer of a Large Permanent Replica. Well  done, sir!

What and where is it, you ask? Mr. Penny (yes, alert reader, that same young Mr. Penney we have mentioned before as the creator and sovereign of the website Salisbury and Stonehenge.net) says it is “a tri-lithon style ‘H’ which stands at the entrance to Salisbury District Hospital (usually known as Odstock)”  He goes on to say, “My feeling is that this is at least possibly a clonehenge rather than a simple stone ‘H‘ because of its elevation on a vaguely tumulus or tor shaped mound, and because of it’s relative proximity to the stones themselves (or clonehenge v0.1, as I’m starting to think of them).”

Although we prefer to think of ourselves as the only truly clever people,  we grudgingly admit that it was perceptive of Mr. Penny to look at this sculpture and realise that it is indeed a reference to that great grey heap of stones out on Salisbury plain. Proof that his hunch was correct can be seen on the sculptor’s website where it tells us the piece was “Commissioned by Salisbury Health Authority : H FOR HOSPITAL, a 6 tonne trilithon of Chilmark stone to mark the entrance to a new hospital. Click HERE to view.” [H IS FOR HOSPITAL--nice title but I think all of us here know what H is actually for!]

That word trilithon is the clincher. Put the word trilithon into Google along with the name Salisbury and one topic dominates the results–Stonehenge. Therefore this stone H fits solidly into the category of Stonehenge sculptures. In an odd twist, the notch method of inserting the third stone actually makes the sculpture more like the famous Tongan stone trilithon than like any of the trilithons at Stonehenge. But we are not ones to nit-pick (Much. Heh.).

More from Salisbury Matt, because he says it so well (or is it because we’re too lazy to write it ourselves? Surely not.): “The other quite nice aspect is that it’s made of Chilmark stone, which I *think* is the the stone that was used to build the Cathedral (I’ve never really been much into ley-lines etc, but Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge kind of go together – somebody like Dr Johnson said something like they are the ‘first essay and the last perfection of architecture’).

Wikipedia notes that Chilmark stone appears to have been used to pack around the base of at least one of the uprights at Stonehenge. This sculpture certainly ties in nicely. Curiously, when a hospital near to Clonehenge headquarters, far from Wilts, tried to call a huge H on their premises a sculpture, authorities judged it to be a commercial sign, denying them privileges or tax breaks. Maybe they should have made it of crude stone and called it a Stonehenge replica. Psh! And people say that our topic has no practical applications!

As for a score, we’re charmed by the connection of the Wiltshire Chilmark stone, the placement of it on a mound, and even the connection to healing, rumoured to be one of the functions of Stonehenge itself. We give it 5½ druids, not a bad score for a mere trilithon. And we give to Matt Penny that most coveted of titles–official Clonehenge Finder of a large permanent replica. Please, Monsieur Penny , we don’t want to hear about all the free drinks and action (wink, wink) you get as a result. Meanwhile don’t forget, other readers, if you want that kind of glory, make or find a Stonehenge replica and send us pictures! Your life will change in ways you can only imagine!

And to everyone, happy henging!

Does This Even Qualify? Philly Flower Show Henge!

photo by Michael L. Lahr

A quick news post. This was spotted in the Visit Ireland exhibit at the prestigious Philadelphia Flower Show, this trilithon is probably meant to be a dolmen rather than a Stonehenge replica, but we’re especially entertained by megalithic replicas at flower shows. We’ve posted some before, here (South African orchid show) and here (Salisbury Community Show).

This one is nicely done, with fake stones that pretty much look like stone, and moss drapes gracefully like a sort of full-body toupee. No score because if it’s in the Ireland exhibit, it can’t be Stonehenge. Just wanted to give it a mention. You people just can’t help yourselves, can you?

Happy henging!

Henge-Podge: Odds and Ends That Have Come Across Our Desk, Part One

photo by Kerry McKenna

We have been accumulating odds and bits related to Clonehenge, none of them quite right for an entire post, but each a curiosity worth a look. Take the example above, a typical Englishman in tradition dress out for his stolid and dignified constitutional. Barely worth a second look if it weren’t for the henge-ish thing there: four trilithons in a circle surrounded by bluestones. We thank friend of the blog Feet, oops, we mean Pete, Glastonbury for drawing our attention to this. (That’s not him.) We also thank the shadows and the robe for being so helpfully strategic! Oo-er! We were going to make a comment about “stones” but, really, we’re better than that.

Also from Mr. Glastonbury, photo taken by him, is the curious grouping of stones at the left. He says, “I spotted this in the garden of Teachers Cottage in Avebury High St. It is a representation of the Obelisk and the inner stones of the southern circle in Avebury. An Avebury Model in Avebury!” Just the sort of obscure and odd thing we like, but it makes us wonder–do people build little pyramids next to the Pyramids? Or is it a thing that only henges do to the mind?

And last for this post, for we find, now we’ve started, that we have more of these bits than we thought, is this card we received for winter solstice (and related holidays) from Mr. @jwisser, aka Jonas Wisser, who is, in the interest of full disclosure, the progeny of the Clonehenge perpetrator(s). He had these cards made by [name to be inserted here later because we once again did not do our homework] especially for him. The sun is rather large, but we do believe in poetic license in such cases, and we think it is a cleverly fashioned thing, all in all. Quite observant, putting the remaining three connected lintels front and center.

We will save the rest of our hengy bits for another post. That way those of you who subscribe to our feed get the thrill of yet another of our delightful posts showing up in your inbox just when you need a lift! And we get to go do something else now. Keep sending in your Clonehenge-related news! Frankly we are surprised at the lack of snowhenges this year and suspect some people have been lax about bringing them to our attention. Ahem.

And until next time, happy henging!

The BBC Inflatable Trilithon–Bring on the Helium!

photo by Thelma June Jackson, used with permission.

Is it just us, or has there been a surge of Stonehenge-related news (ish?) lately? Of course when it comes to this obscure topic, it IS just us: Stonehenge-Replicas-R-Us! (Which it happens is the name of our new retail outlet, still in development… Okay, then, very early stages of development… Oh, all right, we just then made it up. Happy? Now stop interrupting!)

Anyway, this is the first, and the most earthshaking, of a few posts for which we have been forced to come out of retirement, which, we find, is much less restful than one might think anyway. We present to you, Gentle Readers, the fabled inflatable Stonehenge! It’s only a trilithon, but with the way Stonehenge has been reproducing around the world, a full Stonehenge is only a matter of time. Just lock this trilithon in a room with one of Spinal Tap’s inflatable touring trilithons and in no time there will be little inflatable Stonehenges hopping about the fields and meadows, looking adorable while American and Japanese tourists snap away on their cameras! Exciting.

Until then, this remarkable construction is being hauled around Great Britain–well, minus Scotland and Cornwall–as part of the BBC’s Hands on History tour, The Secrets of Stonehenge, for half term break.  Brilliantly, people have been kind enough to take pictures the same way they might for someone who had a legitimate worthwhile blog, but for us instead!

photo by the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, used with permission

Note how the “logs” in the top picture are being used to roll the fourth “stone” in the second picture. Children and presumably some adults* are permitted to try their hands at moving an inflatable megalith. Fun!

Of course, the real stones at Stonehenge are not light weight inflatables, but are huge, enormously heavy rocks. We don’t actually know that they aren’t hollowed out, though. Some, in fact, suggest that they’re filled with a very advanced sort of clockwork for which the Antikythera mechanism was just a mock-up, and that on December 21, 2012, a huge stone clown’s head will leap out of the ground in the center of the circle while the stones play, “Pop goes the weasel!” Frankly, it’s no loonier than much of what we hear said about Stonehenge, so who knows?

After all that blithering nonsense we come to the score. The thing these inflatables have going for them is that they are close to full size. Adds a full point. Some trouble has been taken to make them look rough and uneven. They are educational and can be touched by children… We award these trilithons 6½ druids! That is possibly the highest score we have ever given t0 a mere trilithon!(Meaning we can’t be arsed to check.)

The illusive inflatable Stonehenge finally appears on Clonehenge. We’ll post one again when it’s listed in next year’s Ann Summers catalogue. Finally inflatables will make it possible to live two great fantasies at once. Humph. And people say the future isn’t bright!

*Those who, unlike one adult we won’t name (but who rhymes with Feet Crastonbury), could be trusted to approach the inflatables without attempting to pop them.

NEWSFLASH!! As of April 19, 2012, the inflatable Stonehenge dream has been even more fully realised! Click here for our post on Jeremy Deller’s inflatable bouncy Stonehenge. Humbling to see mankind reach its highest purpose in our lifetimes, is it not?

Poort van de Zon, or Gate of the Sun, Arnhem, Nederland

photo by Bert Boerma, used with permission

Okay, okay, we know it has been a while since we posted. The truth is, we came within a hair’s breadth of getting a life recently. But fear not, it has passed and we are back, kinda, sorta, at least long enough to add this admirable photo to our blog and this admirable sculpture to our list of large permanent replicas.

Created or at least placed in 1980, it is located in Immerloo Park in South Arnhem, in the Netherlands. The artist is Marius van Beek, a prominent Dutch sculptor. You can see its location and another picture of it here on Panoramio.

As far as we can make out by using internet translators on the Dutch pages, the two standing stones mark sun positions in spring and fall. The function of the red stone set on a tilt is less clear.

While it is a trilithon and resembles Stonehenge in its sun connection, this sculpture also echoes the Bolivian ruin also called the Gate of the Sun. Mr. van Beek may have had both ancient monuments in mind. A scan of his webpage will show that he has a fascination with standing stones and variations on the trilithon form. Our kind of guy! (Except he works hard and has talent.)

Score: 5½ druids. We like the sun alignments and the pleasing form of the gate. Every city should have something like this!

By the way, this is not Arnhem’s only Stonehenge replica ever. Check this out:

This 4 meter by 4 meter replica was built for a special exhibition called The Fascinating World of Stonehenge at the Municipal Museum of Arnhem in 1988=1989. Apparently a similar model of the Newgrange Passage Tomb was also built, although regrettably we have no photo of that. This is a very nice model and would probably rate 7 or 8 druids depending on a closer look. Perhaps Stonehenges come in twos!

We don’t have many replicas lined up to post, but we did hear there’s a town in Australia that has plans for one. We’ll post on that sometime soon.  Meanwhile, send in your homemade and newly discovered henges. The summer henging season is nearly upon us!

Happy henging!

(You didn’t expect this to be funny, did you? Everybody knows there’s nothing funny about the Dutch.)

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.

Building Stonehenge at Stonehenge, A Trilithon Model

photos are stills from Pete Glastonbury’s Youtube clip, used with permission

Here is one for the record books. Only once before, during the first month Clonehenge existed, did we post a replica that was actually at Stonehenge (Straw echo henge–wow,our posts were short back then!) Here is another one, this time, in keeping with our film and movie theme of late, from a CBS TV special made in 1964 called (like so many other things) The Mystery of Stonehenge.

It happens that a contributor to that TV special, Gerald Hawkins, author of the well-known book Stonehenge Decoded (one of those books that has been on our shelves for so long that we couldn’t say when we bought it!), was an acquaintance of our friend and frequent contributor Mr. Pete Glastonbury. Mr. Glastonbury uncovered a copy of the film in Mr. Hawkins’ archives and sent us the link to this delightful bit at Stonehenge in which Professor Richard Atkinson explains to a CBS reporter how he thinks the monument was built, putting a trilithon replica together in the process. (In the smaller photo here you can see a real sarsen upright in the background.)

What can we say? For the Stonehenge replica nerd, this is about as good as it gets–a renowned Stonehenge scholar putting together a Stonehenge replica at Stonehenge–on film. Score: 7½ druids! It’s great, true, but that’s as high as we can go for what is only a miniature trilithon.

This probably won’t be the last of these old-ish films. We’ve read that Hawkins was filmed explaining his theories using a plastic Stonehenge model and some lighting to simulate the sun shining into the monument at different times of year. If we can find it, we’ll post that, too.

Meanwhile, if all this academia is making you homesick for good old Spinal Tap, here is our post on that. We don’t want to stay too serious about Stonehenge replicas, dudes and dudettes. They are inherently silly things.

Happy henging!

Note added later: Oddly, completely by coincidence, Stonehenge Collectables’ latest addition to their site is a press release and TV Guide listing about a rerun of this CBS special in 1973. You can see it here.

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Stonehenge Apocalypse: And We’re Back to Hollywood

photo totally nicked from Misha Collins’ Twitpics, which we’re pretty sure are meant as promotional pics

The movies–the good, the bad, the indifferent, and in this case, the never-yet-aired. This movie is Stonehenge Apocalypse. The plot on IMDB reads like this: “When a group of archaeologists dig up a human skeleton near the historical monument of STONEHENGE, an ancient piece of machinery hidden beneath the bedrock is discovered. Not knowing what it could be the workers accidentally trigger the mechanism and start a chain of events that may very well end the world as we know it.

The world as we know it? Man, it is long gone at this point. Who says that anymore? But we’re not the ad copy police. (They won’t let us carry handcuffs!) So let’s look at this Stonehenge replica. We think it’s a pretty good trilithon. You can see other shots of it here and here. Score: 7½ druids. Good lichens, but it is just a trilithon.

So you may ask, why does Doctor Who get to film at the real Stonehenge while this film didn’t? Well, people, that’s why they call him The Doctor, innit? It helps to be a beloved national institution!

Meanwhile, here’s a synopsis of Stonehenge Apocalypse from the New York Times: “Stonehenge mystically begins rearranging itself causing massive unexplained natural destruction around the world.” No one seems to know just when it will air, but when it does we doubt it will reach Doctor Who audience levels. But we would love it if it surprised us. Any movie with a Stonehenge replica is one we’d watch!

Happy henging!

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