Basalt Henge to Save the Earth: Eastern Australia, Byron Bay!

Byron’s Stonehenge, image from Byron Ecopark site

“On a gorgeous 75-hectare beachfront property ‘Eagle Farm’ located in Byron Shire on the north coast of New South Wales, Dieter Horstmann is using a set of giant stone structures built from ancient basalt-columns to create a totally unique, 100% ecologically sustainable village and eco-tourism resort.

Another line from the same site: “ Stone columns, some up to 10 metres in length, being strategically positioned across ‘Eagle Farm’, forming a Byron Bay “Stonehenge”.  Mr Horstmann and his artist friends have harvested these natural Basalt-crystals on the land to artistically create their Stonehenge-style Eco-village.

We admit we wouldn’t mind seeing this place! Mr. Horstmann (seen at left in photo by Jeff Dawson), born in Germany, has spent decades building his ecology park in New South Wales. It includes a village with minimal environmental impact, a health resort, and facilities to make possible the trial of various green practices with the purpose of helping to popularise those that have the most promise. His hope is that the park will encourage others all over the world to embrace environmentally healthy practices. (Because that’s going to happen. Lol!)

Fortunately our job here is not to make sure that people save the planet, but to report on the more urgent matter, these Stonehenge-ish constructions. Every Stonehenge replica listed on this blog, or not listed for that matter, has unique peculiarities, and in this case perhaps the most intriguing thing is the stones it’s made from: they are basalt columns, similar to those that make up Devil’s Tower in Wyoming (Close Encounters, anyone?), and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

These columns were on the property to begin with. Let’s face it–who wouldn’t think henge if they found these things lying around with nothing else to do? What’s that?  Everyone but us? Well, right, but clearly Herr Horstmann is one of us–a henger, henge-o-phile, henge-orak, clonehenger. Welcome to our ranks, sir! We honour you for your vision!*

But we know a lot of people are tied up right now, cleaning up from Sandy, fixing the economy, and playing Halo 4, and may not get around to that right away. For now, Dieter Horstmann’s henge will have to do. Hard to give a score because we don’t think we’ve seen the whole thing. But we’ll give it 6 druids and add it to our list of large permanent replicas.  Impressive large stones. May his endeavor succeed beyond his wildest dreams!

And until next time, happy henging!

P.S.: Flamehenge! And our thanks to Hengefinder Matt Penny for finding the Byron Stonehenge!

*The  subject of how Stonehenge is often connected in people’s minds with ecology and saving the earth, despite the fact that building it would have required disturbing the environment to a degree not seen on Great Britain until that time, might provide a thoughtful person with material for a long and interesting essay touching on psychology, our modern perceptions about ancient people and nature, and the kind of hierarchical society that is required to orchestrate this kind of monument building. But as you know, we are about as far as we can get from being thoughtful people, so we’re off the hook. Phew! That was close!

Festival Henges, 2012! Part One: Audio Soup Festival

One trilithon of the Audio Soup Henge, decorated

Back after our delightful holidays which included a funeral, an alarming incident in which we fell on our faces, and a bad cold. If you hear us coughing or sniffling during this post, kindly pretend not to notice!

We know of two henges built for festivals this summer, although there were almost certainly more somewhere. The trilithon in the photo above belongs to one made by the infamous Henge Collective for a music festival called Audio Soup in Garvald, East Lothian (that’s Scotland, for those who are opening a tab for Google just now). interestingly, they were invited to henge at the festival, the first instance we’ve heard of public henging by invitation!

We know what you’re sitting there thinking. It doesn’t look much like Stonehenge. True, but you have to understand that the Henge Collective are sort of the Impressionists or almost Abstract Expressionists of the henging world. They deal in nuance, subtly suggesting Stonehenge rather than blatantly coming out and screaming it. At least that is what we choose to believe!

We do like the knit or crochet decorations. We are of the school who believe that originally the stones of Stonehenge were decorated, both permanently in some ways and seasonally with more colourful and perishable things draped and laid at their bases, so we find this fitting.

As for score? 5½ druids for the bold hengers! We are excited for them and pleased that henging by invitation is now a thing! Who knows where this will lead? Hengers invited in by the United Nations? Or Parliament? Hengers at sea? Henging by robots on Mars? The possibilities are endless.

Next up: Burning Man and its henge tradition. Until then, friends, happy henging!

Barbury Horse Trials: Stonehenge (ish) of Fallen Beech

Photo © Andy Hooper for the Mail Online

Don’t bother to look at the horse. Ignore the young woman with her dress flying up provocatively in the back. Yes, the important part of this picture is the trilithons! Sent in by alert reader, Welsh academic, shaman and author Mike Williams (we are honoured, sir), this Wiltshire setup, referred to as the Stonehenge Jump, was featured here once before, but we had no inkling that it was still being used until this morning. Be sure to have a look at this link to the article accompanying the picture above, especially the video part way down the page. Surprised they didn’t use the hymn Jerusalem as a background!

A couple of weeks ago, we were shown a picture of a recent crop circle in Wiltshire and all we could look at was the Stonehenge-like thing near it. That mystery appears to be solved–it was this circle of trilithons. We love when little mysteries solve themselves!

At any rate, we have already scored this at 5 ½ druids back in 2009. Seems right. The Daily Mail Online article says, “The Stonehenge jump, made from fallen beech, is the stand-out feature of the Barbury International, which will be staged on Marlborough Downs, Wiltshire, between June 28 and July 1.

It was a lead-up to the Olympics, which also had Stonehenge jumps. It is too bad that crazy golf isn’t an Olympic sport. We could have been seeing Stonehenges all over the place during the games! At least Jeremy Deller’s wonderful bouncy Stonehenge is still touring. And elsewhere people are busy building Stonehenge replicas hoping to have it finished by winter solstice. We know the henge-oraks (combination of henge and anorak, our new word for the day! The thrill of it.) are out there somewhere and we look forward to hearing about their creations.

In other news, we hear a rumour that Achill Henge is bringing in enough money to give the good people of County Mayo pause. Is there yet hope that it will be permitted to stand? Oh, the tension, beauty and excitement of the world of Stonehenge replicas! One can hardly bear it sometimes. Other times one has a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Wait. What’s that you say? The horse is painted? Why so it is. We hadn’t noticed. Let’s hope the girl didn’t get any of that chalk on her dress. Or anywhere else. Messy business, these horse events! Until next time, gentle readers, happy henging!

Cheswardine: Another Long-Sought Henge Attained!

photo by Mia Robinson

Well, we survived the flood and gales. Many thanks to those who sent us good wishes, silent or otherwise. Irene let us live to henge another day.

We have long sought a picture of this little trilithon circle in Cheswardine, Shropshire. Looking at it, you may well ask, “Why?” but the fact is, once we know something like this is out there, we desire to list it, just as a collector wants that Mickey Mantle rookie card or that Black Lotus card, or any special little knick knack that completes a set. If there is a Stonehenge replica out there, we want it on Clonehenge!

We know very little about this one. Tinker, our photograph provider in this case says, “i recently moved to cheswardine and was thrilled when i randomly found the henge!!! i drove past it lots of times it wasnt until i stopped for the post box that i saw it as its hidden from the main road its on small ground next to a house but it is very lovely!!

And a site on the interwebs says, “On our way back home we happened to pass through the Shropshire village of Cheswardine, and having spotted what looked like a miniature Stonehenge, we had to stop and photograph it. The structure is on the grass verge of a street called Symon’s Way, which leads off the main road through the village, and it is made of rough stone blocks.

As for score,we can’t give it more than 5 druids, charming as it is. Very cute, but not very Stonehenge-like. The ideal picture of this henge would include at least one cat. Possibly wearing a tie or hat.

The point of this post, however, is to laud, trumpet, and otherwise praise our alert reader and contributor for finding this henge in Cheswardine and sending us the picture! Well done, Tinker! If we gave out awards, we would send you one. Alas we do not, however. You will have to be content with the admiration of a grateful nation (the Henge Nation), and the not-inconsiderable honour of having made us happy. Well done, you!

We hate to post and run, but we watched Ancient Aliens last night and now are all worked up about mica at Teotihuacan, the stonework at Ollantaytambo, and the precise and symmetrical carving at Luxor.  So we are going to cut this post short and go do hours of pointless Googling which will lead us to countless flaky sites that all quote the same, probably dubious, source(s).  Oh, what fun!

We wonder when Ancient Aliens will get around to discussing the mystery of countless people building Stonehenge replicas around the world. Alien mind control?  I’m sure that the guy with the intense tan and weird hair is on task as we speak.  Stay tuned!!

And until then, happy henging!

Walkerhenge: Not Quite the Kind of Exciting Innovation It Sounds Like

photos by Michael H. Walker, Jr., used with permission

Walkerhenge. When we heard the name, it conjured up a vision of a Stonehenge replica robotised to be able to walk about, a peripatetic henge, or maybe a fleet of them… Yes, dozens, no, hundreds of Stonehenge replicas roaming the countryside, eating and reproducing, everything from little baby henges in the care of their mothers to huge bull henges bellowing and running the young single male henges away from the females. Wow, wait until David Attenborough gets hold of this one!

But no, Walkerhenge is named after its creators, Edith and Barry Henge. Oops, no! That should be Michael and Tim Walker, seen here being infected with the Stonehenge brain virus on a typically sunny warm day in Wiltshire.

Mike tells us, “…my brother and I went to Stonehenge a few years ago and when we got back I acquired these rocks. We decided to build a mini Stonehenge. We built it by hand in 2009 and its made out of old granite curbs from the 1850′s from Camden, NJ.” Another cautionary tale illustrating the Clonehenge Effect. (But the bit about the old curbs is brilliant, of course, even if it is Camden.)

Most people don’t understand the risks when they visit Stonehenge. They think, “Chevy Chase went there and he’s fine” or “The Doctor went there and he hasn’t been going around building henges.” Ah, but they are both Gallifreyans! Humans are different. They go home and then the worms in their heads make them build Stonehenges. So far there is no cure.

But on to the matter at hand. This belongs to the category of personal garden henges, like the  paved structure in Red Oak, TexasTremont Henge in Cleveland, or  the circle in Kennewick, Washington. Typically these are not large and sport only one or two trilithons. They often include benches in the form of very low trilithons. This one, like the Tremont, adds standing stones, representing, we suppose, the blue stones and maybe a stray sarsen. Its unique touch is the fire pit, which we are inclined to think is a touch the original Builders at Stonehenge would have recognised.

Another for our list of Large Permanent Replicas! As for score, well, we like this. Well suited for celebrating the Four Festivals, for marshmallows and story telling, or just drinking beer and howling at the moon, all of which except the marshmallows probably took place at the original. Score: 6 druids. (It is actually a 5½ druid henge, but I think readers will understand when we remind them that this poor fellow lives in New Jersey. If an extra half druid will give a little glow to his sorry life, how can we deny him?)

And anyway, we don’t live all that far from Juliustown, New Jersey, home of Walkerhenge. We don’t want to risk a whole herd coming after us. This time of year they are in rut and their horns are very sharp!

Many thanks to Monsieur Walker for his photos and his patience. And until next time, friends, happy henging!

Clonehenge Field Trip to—Cleveland?!

Our own photos

We took a holiday to Ohio to visit–ahem–a close relative, and while there we took a detour to the Tremont section of Cleveland to eat at the mildly famous Lucky’s Cafe. The youngest member of our party was carrying an iPhone and we asked him to bring up our post on Tremont Henge. He did, then found another photo of it, from which he was able to determine a nearby intersection, then in a moment we were looking at an aerial view on a map site. Technology is powerful. And maybe that cafe is lucky!

When we finished our meal, we walked the few blocks to the intersection, and there it was! Tremont Henge, just like in the pictures. Of course Yours Truly had to pose for a picture.

We were tempted to knock on the door to see if we could meet the hengers and learn their motivations, but hard as it may be to believe, Clonehenge is not yet a household word. We didn’t want to make them feel their henge was going to be a source of hassles and interruptions, and risk causing them to dismantle it. So we let them be.

It’s a nice little hengy lawn piece. Despite its lack of heft, it has a solid megalithic feel. It’s an easy henge to like.

Readers, if you know of any other little henges like this, please send them in! Well, not the whole henge, of course, just pictures and as much information as you can get.  And Tremont hengers, if you’re out there, we would love to hear your story!

We walked around Tremont and were impressed with its funky, fun atmosphere. We could enjoy living there. Of course it could  use more henges! But that goes without saying. Parts of Cleveland clearly do rock!

Our thanks to @jwisser for his guidance to the site and to @hombredepan for taking my picture, chauffeur service and the meal!

Hmmm . . . what henge is next?

Note: You can also see Tremont Henge on Google Street View, here.

Cheesehenge, For the Sake of the Land!

photos from Laura Mousseau, used with permission

Well, after a long pause, which of course you know was caused by a freak double computer calamity because you follow us on Twitter, we are back with this excellent cheesehenge which you have of course already seen because it was our Friday foodhenge on Twitter back on March 5!

Laura Mousseau tells us, “Cheesehenge was created by Mark Stabb for a Nature Conservancy of Canada Ontario staff retreat (if you could link to the Nature Conservancy site for Ontario somehow it would be much appreciated!)” I suppose we could — [link]!. We’re, like, all in favour of the, you know, earth an’ s**t!

This is a particularly good cheesehenge. Observe tthe guacamole ground representing Salisbury Plain, inner trilithons that appear to be taller than the sarsens in the outer ring, and–la pièce de résistance–the careful placement of the inner trilithon horseshoe facing the the uprights with the three adjacent remaining lintels. Some observation definitely went into this, although we would not go so far as to say as someone does on the video (Oh, yes!) that it is archaeologically correct.

Cheesehenges, as we have said before, are among the commonest of henges, probably because cheese is capable of being cut into rectangular shapes and, of course, it is often served with alcoholic beverages, some of which appear to  have Stonehenge-generating properties. We have posted two cheesehenges before this. See here and here.

Score: 7 druids! If that seems high to you, you should know that we give extra consideration to treehuggers. It seems likely that the land was what it was all about back in the days of the original builders of Stonehenge, as well as over a millennium later in the days of the druids. Even today we all depend on it. Good to remember, people!

So kudos, Mr. Mark Stabb! Nicely done. The only problem here is all those people singing “dooooo” at the beginning of the video. Perhaps goofiness, in the end, is what makes the world go round. We sure hope so!

Until next time, whenever that is, happy henging!

Fish Finger/Tater Tot Henge

photo from Emily Hunzicker, used with permission

Yes, a foodhenge. We tweet foodhenge links on most Fridays, but haven’t been posting many here on the blog lately. We are about to remedy that, as we have at least three foodhenges lined up to post in the near future. First we’ll go for the greasy fried version, with sarsens of fish fingers (or fish sticks Stateside), and bluestones represented by tater tots (Is there a British term for these? Oven crunchies?). This foodhenge isn’t actually for eating, is it?

Emily Hunziker tells us the story of its origins:

Well, My family (Russ and Elisa Hunziker) and our friend (Lois Sisco) were thinking of some way to celebrate the summer solstice last year, and what better way to do so than with a henge! We figured fish sticks and tater tots were an appropriate size and shape to replicate a henge which we could eat for dinner afterwards. The sticks and tots are bedded in mash potatoes for support and not pictured was the Salisbury ‘plain’ Steaks which were the main course.

Regular readers will have guessed it–it is those Salisbury “Plain” steaks that truly won us over. Bad punz–we likes dem! And knowing that Stonehenge is on Salisbury Plain is a plus–after all, the people mentioned are in L.A.

We realise that an inner circle of four trilithons isn’t exactly right and it is odd to include the blue stones inside the outer circle and not those in the inner horseshoe. We’d have loved it if the mashed potatoes had been dyed green. But let’s have a look at a subtler good point–those Aubrey holes (-ish!) built in to the plate. Nicely chosen!

Emily dutifully passes this on: “My mother, who is quite opposed to eating such ‘cafeteria like’ foods, wanted me to mention the fact that, although they make excellent henge replicating material, tater tots, fish sticks, mash potatoes and steak gave us all heart burn.” Duly noted, Emily’s mom!

But the truly worrying part comes next. “Following dinner, there was a virgin (doll) sacrifice, in which a chocolate heart was cut from her chest and eaten to appease the gods.” Hmmm . . . sounds very Aztec to us, especially if the chocolate heart was still beating!

Yes, we know there is no proof that human sacrifice took place at Stonehenge. But we allow for a certain amount of playful poetic license on that matter, as with the PeepHenge we have linked to before (and which may soon have a post of its own because we love it so much!).

Score for this henge: 5½ druids! But this is not the end of Emily’s contributions. We shall hear from her again. The Hunzikers of Los Angeles seem to have a penchant for playing with their food–and we certainly approve!

So to all, we hope you had a lovely equinox celebration. Enjoy the long awaited Spring, and happy henging!

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Henge for a Chameleon–1946, Somewhere in a London Zoo

copyrighted photo used with © on it. Click photo to visit page.

This is brilliant! British Pathé, a digital news archive, includes a video of chameleons climbing over a small Stonehenge replica at the London Zoo, like huge bizarre creatures of a past age. Brought to our attention by the magnificent yet under-appreciated Pete Glastonbury (unfairly gifted photographer whose speciality is ancient sites), this is probably the oldest existing video of a small Stonehenge replica.

Click >here< to see the British Pathé page, Prehistoric 1946, with video. (Totally worth clicking on just to hear the stentorian 1946 announcer and the ever-so-clever attempt at a humourous ending! ) The text on the page says, “Several shots of a chameleon moving around model of Stonehenge in a London Zoo. Some good close up shots of chameleons. This animal is half brother to lizard and looks like one. Man organises chameleons with hands – probably a zoo keeper.

The replica is just four trilithons, but there it is, a bit of Stonehenge replica history. No scoring for this. It’s too awesome, too sexy for its trilithons! Please, if you have any old photos or videos of Stonehenge replicas, we want–no–we need to see them!

[This reminds us of the Stonehenge for Lizards post. Hmmm, there's also the Stonehenge at the reptile zoo and the chocolate replica with the plastic lizards. We detect a pattern!. David Icke, where are you when we need you?! ;-) ]

Note: For those who don’t know, subscribers to our Twitter feed get links to extra henges from time to time, including our Friday foodhenges. In case you’re interested. Anyway, have a great weekend. Happy henging!

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Stonehenge (Or is that Stone Henge?) Candle Holder

photo from Zen Ideas

Remember that snow globe we posted a few days before Christmas? This appears to be its second cousin, with trilithons based on the same model, just enlarged and moved around a bit. And it comes in what appears to be an identical box.

We can’t seem to wipe away the impression that what we have here is a mommy trilithon, a toddler trilithon and a few little trilithon buds. Drink your candle wax, kiddies, and one day you’ll be big like Mum! And yet the whole thing has its charm. That grassy lip around the candle works to make it look like a secret pond surrounded by megaliths, the kind of thing you wouldn’t mind having in your garden.

This can be seen as a reductionist view of Stonehenge, a minimal version of the circle, just enough to satisfy the casual Stonehenge fan who wants to tuck a reminder of the ancient and the ages off on the desk corner. Someone’s taken the time to make the resin stones stone-ish and aged looking. (There’s something bugging us about those three front stones, however, but we can’t quite put our finger on it.)

All in all, an amusing Stonehenge-thing, if taken with a wink. Score: 5½ druids. And the name IS Stonehenge, by the way. No space in the middle and no capital H. If it had been named in the 1990′s of course, it would be StoneHenge, but for now English Heritage is sticking with the old spelling. We quite approve!