Romans vs. Druids, a Stonehenge Diorama!

Romans_1.sized

from Stonehenge Collectables.com, with kind permission

Oh, goody! You know how sometimes things can be so wrong and yet so right? The diorama above, built years ago by a Canadian (you know how they are–ya just never know what the heck they’ll do next! ;-)) and now in the collection of Stonehenge collector Bob Bradlee, is that kind of thing.

Ah, the wonders of Twitter! That is where we ran across Mr. Bradlee aka StonehengeGuy and his website Stonehenge Collectables.com. In our unrelenting search for Stonehenge models and replicas we have seen all kinds of Stonehenge post cards, art, t-shirts, etc., but somehow we never knew there were people out there lapping them all up! Now we know.

A few of the things he has picked up along the way are, like this one, hengy enough to cross over into Clonehenge territory. As anyone who knows us must surely guess, we love this one! [more photos of it here]Yes, those are actual little Roman soldiers with shields and helmets and swords, fighting, yes, oh yes, druids unclad from the waist up (except for the women) using clubs, bows and arrows and double-headed axes! It is the battle for Stonehenge, a battle that almost certainly never took place.

We don’t know what the model Stonehenge itself is made of (see comments for that info), but it’s nicely done. No bluestones, of course, and no ditch and bank, but the monument is, realistically, already in ruins in the time of the druids, so there is no implied assertion that the druids built Stonehenge. Refreshing.

Score: 6 druids. I’ll bet the staff of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum are dying to get their hands on this baby! By the way, here’s what worries us, looking at this: if the druids were magical like so many people say, why didn’t they defeat the Romans when they conquered England? Why couldn’t they levitate them and drop them into the English Channel or something? Could it have been the irresistible lure of the tourist lira?

Our thanks to StonehengeGuy. We look forward to seeing more from his collection, but we doubt he can beat this!

Craig’s List Foamhenge–Keeping Austin Weird

styrofoam SH3Photo copyright, Joseph R. Jarrett September 11, 2009 “Foamhenge – Austin, Texas”

An advertisement on Craig’s List in Austin yesterday read, “Stonehenge in Austin!!!! Large blocks of boat dock Styrofoam ready for creation of the New Druid sanctuary. OR you could saw it into 3.5″ slices and use it to insulate your garage wall like I did.”and later, “Free at the Curb [address removed] Disturbing the High Council with electronic wizardry signals or rapping upon the Great Hall Door will bring Great Shame to you and your Steeds!!! Gollum and the Castle Hounds will be pissed too!!! :)~  Oh, some garden hose is there too.

It was accompanied by the photo above. Since then, we are informed, someone picked up the styrofoam to use as a waterfall. (Not sure how that works, but whatever.) The henger and photographer tells us, “I made this “Foamhenge” to summon the forces of the Druids to influence the global economy. I also used sections of these blocks to insulate my 1951 garage as a way to promote recycle and re-use.. . . Mostly, I am cleaning up my yard!!!!

Well, we say if you’re cleaning up your place anyway, why not petition the Old Gods while you do it? It can’t do any harm and who knows–it might help. We’re kind of sorry we never see temporary styrofoam Stonehenges when we drive through our nearby suburban areas. But then we don’t have the motto this city does: “Keep Austin Weird!” Looks like Mr. Jarrett is just doing his part!

Do we score this ephemeral offering? No–for one thing we can’t tell if those are trilithons or just blocks with hats. And why ruin a fun thing with a score that to be fair would have to be low? Any druids have already dispersed. Let’s just enjoy it for what it was!

Replica In the News: Strawhenge in Essex

strawhenge 2Sent in by alert reader PG, here is a strawhenge just reported today by the BBC. You can see the video of it being made here. Part of it falls over, but at the end of the video they compress the whole hour and twenty minutes it took to build it into 10 seconds. Fun!

We hadn’t seen a strawhenge in a while. Our thanks to the mystery contributor.

Score: 6 druids. It’s better than a set of trilithons, and we love to see one being made with heavy machinery for a change!

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Polystyrene Henge–Stonehenge for Lizards!

build-Stonehenge-for-lizard 2photos from Lizard-Landscapes.com, with permission

You know you’ve always wanted to build a model Stonehenge…” How can we resist posting a model Stonehenge from a page that begins with those words!? This website has a page telling how to create a Stonehenge model for a pet who is ordinarily confined to a cage or dry aquarium. And it’s brilliant!

Poor creatures–after all, what are the chances they’re ever going to get to Wiltshire? Srsly? So it’s your job to bring Stonehenge to them. And luckily for you, Andy, the proprietor of Lizard-Landscapes.com, is amazingly good at making faux stone things and demonstrating how to do it. There’s even a step-by-step video! Check it out here: How to Build a Model Stonehenge.

build-Stonehenge 2As sometimes happens, we started out chuckling when we first stumbled across this (Stonehenge for your lizard? Rly?), but upon closer examination, we were impressed. He looked at Stonehenge. Carefully. He says the word sarsen, and would have said trilithon if he’d known the word. He was reaching for it, but could only come up with “Stonehenge structures.” The point is, he noticed. Well done, sir!

And he says, both in the text and on the video that “You know you’ve always wanted to” make a model of Stonehenge. Ha! This strikes at what we refer to as the Clonehenge mystery. Yes, for many people this has the ring of truth, but why? Why have so many people always wanted to create a Stonehenge model? Why does it turn up everywhere? It is a question we ponder. Instead of doing anything worthwhile.

In the meantime, it’s worth watching the video just to see the green anole  (the lizard above) leaping from stone to stone. No doubt this is how it was when Stonehenge was built, back in the age of the dinosaurs.  (You didn’t think men coexisted with dinosaurs? See the proof here!) And, although unrelated to dinosaurs, be sure to check out his miniature city page, if only to see the lizard rampaging through the streets when it’s finished. If you’ll pardon the expression–Cool!

Score: 7 druids. We love being surprised and entertained. Hmmm . . . maybe we should build a Stonehenge for our cat. Or better yet, in the local elementary school playground. So many replicas needed, so little time!

Butterhenge II: Stonehenge on a Plate

butterhenge 2photo and henge by Dave and Janet Burt, with permission

Finally the sculpted butterhenge we’d hoped for! To use a quip from a comment on the last butterhenge we posted, I can’t believe it’s not Stonehenge! We were interested to learn that Dave and Janet Burt, its creators, were not inspired by our request for a sculpted butterhenge, but were forced to sculpture by a lack of enough sticks, not even aware of the pioneering butterhengers before them.

But in henging as in real life sometimes difficulty breeds excellence. It is not perfect, but unlike many replica makers these two actually took time to look at a picture or model of Stonehenge. Some of those sarsen shapes do look familiar!

One of the hengers writes “I think the plate makes a nice outer ring, and placing it in the ferns gives it a magical kind of look (although not reminiscent of the stark English countryside). Seems to match most of your criteria, although am hoping size doesn’t matter in this instance.” So they have given thought to the ring and ditch and even to the plain itself, if only to note that it is not accurately represented. *nod of approval* In all things, folks, attention is key. And does size matter? We leave that question to greater minds than our own. There is room for every size in the world of Stonehenge replicas.

Score for this bovine-sourced replica: 7 druids. Maybe even 7½. And Dave and Janet say they’re already put their thinking caps on for the next henge project. If this one’s any indicator, we’re sure it will be the cream of the crop!

Stonehenge Built – in a day! Wiltshire Heritage Museum

Stonehenge5photos by Pete Glastonbury, with permission

On Sunday (30 August, 2009 for those of you who are reading this from the future), Wiltshire Heritage Museum and Julian Richards held an event for families in which visitors could help build a partial Stonehenge replica. You may remember our announcement here. By all accounts, including this one, it was a success and a good time was had by all.Stonehenge6

We love the picture on the right. The excessively cute future archaeologist in pink  is putting everything on hold in order to take in what Mr. Richards is teaching them about Stonehenge.

The lesson we want to leave you with today: It’s never too early to introduce Stonehenge replica building to your children! And community Stonehenge building is bound to be the way it was originally done, no matter how Wally Wallington tries to convince people otherwise. Score: 6½ druids. Because while it’s only a trilithon, involving people in the project spreads the word. And, hey, it’s in Wiltshire–automatically more authentic! May this kind of event spread to archaeological museums everywhere.

Stonehenge4