Emryshenge: A Woodhenge at Henge House, Balboa, California

photos and henge by Jonathan & Wendilyn Emrys, with permission

Back to California, Lake Balboa this time (Balboa, you say, why use wood there? Isn’t it Rocky? Get it? Haha? No? Sry!), for an unusual  henge sent in by its builders. We may as well let them tell it.

With the help of a Clonehenge contributor (Matt DeHaven [remember Dom Perignonhenge? –editors]), we sunk 12 Mulberry limbs (8 of which at 7 feet high, and 4 at 6 feet) 2 feet into the ground with cement, creating a Mulberry woodhenge approx. 15 feet in diameter. We then laid 12 6 foot lintels over the tops and left most of the bark the posts and lintels (except for those parts that peeled off over time due to squirrel runs). We retained as much of the natural shapes of the limbs and their respective branch stubs on the lintels to lend a more organic flow to it.

My wife is an Archaeomythologist, so she ensured that we had our henge oriented with 2 “gates” facing the Winter Solstice Sunrise & Sunset, and the Summer Solstice Sunrise & Sunset. I partially buried a wooden spindle and affixed an old satellite dish (painted in hammered copper) in the center of the spindle as our “altar” tray, doubling as a bird bath. Sorry no sacrifices, unless you count flowers, fruit, and wine. It took us 2 solid weekends to actually build it, and it was well worth the muscle aches, bruises, and blisters!

Brilliant! If you can’t grow plants in your garden, why not have a henge? Note also what the builders call the Mulberry Ents along the fence.  The top photo is the later photo, and we note the addition not only of a gnome door to the center spindle but also of a green man to one of the poles. Plus we’re told that “squirrels LOVE the henge, running all along the tops and bouncing off the posts.” See how a henge can bring life into your space? We don’t know how so many people live without them!

Score–we give it 7 druids! It would be lower if it weren’t for the careful orientation by the archaeomythologist. That takes it up a notch!  Anyway, many thanks to the Emryses for sending this in. It gave us some smiles and points up what everyone should know–you can probably make a pretty decent henge from something you have around the place!

Before we go, a suggestion–we would love to have a photo of a henge made from those bags of coffee or containers of chai (those chai boxes are perfectly proportioned!) displayed at Starbucks everywhere. Just get permission (or not, but don’t blame us!) and start henging on a table at the store. If they ask, tell them it’s for Clonehenge! Be sure to put everything back–we’re not Mike Doughty!

Happy henging!


5 thoughts on “Emryshenge: A Woodhenge at Henge House, Balboa, California

  1. Thank you for the information! And, yes, I would love to see the heel stone photo. I’ll add a small version of it to the post.

    A cedar henge. The challenge goes out to all!

  2. One last comment to anyone wanting to build a woodhenge similar to ours. We were recycling the limbs we trimmed off of a huge overgrown fruitless mulberry tree. If I were to do it again, I would NOT use a soft fruit wood. Alas, EmrysHenge at six months is already splitting at many points. However, that is Nature at work. If I were to build a purpose built woodhenge, I would use something like Cedar.

  3. Hello Nancy, to answer your question, four of the lintels are higher, the ‘four gates’ or to my way of thinking the ‘four sets of thighs’, which [hopefully ;)] correspond to the positions of rising and setting of the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice Sun. We also have a stone that somewhat resembles the ‘Heel Stone’ and I have that positioned behind the Summer Solstice Setting Sun Gate, so that the rising Summer Solstice Sun hits it full on in the morning. If you’d like, I will send you a photo of that, as well. It quite resembles the original, albeit smaller.

  4. Gazebo, eh? A henge with deniability! Well, we do what we have to do. 😉 The interesting feature here is the differing heights of the lintels. How many–is it 3 or 4 that are higher?Anyway, well, done and thanks for sending it in!

  5. Actually, it is Lake Balboa, CA, just north of Encino and west of Van Nuys… hoping my site orientation is correct, because I am a simple Archaeomythologist and not an Archaeoastronomer. It worked for the Summer Solstice, now awaiting the Winter Solstice. Ah, well, hoping to get some green in here with the rains, and something flowering to grow as well. We told the neighbours that it is a gazebo, no use in frightening the locals if you don’t have to 😉

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