photo from The Esperance Express, showing Kim and Jillian Beale at the henge
Was ever an erection so eagerly awaited? Well, yes, probably, but still we have been watching these stones since almost before they were cut, so it is delightful to see them standing at last! This is the Stonehenge replica in Esperance Australia, made from the stones cut for the much ballyhooed Ross Smith replica that died, so to speak, in utero with the stones still in the quarry because of money problems.
Then we got news that some enterprising individuals in Esperance, a town in southwestern Australia famous for beautiful beaches and for things like birds and bits of Skylab falling out of the sky, were going to buy the stones from the nearby quarry and build their very own tourist mecca/modern monument. They got a discount–there isn’t a huge market for unused life-sized Stonehenge pieces. The names Kim and Jillan Beale started to float into view. (Yes, the Jillian Beale in that racy Rotary calendar, but that’s another story.)
Our last update came in February, assuring all that plans were going forward. Then apparently we missed an article in March, in which, well, here is a quotation from it: “Mrs Beale was confident StoneHengeEsperance would be more visually striking than the mysterious English prehistoric monument. “It will beat it hands down,” she said. “We hope it will become a major attraction for Esperance and WA. It will be absolutely fantastic.” ”
We could do a whole post just on that, discussing the merits of the spelling of StoneHengeEsperance, whether this is in fact “the world’s first full-size stone replica of Stonehenge” and just how likely it is that the new structure is more beautiful than and will beat the real Stonehenge “hands down”, but time and news have moved on and so must we. We trust that our readers are of the sort who can make up their own witty remarks in a pinch.
Today we are celebrating the long awaited construction of the monument and discussing instead the more recent article which begins promisingly with this sentence, “JILLIAN and Kim Beale’s construction of what is thought to be the world’s only life-size replica of the ancient Stonehenge Druid ruins on their 1,066 acre Merivale Road property has taken another step forward with the addition of a new outer circle.”
Let’s start with a discussion of whether this is the world’s only life-sized replica. No*. Then we go on to the phrase “ancient Stonehenge Druid ruins”. And when we are done LOLing we ask where did they do their research–on a forum for people who always dress in Renaissance Faire clothing? Someone needs to send a strikeforce into that sentence to take out the word Druid. Regular readers know, but we repeat: druids could not have built Stonehenge. They didn’t even arrive (or develop) in England until 1000 years after it was completed. And, for the conspiracy theorists, is there any hidden meaning in that 1066 number??
We have tried to read the rest of the article but can only conclude that the reporter misinterpreted her own notes when she wrote it. There is talk of “horseshoe stones” and “an outer circle of 19 trilithon stones, surrounded by a circle of 30 sarsen stones”. The right words are there but it doesn’t sound as if they are in the correct order.
All in all, what we see in the top picture looks very good, although the lack of lintels on what we can see of the outside circle naturally concerns us. Despite the strange reporting it is getting, we think the replica (we can’t bring ourselves to call it StoneHengeEsperance) will be awarded quite a few druids (our tongue-in-cheek scoring units) once we get a complete account and view of it. We’ll try to keep you posted, but if you see something about it before we do, please let us know. Meanwhile it is time we add it to the list of large permanent replicas.
Our thanks for alerting us again go to the lovely and talented @salisbury_matt , aka Matt Penny, who is still slogging away at SalisburyandStonehenge.net. Poor lad. And thanks to you if you have read all this way, or even just skipped down here from the beginning. Until next time, happy henging!
* Life-sized replicas other than the Montana replica linked above include the cement replica in Washington State, the Circle of Life in Connecticut (of granite as this one is), and the BBC’s Foamhenge, which, alas, no longer stands.