Solstice Again, Innit? Part the First!

wooden model made in preparation for the famous Icehenge in Alaska

When you are somewhat lazy-arsed, as we are, it helps a great deal to have friends who are not similarly handicapped. We have a number of friends who keep an eye to the news and alert us when they find new Stonehenge replicas, old ones, too, if there is a chance we haven’t seen them. Today, in honour of the summer solstice, 2012, one half year, a mere six months, until nothing happens and everyone is deeply shocked to find the world hasn’t ended after all and they are going to have to find a way to pay for all that stuff they put on their credit cards, [drumroll] we are going to award two of our alert friends and readers with the title of Hengefinder General, Extraordinaire. In this post we fete the wonderful ancient sites photographer, Mr. Peter Glastonbury of Wiltshire. No one has brought more henges to our attention or contributed more to the Clonehenge blog than this fine fellow, and we hereby thank and salute him!

The replica above is an example of the brilliant henges we have had from Hengefinder Glastonbury. It is a photo of a painted wooden model made for the crew that created the beautiful Stonehenge replica made of ice in Fairbanks, Alaska some years ago. In a message passed along to us, Martin Gutoski says of it, “A local artist made a wooden model of it at the architect scale of ¼” = 1’ for the ice carvers to use but it recently burned up with his house fire last spring.” Truly it was a thing of beauty!

Page of the June 22, 1898 issue of The Sketch

The item above is another of his recent contributions: two historical small replicas in an article entitled The Strange Story of Stonehenge, dating from the 1890s! We surmise that the top one, a replica of Stonehenge in recent times, may be one of Henry Browne’s cork models. The other, of a “completed” Stonehenge, appear to be made of wood and may be one that was on display at the British Museum or perhaps the Ashmolean. See–knowledge of Stonehenge replicas can be a scholarly pursuit! If you’re not careful. Which we are. So you needn’t worry! An interesting bit of this article is where the author mentions the theory that a sacred oak once grew in the very middle of Stonehenge. We hadn’t heard that one before.

Article from The Graphic, September 2, 1922

Hengefinder Extraordinaire Glastonbury also sent us this article with pictures of a Stonehenge model made by the author, H. N-Hutchison,  which is entitled What Stonehenge Probably Looked Like when Complete. Our favourite part of this one is near the end: “For reasons which need not be given here, the writer has ventured to put a small trilithon at the entrance, and two rather larger ones, one at each end of the horseshoe, to make it complete. … This arrangement seems to giove a finish to Stonehenge...” In other words, the fellow has added parts to Stonehenge that he thinks would make it better! We have mentioned before, but so long ago at this point that probably any of you weren’t even born yet, that even those who profess to be the greatest admirers of Stonehenge cannot seem to resist making little improvements in their reproductions of it. It is as if you took a picture of the Mona Lisa and then thought, She could be prettier, couldn’t she? and changed her features to look more like Charlize Theron.

Anyway, Hutchison says that the model in the pictures is of plasticene, but he made another of wood and donated it to the British Museum. And, no, it is not the same one that’s at the bottom of the other article. Small differences are evident to the seasoned eye of the Stonehenge replica expert, that is to say, ourselves.

The article ends, “I should like to see a full-sized reconstruction of Stonehenge made in concrete and set up somewhere close to Salisbury to show visitors what this wonderful monument was like in prehistoric times; and I am sure such a model would attract visitors to the ancient town.” Obviously, we’re all for that!! (And, yes, we know that not everyone believes that Stonehenge was ever finished. We are not interested in having that discussion here.)

So thank you to Mr. Glastonbury for his help with Clonehenge through the years. At least one time we were ready to quit the blog but kept going because he kept sending us replicas to post. He told us just today that he knows of a top secret Stonehenge replica project to be implemented some time in August, and he will bring us the news as it happens. More fun to come!

Happy summer solstice, everyone! And of course, happy henging!

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2 thoughts on “Solstice Again, Innit? Part the First!

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