It has been announced with great fanfare. Even a BBC article has announced the unveiling of the plans for this grand Stonehenge for the new millenium, its site only four miles from the original. The plans are unexpectedly elaborate, including a flooring of white quartz granite, a moat, gardens, and yurts for visitors who wish to spend the night.
Consider all of that, along with uprights that are to be of various colored stone types from around the world, eight gates, a white wall, and a visitor center and exhibition domes that will be built to look like Newgrange: and of all this the project leader, Colin Shearing said, “It’s going to look like Stonehenge as we believe it looked as it was new.” and “You can’t really experience how [Stonehenge] was when it was new because it’s old, so a new one would give you an opportunity to experience what our ancestors experienced when they went to the original one.”
By “experience what the ancestors experienced”, does he mean a simulation of the way things look when you take psilocybin mushrooms, as our ancestors probably did? Because this New Stonehenge is beginning to sound more like an elaborate American cemetery than like anything resembling the original Stonehenge and its surroundings.
Still, that doesn’t mean that Clonehenge doesn’t fully support this effort! We do, most emphatically. This is the most ballyhooed and trumpeted Stonehenge replica project of all time, or at least for all of the centuries during which the Clonehenge blog has been operational.
The build-up and fanfare so far has been sensational. The plans are unbelievably elaborate and posh. The work is being done to have an environmental impact study of the planned site completed. Only one major piece needs to fall into place. It’s not so major, actually. After all, it’s just money. That’s right, folks, they lack funding. And that’s where YOU come in. The site says,
“New Stonehenge is to be a Global Legacy Monument built to last 5000 years like Stonehenge itself.
The New Stonehenge project has now devised a strategy whereby 30,000 families from around the globe become the project’s founding families; the people who really make this project become a reality.”
This set of sponsors gets a brick of Preseli bluestone engraved with their names, or the names of their choice, and set into the wall around the monument. They and their descendants will have free access to the monument in perpetuity. They get a plaque to keep in their home, and, (drumroll), t-shirts! All for the tidy sum of £700. If you’re interested, the information can be found here.
We may seem to be making light of it. (That’s what we do.) But the fact is, if you’re looking for a way to commemorate your name or the memory of a loved one, associating it with a monument that might still be standing thousands of years ago is an uplifting way to go. These names will be seen by people who visit for concerts, festivals, weddings, and other events, or just to see the monument and gardens. This Stonehenge will be like a glorious steam ship steaming ahead, not across the sea but across time, carrying the memory of those who had the foresight and vision to see it built and secured.
IF it is actually built. That remains to be seen.
Someday we would like to see a replica built that is truly based on Stonehenge as we see it now, imitating the shape of each stone and extrapolating from that to just how the original builders saw it when it was complete. This is not that project. But a large Stonehenge replica/sculpture in Wiltshire, so near the original would be wonderful to see. Maybe we could have a Clonehenge party at its opening! As things develop with the New Stonehenge, we will keep you posted.
Until then, friends, happy henging!
(Please read Colin Shearing’s comment below for a better description and explanation than we had room for here.)