Goodwood Revival Stonehenge: White-robed Druids, Cardboard Obama, and Then We Digress!

Stonehenge in Sussex, at the Goodwood Revival.

Stonehenge in Sussex, at the Goodwood Revival.

A Stonehenge replica was built for the Goodwood Revival, an annual festival of motor racing in the mode racing’s heydey, in the middle of the last century.* We don’t know much about this replica: what it was made of, just whose idea it was, but here is some promotional text from the Goodwood Revival website:

“You can’t just build a full-scale replica of Stonehenge for no reason, so if you can’t build one in the 50th anniversary year of the founding of Britain’s Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids when can you do it at all?

Yes, we’re continuing Goodwood’s tradition of stunning displays and authentic set dressing with the most extreme example to date, in the shape of a magnificent Stonehenge installation at the entrance to the Rolex Drivers’ Club.

Commissioned by Lord March to be larger than the original (for greater visibility as there will be more people at the Goodwood Revival in September than lived in the entire UK 5,000 years ago), the installation will also be a celebration of the pre-historic monument’s 99 years in safe hands, after it was bought at auction in 1915 by Cecil Chubb for £6,600 (£500,000 in today’s money).”

An article published during the Revival said,

“Sussex or Salisbury Plain? When the sun rose this morning you could be forgiven for wondering as the first rays of a beautiful September morning illuminated the famous stones of Stonehenge.

Well it was at least a very fair representation of the world famous monument. Complete with a host of white-robed Druids. And one cardboard cutout of Barack Obama…

A druid and President Obama, with possibly an altar stone behind them

A druid and President Obama, with possibly an altar stone behind them

Druids, but no virgins, at least! The druids were actors, and the cut-out was a reference to the U.S. president’s recent visit to Stonehenge. Listen: do you think this could be a new trend? Where once there were Easter Island heads (called moai) placed in or near Stonehenge replicas, will there now be representations of US President Barack Obama?? Stay tuned. We’ll be monitoring this for you around the clock!

At any rate, having a look at the Stonehenge itself, we see that although the entrance trilithon is much too wide, the stones are realistic, and it appears that the three lintel stretch of the outer circle may have been included. This looks to be an exceptionally good replica as far as it goes—true, no bluestones or inner trilithon horseshoe—but capturing the general shapes and look of the old stones as they have counts for a lot. And as you all know, we have a weakness for the sheer ridiculousness of the druid connection, not to mention a cardboard cutout of, well, anyone, really. That’s new in henging.

Score: 8 druids! We still question whether it is actually larger than the original, but why quibble? The real question is, where is it now?? Was it sold, stored, shipped to the White House? True, probably not, but just think how it would look on the lawn there! Come to think of it, Buckingham Palace could use a Stonehenge… How about Red Square? And who built this? Are they building more? Inquiring minds want to know.

Before we go, the mention of moai reminded us of a crucial but unrelated issue to chew over. How many of you use or have used emoji? You know, those little pictures 🍯 🚀🎩 that people pepper their online conversations with? We have discovered an abominable fact: Apple’s, and perhaps every company’s, emoji include an Easter Island head 🗿, but do not include any kind of Stonehenge image!!! Who makes these choices? We mean, does that seem right to you?? More importantly, how can we get it fixed? Your advice is welcome!

And people say we don’t address important issues on our blog! This is one that’s worth marching in the streets for. But until then, or until the next time, gentle readers, happy henging! 👽

*Thought: wouldn’t the Cursus actually work better for racing?

 

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