Henge Man Matt Rich: Is Henging a Hobby, a Calling, or a Disorder? Do We Care?


Henge Man, by Matt Rich

A special treat for solstice! If Matt had not existed, we would have had to invent him. But here he is and we are delighted!

We came across him on Facebook and saw he was dedicated to henging as we once were to seeking out hengers and henges wherever they’re hidden. There he was, selflessly posting henge after henge,  barely noticing the acclaim that followed each.

We began to realise, here is the person we have dreamed of, The Henge Master, the person who not only builds a henge or to but who lives to henge! Our many years of study of Stonehenge replicas and their builders, including the inimitable Simon Burrow, had led us to suspect such people might be out there, but it was still a thrill to see him in action. We got in touch, watched his posts, and inevitably, asked him for an interview to try to learn what makes him tick. We are grateful to say he was more than happy to oblige. Matt Rich lives in Leeds and is in his 30s.

CH: Hi, Matt. How did you first get interested in henging?

Matt: I first started making single torii henges out of mud on the school playing field when I was in primary school. The kids used to kick them down, but I just made more.

I didn’t know about Stonehenge at the time. I found out when one of the teachers asked me if my parents were hippies. I had no idea what she was talked about, so I said no (which is true). When I found out that the megalithic builders had beat me to it, I felt embarrassed. So I stopped. Later in art class I made one out of clay, but it exploded in the kiln. After that I stopped for many years. I started again about 2 years ago.

CH: What was your first henge and how did it come about?

Matt: My first real henge was Cheesehenge.

(CH note: Cheesehenges are a classic beginning henge.)

Matt: I have to be honest. I henge for fun. I enjoy it. I love the henge formation.

CH: Best reason to henge! Have you been to Stonehenge and if so, how many times?

Matt: I have been to Stonehenge. I was 10 years old and I didn’t appreciate it. I was bored. I was expecting a theme park. I would probably like it quite a lot if I go now.

CH: Do you enjoy seeing other people’s Stonehenge replicas or is it more interesting to you as a way of expressing yourself?

Matt: I love seeing other people’s Stonehenge or clonehenge replicas. I really like it when other people copy my henge. I have posted them in many groups and  I have inspired many other people to henge.

CH: If you could visit any large permanent replica, which one would you visit? Or is there one you wish you could build for people to visit?

Matt: I would like to visit the pyramids at Giza. I would like to make a skyscraper henge or a tree henge before I die.

CH: Anything else?

Matt: I need to tell the henge story.

In September 2014 I purchased some ready-cut cheese from Marks & Spencer. I was trying to think of a post for The Boring Group [on Facebook], when suddenly I decided to make a  Henge. I posted a picture of the Henge to the group and I received 100+ likes and many comments. I also posted Change Henge to The Very Boring Group [also on FB] where it got 401 likes. A couple of weeks later I made Sock Henge and posted it to both groups. This also got many likes in both groups, but in The Very Boring Group, many people started to copy me.

At one one point one in four posts was a henge post. In the end Henges were banned under rule number 27. At the same time The Boring Overlord, who created The Very Boring Group, made a group called, ‘Will It Henge?’. I was made admin of this group along with 3 other people, we called ourselves Druids. I was not a big fan of the rules in, Will It Henge? so I rebelled and I was removed as admin by Dan The Unhenger. I later quite the group and made my own page called, This Is My Henge. My page did quite well generating nearly 2 thousand likes. I also continued to post my henges to The Boring Group and still do. In The Boring Group my Henges are liked by many people, and every time I post a Henge I get many likes and comments.

I recently discovered the Clonehenge group where I met [you] The rest is history.

Yes, folks, Matt posted so many henges to one group that all henges ended up being banned!

To finish, rather than say more words, which you will just skim through anyway and not really read, because, seriously, who has time???, we’ll finish with a few sets of thumbnails of Matt’s prolific output of henges. When we started this blog many years ago, we did not even dare to think that such an array and variety of henges could exist, let alone be built by one person. We applaud Matt and his one-man championing of the henging craft! May he live long and henge often!

And a very happy solstice to all of you, winter or summer, depending where you are. Until next time (and we do have a treat in store!), we wish you happy and fruitful henging!

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Wine Rack Henge

Posted by Simon

It is the curse of the henger.  I was building a new wine rack for the hall closet and the nicely shaped maple pieces suddenly started talking to me.  And what they were saying was “we are a henge.”

And they became a henge.

Then the spirits intervened (it is a wine rack after all) and the sunlight reflected of the car window shone directly through the southern trilithon.

A clear message that the Mayans were wrong and the world will go on after the winter solstice.

This is my first entry in the Clonehenge End of the World Festival contest as announced on October 23, 2012.  Life is Good.

Thank you Nancy for letting me “guest blog” on Clonehenge.  I feel like I am typing on sacred ground.  Well not exactly “sacred ground” maybe “sacred pixels.”

You can see more of my hengish contributions here.

Update on Esperance–Australia’s Pink Stonehenge Going Forward!

Photo from the Esperance Express.

This is an update to our post (Stonehenge Recycled, Australia Tries Again) on the proposed Stonehenge replica in Esperance, a town on the south coast of Australia. (Claim to fame? When pieces of Skylab fell there in 1979, the town of Esperance charged the United States for littering.) Our thanks to friend of the blog Matt Penny, aka @salisbury_matt,  once again, for sending us the link to this article.

It doesn’t sound as if any stones have yet been erected, but the article does say, “According to Mr Beale the site has been soil-tested and initial works have begun in working out where the stones will go. It is hoped the project will be finished late March to early April.” So plans to erect the stones must be in place. Right? We hope.

Of course there appear to be worries about pagans worshiping there (Oh, no, Trev, someone is honouring the earth again! Can’t have that, Nige!), as if pagans will only worship in your area if you build a Stonehenge for them. But the couple doing the building reassures the locals that Stonehenge may not have been a pagan place of worship at all (Whew!), so all is well.

For us, the good news is simply that the project seems to be going forward. Esperance will soon be home to “the world’s only life-size granite replica of Stonehenge.” (Apparently they don’t consider Rothberg’s Circle of Life in Connecticut a true Stonehenge replica, which is kind of true.) We are eager to welcome number 67 to our list of large permanent replicas! Just hopethey don’t charge the U.K. for littering!

Post script: Esperance, Australia is also famous among “a-flock-alypse” followers as the site of at least two mass bird deaths a few years ago. Many people believe the deaths had to do with high lead levels, while others insist the cause is still not known.

Icehenge, Fairbanks’ Ephemeral Crystal Vision


cover of July, 2008 issue of American Surveyor magazine

Oooh, this is a good one! *rubs hands together* In March 2007 a group of people, some of them surveyors, built this Icehenge for the 41st annual Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference in Fairbanks, which happened to fall at the same time as the Ice Alaska Ice Art Championship competition. Over 100 blocks of ice were used to create a full-sized replica of the inside of Stonehenge, using a pair of arcs of low posts to suggest the outer ring of sarsens.

Let’s see:  Inner bluestone circle? Check! Trilithon horseshoe? Check! Inner bluestone horseshoe? Check! Altar stone? Check! Okay so there are no Aubrey holes or ditch and bank but, people, these builders did their homework. We can subtract a bit for incorrect stone shapes and missing elements and still have a lot of druids left over for this henge!

icehenge-night1Click through this thumbnail (photo by Tula Belton) to see the American Surveyor article pdf with amazing pictures. And check out the Ice Alaska website for another set of pictures.  We like it that, because the sculpture would not live to summer solstice, they decided to orient it toward the sun position at noon on vernal equinox.

Yes, we’re effusing–so sue us. We don’t run across a Stonehenge replica like this every day. (In the future perhaps . . . ?) Score: 9 druids for this huge ice (megapagic?) monument. More, please!

Finals Week Henge, Pasadena CA 2005


photo by David Dow, with permission

One of the many motives for building a henge, as we saw in the Snowhenge of the Antarctic post, is for purposes of supplication. We suspect that this temporary henge built at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) for finals week a few years ago may have had such a motive, although whether the goal was good marks or just the end of the *&%$# semester we cannot say.

It has a nice look and at first we misunderstood it to be a permanent installation. The material used appears to be white boxes of some sort. In the photo at this link, (from there you can see a few more photos) you can see that the ‘stones’ were quite large. The representation is overly simple, but then it was built by freshmen. The fire in the center was a nice touch.

Score: 6 druids for thinking big, making it fun and giving it a little ambience!


potato henge and photo by Captain Henge

The International Virtual Henge-Fest was held at the beginning of 2007, and while it was on an extremely small scale, wouldn’t it be fun if this sort of thing would catch on? Entries included a bog roll (‘toilet paper roll’ in American) henge, a CD henge, a people henge, a Tardis henge and more, all pictured at the link above.

Is it lame?” the original announcement read. “Only if you’re sober!” it declared But even sober people might enjoy competitive henging once in a while. We would certainly enjoy seeing the results.


Tardis henge and photo by Robbie Bonham

“Everybody make and bring a henge!” isn’t the worst thing you could put on a party invitation. You never know what you might get! We award 7½ druids to Captain Henge and the Henge-Fest hengers for good henges and a great idea. May their numbers multiply!

Send your holiday (or other) henge photos to clonehenge @entermail.net, removing the space before the @, and we will post our favourites.

Montana’s Stonehenge: Big Sky


photos by Bob LeBlanc, with permission

Montana has the kind of landscape that  just begs for a Stonehenge replica, but that requires someone with the henge-building bug plus the space and money needed  to implement it. Could it be that the land itself lured in the well-to-do, brilliant inventor Jim Smith, who just happened to have a friend in the stone/masonry business? Voila! Big Sky Stonehenge!

This replica stands on a private golf course in northwestern Montana that isn’t open to the public. It did attract some interest among the crowd who use Google Earth to scan the earth for odd and interesting things, but there’s  really not anything mysterious about it beyond the Clonehenge Principle: that strange something that impels people to build Stonehenge replicas.montana-fireworks2

Montana’s Stonehenge, on a golf course near Crystal Lakes, is made of limestone blocks, with great care taken to match the original in size and proportion. Some say it is the most exact copy of all the replicas, but as connoisseurs would point out, many criteria exist beside the sizes of the stones and the proportions of the layout. Things like the ditch and bank and the Aubrey holes seem to be missing as far as we can tell from the gallery photos, and certainly the shapes of the stones were not copied as closely as they were in the cardboard replica or the U. K. Foamhenge.

Nevertheless, this is a beautiful henge. If you can, be sure to look over the gallery at the underlined link above. Score: 8 druids for this stirring structure!