Big News: BBC Replica Trilithon Rediscovered—Just in Time for Clonehenge’s Sixth Birthday!

1996 concrete trilithon replica

1996 concrete trilithon replica

We are [please choose one: surprised/confused/incredulous/amused/shocked/spannered] to announce that today is the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Clonehenge blog!

Timothy Daw, BBC Wiltshire's Karen Gardner, and Julian Richards with the concrete uprights

Timothy Daw, BBC Wiltshire’s Karen Gardner, and Julian Richards with the concrete uprights

And to celebrate it, recently renowned Wiltshire farmer and long barrow builder Mr. Timothy Daw, along with well known television presenter and Stonehenge scholar, Mr. Julian Richards, have inaugurated a new and historic project: the resurrection of a 1990s BBC concrete replica Stonehenge trilithon! You can see the original completed concrete trilithon in the photo above.

Truth time: something in the above paragraph is not strictly true. Can you guess?  Okay, yes, it is the assertion that the project had anything at all to do with Clonehenge’s anniversary. It did not. However, it is such a lovely fantasy that we wanted to see it in print. [insert unicorn emoji]

But back to the truth. In the words of the increasingly famous Stonehenge caretaker Tim Daw,

“Twenty years ago Julian Richards led a programme where they dragged and erect a full size replica of the Great Trilithon of Stonehenge. The concrete stones were recently discovered to be in danger of being destroyed and so we have saved them and they are now at All Cannings Cross near the Long Barrow. Next year we hope to remake the programme using neolithic methods to raise it again, and leave it standing.”

The finding and transporting of the pieces of this trilithon has been such an event that BBC Wiltshire actually posted a set of pictures called Replica Stonehenge (!!!) showing the concrete “stones” being moved and transported with crane and lorries. The text reads:

the trilithon pieces at Cannings Cross Farm

the trilithon pieces at Cannings Cross Farm, photo by Andy Burns

A replica Stonehenge has been moved across Wiltshire. The giant concrete stones have been transported to Canning Cross Farm near Devizes. Farmer Tim Daw will use them to test the different theories on how the Neolithic monument was put together 4,000 years ago.

Only a few times in the six years of its existence has the Clonehenge blog covered actual Stonehenge replica news. There was the story of the pink Granite Stonehenge in West Australia, its stones being left at the quarry when the man who commissioned it ran out of money, and its subsequent acquisition by the Beales and installation on their cattle farm; and then of course there was, and remarkably still is, the only full-sized illegal guerilla henge, Achill Henge on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland. That one was supposed to be taken down immediately, but three years later is still standing!

And now we have this romantic story of the concrete trilithon lying in pieces in a car park since the 1990s, only to be discovered, claimed, and transported, with plans for its resurrection—on the Wiltshire farm of the discoverer of the missing Stonehenge stone parch marks, Stonehenge caretaker, and long barrow builder, the budding megalithic superstar himself, Mister Timothy Daw. (Is it true that he was asked to search for his ancestors on Who Do You Think You Are, where he hoped to discover that he was directly descended from the people who ordered the original Stonehenge built back in the Neolithic, but was dismayed to learn that in fact their most direct living descendant was one Simon Banton, who was of course far too modest and self-effacing to appear on television? Inquiring minds want to know!)

We are looking forward to next year, watching the progress as various transport methods are used to move the concrete stones, and the trials are filmed for television. (By then no doubt Mr. Daw will be forced to stop every few moments to give autographs, which could slow things down a bit. Haha, we certainly hope he is a good sport.) This is a wonderful project, and we thank all involved, for photos, information, and for giving our whole staff here at Clonehenge something to crow about as we complete our sixth year of nonsense. The smiles you see on all three people in the picture above are the smiles that Stonehenge replicas create wherever they are found. We have loved recording them and being party to this odd corner of human nature for so many years! We see no sign that henge building is slowing down or going out of style.

We know we haven’t been posting much here on the blog lately. Some people tell us they no longer have time to read blog posts and they now only track their Stonehenge replica news on our Facebook group, Facebook page, or on Twitter. Of the three, we would have to recommend the Clonehenge Facebook group, because the most action and up-to-the-minute reports take place there. But once in a while we’ll return here to record something special.

And until the next time comes, dear friends, we wish you some very happy henging!

Bouncy Stonehenge: Nothing Less Than the Culmination of All of Human Endeavor!

Screen shot from this BBC video . Don’t not watch it!

All of our faithful readers know that we are quiet and moderate in speech. We avoid hyperbole even if it takes the strength of ten thousand atom bombs, because we know that hyperbole is the greatest threat the universe faces. So when we say that this bouncy castle Stonehenge built by Jeremy Deller is the ultimate culmination of the entire history of human civilisation, nay, of everything that has happened since the Big Bang, you know you can believe what we say and repeat it without fear of embarrassment.

A bouncy inflatable Stonehenge.  We have been calling for an inflatable Stonehenge since at least our second (or was it third?) Spinal Tap post, in October of 2009, and for a bouncy Stonehenge since the Irish bouncy dolmen post, in July of 2011. And it appears that the universe, or perhaps Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, was listening!

One man in the video is asked. “Is it art?’ and answers, “For me–aye.  It’s as good as it gets, isn’t it?” Another fellow says he would like one in his back yard and the BBC presenter asks, “You would like an inflatable Stonehenge in your back yard?” and the answer is, “Yes, I would. Yes. Who wouldn’t?” (Italics are ours.)

Those two men may never have read the Clonehenge blog, but they are honorary friends of Clonehenge and would be given full member privileges if they ever visited the Clonehenge Private Club and (mini) Golf Course. They understand true greatness when they see it. No wonder the world is going to end in 2012. Mankind can reach no greater height than this!

We are not told in this video where this Stonehenge is right now [we are now told it is Glasgow, which leaves more questions, like–Why?], but apparently it will be traveling around the island of Great Britain during the Olympics. Happy to know that at least one interesting thing will be happening there in 2012! What a shame we can’t add this to our list of 72 Large Permanent Replicas, but that would require quite a lot of puncture repair kits!

Our hope is that eventually many of these bouncy Stonehenges will be made and placed in prominent places in cities, and back yards, around the world. Let’s hope they keep it to Stonehenge, though. No one wants a bouncy Rosslyn Chapel or a bouncy Angkor Watt, do we? ….

…. Or do we?! Hmmm. Taking comments on that.

At any rate, it is clear now that this is what English Heritage should have at the Visitors Center, with smaller ones available in the gift shop. As to score, well, it seems obvious that out of a possible score of ten druids, this one goes to eleven. It’s one louder!

P.S.: Our thanks to the Mike Pitts Digging Deeper blog for giving us a mention. He says “Good places to start to see some of these are at Wikipedia and – best of all – Clonehenge.” We wish we were humble enough to say he is wrong.

And so until next time, Clonehengians, happy henging!

The BBC Inflatable Trilithon–Bring on the Helium!

photo by Thelma June Jackson, used with permission.

Is it just us, or has there been a surge of Stonehenge-related news (ish?) lately? Of course when it comes to this obscure topic, it IS just us: Stonehenge-Replicas-R-Us! (Which it happens is the name of our new retail outlet, still in development… Okay, then, very early stages of development… Oh, all right, we just then made it up. Happy? Now stop interrupting!)

Anyway, this is the first, and the most earthshaking, of a few posts for which we have been forced to come out of retirement, which, we find, is much less restful than one might think anyway. We present to you, Gentle Readers, the fabled inflatable Stonehenge! It’s only a trilithon, but with the way Stonehenge has been reproducing around the world, a full Stonehenge is only a matter of time. Just lock this trilithon in a room with one of Spinal Tap’s inflatable touring trilithons and in no time there will be little inflatable Stonehenges hopping about the fields and meadows, looking adorable while American and Japanese tourists snap away on their cameras! Exciting.

Until then, this remarkable construction is being hauled around Great Britain–well, minus Scotland and Cornwall–as part of the BBC’s Hands on History tour, The Secrets of Stonehenge, for half term break.  Brilliantly, people have been kind enough to take pictures the same way they might for someone who had a legitimate worthwhile blog, but for us instead!

photo by the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, used with permission

Note how the “logs” in the top picture are being used to roll the fourth “stone” in the second picture. Children and presumably some adults* are permitted to try their hands at moving an inflatable megalith. Fun!

Of course, the real stones at Stonehenge are not light weight inflatables, but are huge, enormously heavy rocks. We don’t actually know that they aren’t hollowed out, though. Some, in fact, suggest that they’re filled with a very advanced sort of clockwork for which the Antikythera mechanism was just a mock-up, and that on December 21, 2012, a huge stone clown’s head will leap out of the ground in the center of the circle while the stones play, “Pop goes the weasel!” Frankly, it’s no loonier than much of what we hear said about Stonehenge, so who knows?

After all that blithering nonsense we come to the score. The thing these inflatables have going for them is that they are close to full size. Adds a full point. Some trouble has been taken to make them look rough and uneven. They are educational and can be touched by children… We award these trilithons 6½ druids! That is possibly the highest score we have ever given t0 a mere trilithon!(Meaning we can’t be arsed to check.)

The illusive inflatable Stonehenge finally appears on Clonehenge. We’ll post one again when it’s listed in next year’s Ann Summers catalogue. Finally inflatables will make it possible to live two great fantasies at once. Humph. And people say the future isn’t bright!

*Those who, unlike one adult we won’t name (but who rhymes with Feet Crastonbury), could be trusted to approach the inflatables without attempting to pop them.

NEWSFLASH!! As of April 19, 2012, the inflatable Stonehenge dream has been even more fully realised! Click here for our post on Jeremy Deller’s inflatable bouncy Stonehenge. Humbling to see mankind reach its highest purpose in our lifetimes, is it not?

Replica In the News: Strawhenge in Essex

strawhenge 2Sent in by alert reader PG, here is a strawhenge just reported today by the BBC. You can see the video of it being made here. Part of it falls over, but at the end of the video they compress the whole hour and twenty minutes it took to build it into 10 seconds. Fun!

We hadn’t seen a strawhenge in a while. Our thanks to the mystery contributor.

Score: 6 druids. It’s better than a set of trilithons, and we love to see one being made with heavy machinery for a change!

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