Stonehenge Cake at Stonehenge! Centenary Day Has Arrived!


From @EH_Stonehenge on Twitter:
“No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, there are two monuments at Stonehenge today. One is a giant cake fit for 2,500 hungry guests!

Look at this! (And yes, we include the obvious rain in that demand.) Look at the lichen on those lintels! Look at the shapes of those stones, including the little bumps and creases! The three-lintel stretch and Stone #56! This has to be the most accurate Stonehenge cake ever (and we’ve heard it includes spiced apple and blackberry cream, or similar. We will look into this and report back with corrections to that crucial information). And there it is, with Stonehenge in the background! *sigh* Perfection.

Not far away, at the Visitor Centre, Jeremy Deller’s inflatable bouncy Stonehenge is inflated and ready for bouncing. What a day for Stonehenge and English Heritage, yes, but more importantly, what a day for Stonehenge replicas! How we wish we were there, gentle readers.

Reason for the celebration? On this day, 100 years ago, Cecil and Mary Chubb gifted Stonehenge to the nation. It hasn’t been perfect. There is reason to doubt, as Mr. Tim Daw so eloquently makes the case. And the tunnel threat could soon ruin some important landscape around it, as prominent archaeologist and Stonehenge expert Michael Parker Pearson points out.

Still, we are a humble blog about Stonehenge replicas, sitting safely in the warm and dry an ocean away from the festivities and for now we are enjoying the clonehenges associated with this celebration! Congratulations to all, including everyone at English Heritage, and may Stonehenge continue to reign in the hearts and minds of people around the world!

(And inspire them to build more and better models of it!)

Kiss the stones for us!

Clonehenge Goes to Stonehenge: Investigating the Source of the Plague!

Stonehenge—Warning: NOT A REPLICA!

(Warning: this is NOT A REPLICA !) Stonehenge photo by Pete Glastonbury, used with permission. 

Well, the word is out, so we may as well say it here: the entire staff of is headed for the UK and, against the justifiable objections of everyone at English Heritage (probably), will be visiting Stonehenge itself in early June!

Despite the well-known dangers of brain infection that we have documented here on this blog for many years, we have decided that, for the sake of the future of mankind and, indeed, of the entire planet and all of its living things, it is nothing short of our duty to investigate the source of the contagion that is spreading little Stonehenges across the globe. So on an undisclosed day in the next few weeks, we will don our hazmat suits, or possibly a mack and Wellies, and approach the dreaded structure that so many foolish and unsuspecting tourists willingly view in the course of a year.

Thank you. Thank you. Yes, we deserve that thundering applause for our courage and self-sacrifice, but of course we are far too modest to admit it! We are, it is true, still awaiting our funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as our funding from the World Health Organisation, but we’re certain they will come through.

Miniature Stonehenge Model in a Tin, as sold at the Visitor Centre

Miniature Stonehenge Model in a Tin, as sold at the Visitor Centre

While there we hope to investigate stories we’ve heard of numerous Stonehenge replicas, large and small, sold at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, including a particularly close inspection of certain chocolate trilithons of which we have been hearing ominous rumours!

Stonehenge of chocolate trilithons by @SchPrehistory on Twitter

Stonehenge of chocolate trilithons by @SchPrehistory on Twitter

Is it possible that EH or certain shadowy figures associated with the World Heritage Site are complicit in the plot to cover the earth with bad Stonehenge replicas by bringing in millions of tourists to contaminate their minds and then have them take home contagious gifts to families and friends? To find out the truth, we will stop at nothing, even including eating chocolate! It is a tough assignment, but we reluctantly and humbly accept it.

While in the environs, we hope to see other Stonehenge replicas and possibly Avebury and Silbury replicas, too. And the real ones as well. We will report back to our vast but quiet (very very quiet, but we know you’re out there! You are, aren’t you?) fandom.

So wish us luck in our hazardous endeavour. If you never hear from us again, well, you may assume we’re just being as lazy as always!

Until next time, gentle readers, happy henging!

Most Accurate Digital Model Ever: Now There’s No Good Excuse!

photo by English Heritage, but found here

A brief much more sensible post. We know last week’s was less than optimal. We will try to be less silly today.

Won’t be too difficult because we have only a simple news item to report from the English Heritage website: “A detailed survey of every stone that makes up Stonehenge using the latest technology, including a new scanner on loan from Z+F UK that has never before been used on a heritage project in this country, has resulted in the most accurate digital model ever produced of the world famous monument.” There is also a video that we wanted to imbed here but couldn’t, a preview of the scan results.

The news item goes on: “With resolution level as high as 0.5mm in many areas, every nook and cranny of the stones’ surfaces is revealed with utmost clarity, including the lichens, Bronze Age carvings, erosion patterns and Victorian graffiti.

This project is significant for us, of course, because there is now a super-accurate model of Stonehenge for people to use when creating their own replicas and for us to use for comparison when judging replicas. Of course we wonder things, like–did they just scan the stones or did the scan the ground, too, so that everything is place in exactly the right place and at exactly the right angle? No mention of that here. Maybe later.

The last paragraph of the page at that link (which we are sure you clicked on!) implies that some of the information may be used to make a replica for the future visitor center. When that happens,we will be sending out a plea to our minions for pictures of that replica to post here.

But for now we just wanted to keep you informed of the latest news in Stonehenge models and replicas. Thank you for visiting.

To tell you the truth, we never suspected when at the age of 19 we hauled those stones out there and tipped them up under cover of night, how interested, even obsessed with them people would eventually become. We thought for a while we might one day come out and admit the hoax, but with the tourism and giving jobs to archaeologists, who, it must be admitted, need something to do, the whole idea of “ancient” Stonehenge has taken on a life of its own. We may never publicly admit that it was just a lark we pulled after a friend bragged of building Glastonbury Tor and placing that cheap folly on top.

Oops! Getting off on a tangent again. We don’t want to go blathering on about the past like an old person. Can’t imagine anyone being interested. Cheers, and, until next time, happy henging!

Pinhole Stonehenge Model: It’s All About The Car Park

photos by Bethany de Forest, used with permission

The idea for this work started when I saw an aerial picture of Stonehenge and noticed that the parking space is bigger than the monument itself. Tourist-horror!

Bethany de Forest (lovely name!), the pinhole photography artist who made this nicely rendered model, is not the first person to notice the problem with the Stonehenge landscape as it stands today. English Heritage (EH) itself says, “The dignity of Stonehenge is severely compromised.” (more on this below)

But while EH has dithered, with frequent changes of status for the project of building the new visitors’ center and altering the landscape, Ms. de Forest has gone ahead, as artists will, and created engaging art from the cognitive dissonance between the tacky car park and related facilities on one hand, and the ancient and mystical world treasure that is Stonehenge on the other.

What is the question we’re waiting for, class? Yes, you over there in the “Give Me That Old Time Religion” t-shirt with a picture of people dancing around Stonehenge–Very good. The question is, what is pinhole photography? You can find a very thoughtful explanation by Bethany de Forest here. Or you can read ours as follows: Well, you kind of like, stick a hole in something, ya know? And then ya like put it in a little box, then make a little model, then you, like, let the light in or whatever. And then it looks like Stonehenge. Or, like, whatever, ya know?

We’re thinking of going into technical writing. Ms. de Forest (no relation to Bones from Star Trek) tells us of this particular model, “The model is made in a mirror-box of about 150x150m in contour. Materials I used for my Stonehenge are Styrofoam, flock-grass, sand mixed with wood glue, led-lights, model cars. cotton wool and color foils (for the sky).

We’re pretty certain that 150x150m measurement was a typo, but then her website does say that, “Being a pinhole photographer, Bethany’s view of the world is quite deformed.” AND she lives in Amsterdam, so all bets are off.

The picture at the top is the finished product, but we like all of the pictures on her Stonehenge page. Her process is fascinating. (Read this and you’ll see!) This is one our favourite small Stonehenge models of all time. She may not have included details like the ditch and bank, but she makes up for it with the car park. And the Stonehenge itself has the feel of accuracy and that grey huddled look that so few hengers manage. She has captured or rather conjured an indescribable feeling in the final work. Score: 7½ druids! (See the comments for Simon’s appropriate suggestion on scoring.)

As for English Heritage, the proposals given on their site for returning to Stonehenge some of its dignity sound brilliant, in our not-nearly-as-humble-as-it-should-be opinion. That nearby overly-large car park would be gone. Whether any of those changes ever happen is another matter. We got stuck in buffering limbo just trying to see the last 30 seconds of the EH video on that page. It may be an omen.

Someone said to us that as December 21, 2012 approaches, more and more people will be compulsively building Stonehenges. Apparently it has to do with vibes coming out of the earth and others reflecting back from the future or something. We don’t understand all of that, but we warn everyone to remain alert. The Stonehenge brain virus is pandemic, and so far the medical profession is treating it as if it is a tick disease, by which we mean ignoring it altogether. No one is safe.

But if it should get to you, then we wish you, until next time, happy henging! (And send pictures!)

Stonehenge Film Clip: How the Stones Were Rearranged (with model)


We present this link via the ever alert and helpful Pete Glastonbury–a film clip about Stonehenge, showing how the stones were moved with heavy machinery in the 20th century.  We post it primarily for the Stonehenge model, glimpsed briefly shortly before half way through. The stones look accurately proportioned and shaped, what we can see of them. This could have gotten a tidy bunch of druids (The Tidy Druids–great name for a band!)  if we could see the whole thing.

Where is it now? Did anyone keep it? How many of these things are there, anyway??? And, most important–are we the only ones counting? Happy henging and enjoy the springtime (or autumn if you live in upside-down world!)!

Snowglobe Time!

photos, slightly modified, from Stonehenge Collectables, with permission

Last year on Christmas we posted a photo of the English Heritage Stonehenge snowglobe, the one sold in the shop near Stonehenge. So it seems fitting as the holiday approaches to post another snowglobe somewhat less official, but certainly modeled roughly after Stonehenge, as proven by the trilithons and the packaging, which includes this bit of art:

There can be no doubt that is Stonehenge. As Bob at Stonehenge Collectables says, “Had the graphics artist who produced the artwork for box and label created some stones graphically and not used an identifiable view of Stonehenge taken from the south, looking north, any commercial connection to Stonehenge could be disavowed.” True except, as we said, for the trilithons, which you won’t find in any other ancient stone circle we know of.

We’ll give this 5½ druids, partly for that little walkway spiraling up the base toward Stonehenge. It would be six if they’d used something white instead of that clear plastic glitter. Don’t they know that’s for unicorns?

We”ll end with this photo of last year’s and this year’s globes, and a warm wish for a joyous Yule season for all of our readers, wherever and whoever you are, whatever you believe, and whoever you love !

[And for extra holiday fun from last year, click here to see the Stonehenge model at Babbacombe Village while decorated for Christmas last year.]