“Tonehenge” in Massachusetts: Henging Inspiration in the Wake of the Flood!



One of the trilithons with another in the background, photo by permission of Pat

One of the trilithons with another in the background, photo by permission of Pat

Greetings, henge-O-philes! Welcome to another edition of Wow, People Sure Make a Lot of Henges! also known as Clonehenge. Today for your viewing pleasure we journey to Colrain, Massachusetts, where a couple of years ago, in August of 2011, a devastating storm by the name of Irene tore through, wreaking havoc. Among many things that were damaged and destroyed was the beautiful garden of Tony Palumbo and his partner Michael Collins.

Probably everyone here can guess the rest. In an effort to link art and the earth, and to express the grandeur of the place and what had happened to it, they ended up designing a new garden worthy of Clonehenge. This creation, affectionately known as Tonehenge after its designer, Tony, is the 77th addition to our List of Large Permanent Replicas!

For those who have a few minutes to spend, here is a video tour of the new garden. We include this in the post largely because in it Mr. Palumbo says one of our favourite words: trilithon! And you thought we just made that word up, didn’t you?

At just about 3 minutes in, Mr. Palumbo says, “As we look around, we can see the second arch. There’s an actual word for it. I don’t have it right now…trilithon or something. [a few sentences, and then…] And as we look around we see the rest of the Stonehenge area. It’s getting to be known as Tonehenge, but I love Stonehenge…

And there you have it. If any of you wags had doubts about this garden (which is 100 feet across, by the way) belonging in the Clonehenge blog, there is your proof. He loves Stonehenge, which we translate roughly as, ‘Stonehenge has used this man’s feelings and brain to reproduce itself yet again!

The whole story is more involved and interesting than we have room for here. You can read more about it and see more pictures on the Commonweeder blog, whom we thank for photo permission, on Mike and Tony’s own Green Emporium blog, and in this article in the Massachusetts Republican, which was sent to us as an actual newspaper clipping (!!!) by Carolyn Bradley, friend and family of the bloggers here at Clonehenge. (Eventually everyone we know gets sucked in. Stonehenge is very powerful.)

Tony’s vision was brought to fruition by the work and creativity of neighbour and stone artist Paul Forth, who chose the stones with care and made some subsequent creative decisions. May we all have such neighbours when we go to rebuild our gardens!

This is not, in the strictest sense a Stonehenge replica, but, like many others before it, is sort of a Stonehenge sculpture. We don’t always give them druids, but we happen to have a few druids lying around right now, dying for a good home, so, Score: 6 druids for this use of Stonehenge as recovery from disaster and symbol of rebirth. Bravo, gentlemen!

We have more new henges to bring to the table, but all good things take time! Until next time, sweet friends, happy henging!

Hidden Hengers of Mississippi: Stonehenge Contagion Hits the Deep South!

Peghenge, henge and photo by Felder Rushing

Peghenge, henge and photo by Felder Rushing

It has been cold here in Clonehenge Central. England has had snow, and the usual rude snow sculptures have shown up in our internet feed. But down in the state of Mississippi, it is warm and lovely, and people can do their gardening—and garden henging—all year long. So it should be no surprise to anyone that the Stonehenge virus has had its way with people there just as it has everywhere else.

Meet Mr. Felder Rushing, native of Mississippi, radio personality, eccentric garden pundit and–henge enthusiast! Last week we were taking a healthful stroll around the Internet just to get the kind of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise you can’t get if you confine yourself to the social networks, when we stumbled on, without crushing it, we might add, the henge you see above. Some might call it a clothespin henge, but Peghenge would be a more familiar usage for most of our readers.

From there one (healthy aerobic) click took us to to his eclectic page of henges, which starts with Stonehenge itself and goes on through Avebury (we approve), a number of familiar Stonehenge replicas, on to his own and a friend’s garden henges, and to Newgrange and the white horses, by which we mean the chalk horses cut into a few English hillsides. No sign of the Uffington, but we’re in a forgiving mood.

James McCormick's Stonehenge, from Rushing's website

James McCormick’s Stonehenge, from Rushing’s website

The picture above is a stone circle in the garden of one of his friends, James McCormick in Starkville, Mississippi. Rather nice, we think! True, there are lintels only in the center, and they’re in a circle, not a horseshoe, but the reference is clear, it is aesthetically pleasing, and we have learned it is astronomically correct. We award this little gardenhenge 5 ½ druids!

And Peghenge? It is tempting to award it a higher score for its outer lintels and the correctly-formed inner horseshoe, but, since this Felder Rushing is a famous gardener, writer, radio personality (his show is called The Gestalt Gardener), and speaker who also has a cottage farm in Shropshire, should we not hold him to a higher standard? Score for the peghenge is also 5 ½ druids! We hope, sir, that this will spur you on to even greater Feats of Henging Glory.*

Meanwhile, our huge staff of researchers, as well as our roomful of idea people and writers, are working on another post from the Deep South. Mark Cline, of Virginia’s Foamhenge fame, has dazzled the henging world with a new creation, a fibreglass Stonehenge in Alabama, rumoured to be guarded by dragons and Chinese warriors! It is new,and information is hard to come by, but we have enough to add it to our list of large permanent replicas.

The other one is a set of Stonehenge-related sculptures on an island in the Serbian city of Belgrade. The research on this one has taken so many turns, involving politics, a formidable sculptor, a soul-stirring sculpture garden that was once behind the prince’s palace and is now destroyed forever, and the like, that we’re having trouble getting the article small enough for posting. But our huge staff is up to any task and will persevere! Meanwhile, this, too has been added to our list of large permanent replicas, bringing the grand number to 75. This is a world of wonders!

And so, dear friends and readers, when you start to despair for the world, think of all of the people out there who shrug off their troubles and in the face of certain disaster decide to build another Stonehenge! The impulse to have a laugh outdistances everything else about human nature. You have to love us. Ish.So, until next time—happy henging!

*Note: We have been prevailed upon by the great Simon Burrow, recent winner of the End-of-the-World Clonehenge Contest, and venerated Hengefinder, among the oldest friends of the blog, etc., to reconsider the Peghenge scoring. So Mr. Rushing’s fine creation is now awarded 6½ druids! Use them well, sir.

Bonsai Stonehenge–Yes, It’s Salisbury But It Isn’t Plain!

photo courtesy of Salisbury Newspapers www.journalphotos.co.uk

No one does a Stonehenge like the locals! Above we see bonsai hengers (wouldn’t Bonsai Hengers be a great name for a rock band?!) and gardener/artists Tony Oswin & Wilf Colston with their prize-winning creation at the Salisbury Community Show recently–a charming Stonehenge model landscaped with bonsai trees and a bit of whimsy.

We have to say this is one of the finest and prettiest Stonehenge models we have seen! True, the landscape around it is not true-to-life, but we see no reason English Heritage shouldn’t run out and make it so. It would cost a great deal less than not putting in the tunnel and not putting in the new visitor centre has cost them so far!

The photo above, used courtesy of the Salisbury Bonsai Society, to which the gentlemen belong, shows the thought that must have been put into the Stonehenge section of the display. The stones themselves were cast in molds to make blocks all the same size and then hand carved with a knife and painted. No buying a little Stonehenge kit and quickly standing the plastic pieces in a circle for these fellows!* Care has been taken to make the assemblage resemble the original. We’re impressed!

Score: 8 druids! (New readers–no we do not believe druids built Stonehenge. Our scoring is a bit of a joke.) That’s very good for a small model. Mr. Oswin and Mr. Colson now have Clonehenge score bragging rights. That and £3 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Unless prices have gone up!

We want to thank Matt Penny, aka @salisbury_matt , friend of the blog, Salisbury and Stonehenge enthusiast, and perpetrator of the Salisbury and Stonehenge website for spotting this Stonehenge replica and sending us a link. We count on you, alert readers! Here’s a deal: you keep sending us Stonehenge replicas and we’ll keep wasting your time with our drivel! We promise.

We wish someone would start a serious site about Stonehenge replicas so that lovely ones like this would get their due from a thoughtful writer. But alas, it’s just us out here, I’m afraid, and we’re deficient in the genes that make one serious. They’re lucky we don’t live closer or we might have slipped in some mini-druids like those that mysteriously appeared at Babbacombe Model Village in 2005.

Our next post will bring our list of large permanent replicas to 65, and it’s another British one, so stay tuned! Until then, gentle readers, happy henging!

*You know we love you, Two Green Thumbs Gardens! 😉

Alton Towers, Through the Eyes of a Coaster Nerd

photos by renowned intertube sorcerer Clinton Montague (we think he implied permission?!)

Remember the Alton Towers post? Of course you don’t. It’s clear from how often people send us henges we’ve already posted that no one goes back and looks at old posts. So be it. We prefer to pretend we have a faithful following that has read every post since the beginning, and remembers each one and what we said about it–so play along, people!

For a slow, arguably too detailed, account of the development of the Alton Towers property from Iron Age Fort to hunting lodge to grand estate to public gardens to amusement park you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry here. Or not. The relevant phrase is “A building known as Stonehenge”. Well put. It doesn’t say anything like “a building that looks like Stonehenge”. There is a reason for that, as you can see.

But since you, faithful reader, remember our discussion of that from the first post, no need to go over it again. The interesting point here is that these photos are brought to you by Alton Towers’ unique (we think?) position as a mecca for roller coaster enthusiasts and those who seek out Stonehenge replicas (if such people exist. Surely they do–every other kind of person does!).

Mr. Clinton Montague a.k.a. @iblamefish kindly took these pictures for us, at our request, on what was actually a trip to sample and blog about Alton Towers’ rides. Very kind. We encourage readers to visit replicas we’ve posted and send pictures so we can do what we’ve done here and milk each one for a second or even third post!

By the way, we want to thank another reader and member of the Clonehenge Facebook group, Basha Cohen, for mentioning and linking to Clonehenge in her article Wild and Wacky Stonehenge Replicas at OpenJourney.com. She calls us “the complete listing”. We like that, but must demur–we know there are more out there yet to be found and posted.

Until then, though, we’re still your last best hope. As @Rafael_RNAm tweeted in April, in Portuguese, “Se vc ñ tem o q fazer, faça uma réplica de Stonehenge. Se tem menos coisa ainda, faça um blog sobre as réplicas.” Translation: “If you have time on your hands, make a Stonehenge replica. If you have way too much time on your hands, make a blog about them.

Happy henging!

Stonehenge Adventure Garden in Austria

photos from the Landgasthof Feichthub website

It has been a while since we found something to add to our list of large permanent replicas. Not only have we found one this evening but we’re delighted to add a new nation to the list. This Stonehenge garden is on the grounds of Landgasthof Feichthub country guest house in Austria.

A Stonehenge in the garden of a country inn may not sound interesting, but the designers and builders on this one have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They’ve placed a glass sun (we regret to say we have no picture of it!) 149 cm (almost60 inches) in diameter in the Stonehenge replica and surrounded it with minerals representing earth, air, fire and water, repeated 3 times so they represent the signs of the zodiac.

But that’s not all! A path around the Stonehenge with a diameter of 16 meters (about 52 feet) is used to represent the sun in a model of the solar system, with stone balls proportionally sized to represent the planets scattered about the garden. Of course it isn’t possible to make the distances proportional, but still we think this is a delightful bit of whimsy, used at no other replica we know of.

The Stonehenge itself appears to be built of sandstone of a similar colour to the Tasmanian replica and the one in Orem, Utah. It’s just a linteled circle with five or six uprights, but that’s better than a circle of trilithons, and this comes close to having Aubrey holes and a bank, sort of.

Score: 7 druids! That’s not for the structure alone but includes the educational and aesthetically-pleasing additions that provide several ways to contemplate the sun in its relationship to Stonehenge and its effects on our lives. The innkeepers seem justifiably proud of their Stonehenge, which was built by the stone design firm of Alfred Schnellnberger. (No, that is not misspelled–it’s just Austrian!) The inn may be his baby, too.

For a few more shots of the Stonehenge, check out this Youtube video, in German, of course, about stone building and design.

That’s how it is, folks. We thought (hoped?!) we’d run out of Stonehenges to post and then we run across this. We know there have to be more out there. Help us find them! Or just give us money and let us tour the world looking for them. Either one is fine with us!

Happy henging!


Werner Wick’s Stonehenge in Bavaria

bavarian SH 2photo from Markt Velden

Yes, another one for the Large Permanent Replica list! This one was masterminded by horticulturist and landscape gardener Werner Wick on the property of his business near Velden, Bavaria, Germany.

The Germans have their share of these things, don’t they? Let’s see, there was Stonehenge in der Oberpfalz, the one at the Deutsches Museum, the tiny one at Miniwelt and of course the one at Therme Erding (consistently one of our most popular posts but we suspect that’s more because of the words mandatory nudity in the title than because of a great enthusiasm for spa megaliths).

This is one of those quirky privately inspired replicas, which always have their unique aspects. It consists of just the five center trilithons and an inner horseshoe of smaller stones representing bluestones. A neat way to make a smaller structure and still have it be fairly accurate. And he has anchored the uprights in cement to prevent falls, just like they have in the original in modern times.

As far as we can make out from the translated page, the idea had been on Herr Wick’s mind for about 30 years before he built it with a friend’s help. A serious traffic accident from which he emerged unharmed seems to have spurred him on. Perhaps he was spared because his mission to build a Stonehenge replica had not yet been fulfilled!

Score: 7 druids. We like this sturdy homage to the megalith builders. May Werner Wick live many years in order to enjoy his creation!


Waterfall Stonehenge, A Gift for Your Garden

lame 2

photo from Opulent Items website

It’s not for every garden. But look: you do not need to erect huge stones in order to have “this aquatic Stonehenge replica” in your garden. Just assemble the metal encasement and fill it with the Mexican pebbles. Voila! Just like a Stonehenge trilithon but even better because there’s a pump cycling water through it to create a constant waterfall. Heh.

So what if it looks like a standing gabion? [Admit it–you learned a new word just then!] The website says: “The serene sights and sounds of the flowing waterfall is a gift to any patio setting. . . . Ideal if seeking very unique outdoor decor ideas.” It is very unique, and its sights and sounds is a gift.

This isn’t our first Stonehenge water feature. Remember this? After seeing this one, we almost feel we should have given that one another druid or two. In fact, if this weren’t called “Waterfall Stonehenge” we probably wouldn’t even be looking at it. But it’s good to have a post about something like this once in a while, isn’t it? Pointing out lameness can be fun if done in moderation.

Score:  3½ druids, and that’s generous. Not, we hasten to say, that it might not be just the special feature one needs for that certain garden (after all , it is only $5,500), and a miniature version might even be a charming touch for some of those miniature gardeners out there. You know who you are!

Miniature Stonehenge Garden

stonhenphoto from Two Green Thumbs website, with permission

Oh, Seattle, how we love you! From Washington State once again we bring you Stonehenge, this time in a tiny form. It is advertised by Two Thumbs Miniature Garden Center (Grow Your Own World). Their company policy: “If it’s not fun and cute,we don’t want anything to do with it!” And what’s more fun and cute than Stonehenge?

Janit from Two Green Thumbs tells us she used the mini-Stonehenge from Running Press, drilling and staking the pieces so they would stay in place. She adds that she has “since told countless other mini gardeners how to make their own. I suspect there are dozens in and around the States!” We don’t doubt it. We laud her for helping would-be hengers to realise their aspirations! And it is kind of cute, isn’t it, although we feel an urge to go in and add a bunch of fallen stones. You could always buy a second kit and fill in a little.

Leave it to the Stonehenge State to make it possible to put a henge in every pot! Score for this simple but charming take on the replica: 7½ druids, despite the lack of bluestones. Hurry–you still have time to set one up for solstice!

Stonehenge in Poland


photo from the Kurier newspaper

We don’t know much about this one, but we suspect there are hidden Stonehenge replicas like this scattered about in surprising places around the world. People get the bug or the thought, “I could build a Stonehenge in my garden!” We aren’t able to find them all, but let this stand for all the ones we’ve missed. We know there are hengers out there building or planning as we type this!

Here is all we can glean about where this henge is: “It is hard to find, hidden in the stands Krzakach, in one of podzdzieszowickich gardens.” We can’t help you with the pronunciation or meaning of that nice long word there. It gives us the strange feeling that the whole thing was written by WOL.

Clonehenge may go on hiatus for the weekend, so best wishes to all. Druids for this one, you ask? Oh, let’s say piec or szesc. These things need to be encouraged!