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!)

How Can You Bring Stonehenge into Your Life? Let Us Help.

photo from

So many people wonder (apparently), “How can I bring Stonehenge into my life?” Luckily for them, there are so many ways! Above you see Muji’s Mysteries in a Bag, a small wooden set that includes not just Stonehenge but a pyramid, the Sphinx, the Parthenon, Nessie, one o the Nazca line drawings, and, oh yes!, Easter Island heads or moai. Moai, despite coming from the other side of the world, are associated with Stonehenge replicas with alarming frequency.

We quote‘s comments, “Forget Stonehenges in danger of being crushed by a dwarf; now you can have a Stonehenge in danger of being swallowed by a toddler. [And yeah, it’s worth noting that all these things have small-to-tiny pieces. Personally, I worry less about easy-to-swallow than I do about choke hazard, but either way, heads up.]” We see the tiresome crushed by a dwarf reference all the time, this fellow used it well, in our (not so) humble opinion.

Another way to acquire a Stonehenge for your home or business can be found on Amazon (what can’t?). This piece is advertised as a “StoneHenge 180cms Lifesize Cardboard Cutout” but, let’s face it, 180 cm is not half the height of the shortest sarsens and this is just a trilithon. (StoneHenge–capitalisation of that H grates a little, doesn’t it?) The most striking thing about this Stonehenge is the £34.99 price for cardboard, even if it is “photo-quality” and has a “fold-out strut to the rear, which means its entirely self supporting”. Not everyone who has a strut to the rear is entirely self supporting…

This is another children’s Stonehenge, this time produced with the help of someone who actually knows something about Stonehenge, Mr. Julian Richards (We’ve mentioned him before, here. This is a clever book with good information to help you introduce your child, or someone else’s, to Stonehenge. (It almost hurts us when something is too good to make fun of.)

And this is a resin Stonehenge trilithon replica, 8 cm high and painted to look, not like stone, but, curiously, like metal. We spotted it on ebay some time ago, but its time has since expired. Striking looking.

No scores in this post. We’re just biding our time until our reader in New Jersey sends us the photograph we’re waiting for. We also have a nice pinhole picture Stonehenge model, complete with parking lot, in the works. People are making Stonehenge replicas much faster than we can post them.

Other ways to bring Stonehenge into your life, of course, many of which we have posted here in the past, include pre-made and make-it-yourself models, jewellery, cakes, small garden henges, photographs and more, including, of course, subscribing to Clonehenge or following it on Twitter or Facebook. When we remember we post a foodhenge to Twitter on Fridays.

There you have it. We managed to cop out and strike 4 items off our lengthening list at one blow. Someone recently told us that they think numbers of Stonehenge replicas will increase faster as we approach December 2011.  We need a young padawan. Does anyone want to send us their child to have him or her learn the Stonehenge-replica-posting trade? Calling for a Clonehenge apprentice! We promise to pay as much as we pay ourselves.

The New Jersey photo has just come in. Look for it next week. Until then, as always, happy henging!

Let Me Tell You About My Stonehenge (Model Kit)

Our own photo

Recently we were pleased to receive our very own Stonehenge model kit from the Spanish company Aedis Ars. Apparently the post took its good old time getting it here, as it had been sent as much as two months ago, but all’s well that ends well, as they say, and here it is at the Clonehenge offices.

The set is quite impressive. It comes with a nice little history of the building of Stonehenge  and a large poster with pictures and diagrams showing how to assemble the kit. This is not a ready-made kit that requires only that you set the stones upright, but a kit for a serious hobbyist, preferably someone with a shed and extra work table where the set can remain while the modeler works at refining and constructing it over time. It seems perfect for the sort of British hobbyist who spends much of his time at the allotment or in a shed in the back garden, taking pains to perfect the finest detail in anything he fiddles with.

In other words, the end result would completely depend on how much time and finesse one wants to put into it. So far, I am sorry to say, ours remains in the box. Still, it looks like a fine model kit, with key details included.

For example, although the base provided is only big enough to include the main circle at Stonehenge, the construction poster shows an expanded view including the positions of the Slaughter Stone, the Heel Stone, Station Stones, and the Z, Y, and Aubrey Holes with distances and dimensions given, so that if said eccentric enthusiast wants to make his own expanded base in order to include more of the landscape, the information and extra stones he would need are there. We like to think that Clonehenge had something to do with that bit. If you know otherwise, please allow us our modest delusions of grandeur.

We can’t score this kit as we do complete replicas, but if we replace our usual druid scoring, as a set we would give it as many as 8½ anoraks. If we ever get our model made, we’ll post a picture. But don’t hold your breath. The new Stonehenge visitor center will probably be built first!

Many thanks to Aedis Ars for our complimentary kit. Nice to get a little loot for all of our thankless labour over the keyboard! When blogging about Stonehenge replicas becomes a lucrative business (any minute now), we’ll have an employee built the model (and we’ll expand those offices). Until then, gentle readers, happy henging!

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!)!

Fostering Childhood Henge Addiction and Practicing the Craft(s)…

photos from

As we know, not everyone is content to have Stonehenge an ocean or even a few miles away. The many ways of supplying your Stonehenge fix include virtual Stonehenges, large private Stonehenges, large public Stonehenges, pre-made fabricated mini-Stonehenges and then there are the homemade mini-Stonehenges. Where there is so great a need, teachers are bound to spring up. This one caters especially to the younger set of henge addicts, setting them up for a lifetime of henging!

These instructions do several things right, enough so that we forgive them for calling it, “The Stonehenge.” First, they go into the whole lith, monolith, trilithon complex of words, thus reducing embarrassing spelling errors for those children who may grow up to the noble profession of Stonehenge replica blogging. We went for many posts before a friend pulled us aside and reminded us that it isn’t spelled trilothon. (Bright red-faced smiley and lawks!)

They also explain the lintels and there’s this nice little moment when their colouring the salt clay where they simply say, “Color your clay or dough by adding a bit of black acrylic paint or poster paint. Add a tinge of blue if you like.” (Our emphasis) They don’t mention bluestones, but that they throw that in, even though it’s for the sarsens, is nice. They also discuss the trilithon horseshoe at the bottom of the page, for the advanced neophyte henger. Not bad!

So we’re going along, showering them with adoring approval when what do we see? Say it ain’t so!! Yes, they are moai! Groan. Now many of our multitude of readers may have joined us too recently to remember, but the association of Stonehenge and moai is kind of a pet peeve of ours. True, in this case they are at least on separate pages, but this has opened old psychological wounds and we are now curled up in the fetal position dictating this to the cat!

Score: 6 druids! We like that it’s instructions for kids. Everyone should know several ways to create a Stonehenge in a pinch!

That’s it for now, so until next time, happy henging! AND SEND TUNA!!!!

Aedes Ars, New Stonehenge Model for Sale, Made in Spain!

photo from the aedes ars website, used with permission.

We should have held out for a bribe! For the first time in our two-plus years of folly, a company contacted us in advance to announce the release of a new Stonehenge model. Did we maximise? Did we monetise? No. We’re just doing another post for free, losers that we are.

The kit’s dimensions are listed as 280 x 280 x 70 mm., about 11 inches square, for those who think in old units. Pretty small. All of the 121 pieces are fine quality ceramic fired at 800° C.

We’re told by the people at Spanish manufacturer aedes ars, “The main work with this kit (different of the rest of our products) is to scrape the surface of the pieces to make them irregular and to let the clay colour mix appear in the surface.” So they’re going to some trouble to make the stones look suitably old and stony, always a good sign. They haven’t quite got their English right, but we don’t score on that. Our Spanish isn’t that great, either, a decir la verdad.

What we don’t know yet is how much it’s going to cost, but the company seems very proud of this Stonehenge model, as it is pictured on the cover of their latest catalogue. So, how shall we evaluate it? Our only other commercial clay Stonehenges, the models by Hawkes Nest in North Olmstead, Ohio, got 7 druids, but this one is a little finer, with better-shaped stones and a more professional look. Still, the Hawkes Nest models had a nice wood base…

We like sets you assemble yourself, though. Makes it easier to use for history class dioramas, etc. While the set is of the Stonehenge-as-it-is-imagined-to-have-looked-at-first variety, you could make a good stab at setting it up as it is now. That’s a plus! We like the current, disheveled look of the grey monster of Salisbury Plain better, all in all.

Score? We give it 8 druids. Nice set. Things that future model-makers can do better: 1) shape stones individually to match each real stone at Stonehenge, as they did in the exquisite cardboard Stonehenge, 2) include a larger baseboard with room for Aubrey holes and a heelstone, and more space so it doesn’t look so cramped, and 3) draw stone positions for the current state of the monument on the reverse side of the base material.

Now, for those thinking of contacting us with commercially available Stonehenges in like manner in the future: we figure we should get about €2000 per druid scored!  Or, you could just ask us politely like they did and we’ll probably do it for free. This is our mission: to demonstrate to the world the incredible rate at which Stonehenge is reproducing itself like a virus, using human minds as cells to incubate and create its young and thus to take over the world!!!1!

We don’t have to be paid to sing our siren of warning into the vastnesses of cyberspace. We just hope for a monument to be built to us after mankind realises the fate we’ve saved it from. We’re thinking of a nice linteled stone monument, about 33 meters across, surrounded by a circular earthwork…

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

photo courtesy of Salisbury Newspapers

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! 😉

Building Stonehenge at Stonehenge, A Trilithon Model

photos are stills from Pete Glastonbury’s Youtube clip, used with permission

Here is one for the record books. Only once before, during the first month Clonehenge existed, did we post a replica that was actually at Stonehenge (Straw echo henge–wow,our posts were short back then!) Here is another one, this time, in keeping with our film and movie theme of late, from a CBS TV special made in 1964 called (like so many other things) The Mystery of Stonehenge.

It happens that a contributor to that TV special, Gerald Hawkins, author of the well-known book Stonehenge Decoded (one of those books that has been on our shelves for so long that we couldn’t say when we bought it!), was an acquaintance of our friend and frequent contributor Mr. Pete Glastonbury. Mr. Glastonbury uncovered a copy of the film in Mr. Hawkins’ archives and sent us the link to this delightful bit at Stonehenge in which Professor Richard Atkinson explains to a CBS reporter how he thinks the monument was built, putting a trilithon replica together in the process. (In the smaller photo here you can see a real sarsen upright in the background.)

What can we say? For the Stonehenge replica nerd, this is about as good as it gets–a renowned Stonehenge scholar putting together a Stonehenge replica at Stonehenge–on film. Score: 7½ druids! It’s great, true, but that’s as high as we can go for what is only a miniature trilithon.

This probably won’t be the last of these old-ish films. We’ve read that Hawkins was filmed explaining his theories using a plastic Stonehenge model and some lighting to simulate the sun shining into the monument at different times of year. If we can find it, we’ll post that, too.

Meanwhile, if all this academia is making you homesick for good old Spinal Tap, here is our post on that. We don’t want to stay too serious about Stonehenge replicas, dudes and dudettes. They are inherently silly things.

Happy henging!

Note added later: Oddly, completely by coincidence, Stonehenge Collectables’ latest addition to their site is a press release and TV Guide listing about a rerun of this CBS special in 1973. You can see it here.


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.]

Building Stonehenge Games and Sets


henge_5.sizedPhotos from Stonehenge Collectables

For this post we present a couple examples of boxed build-your-own henge sets. The first is called, simply, Henge, and it says it is “a game of sculpture and skill based on prehistoric Stonehenge. The aim is to create a circle or henge of steel blocks using a magnetic wand.

It appears to be a handsome thing and the object, apparently, is to create the equivalent of the complete outer circle of Stonehenge by manipulating those steel bars with that magnetic wand.

The lingering question, of course, is: Then what? But with two sets, of course, you could begin to do something a little more accurate. Please note, it says “Made in England” and then, “Nashville, Tennessee.” This is an intriguing item and we would be curious to see one in the hard copy world.

building stonehenge

The other item here is a more complex educational set made for children. The copy reads, “Create a miniature sunrise with your solar motion compass and chart the stars path with a solar calendar and working sundial.
Materials: Granite clay, printed Stonehenge base plate, solar motion compass, sundial-solar calendar, glue and brush, and an illustrated instruction poster, home oven and flashlight repaired.
” (Perhaps they meant required?)

We don’t know whether this one includes info on the bluestones and the ins and outs of the outer circle, the heel stone, the “altar stone,” the ditch and bank, etc., but a dedicated person could do the research and include all of that (even add some aliens or a Buddha if they wanted!). This seems like a fun thing to play and learn and be creative with. “Chart the sun’s path with a solar calendar.

Either of these could give an adult and a child a fun day thinking about Stonehenge, its form, its possible functions, and who built it. With the first, you could also talk about magnetism. With the other, you could also talk about astronomy. And with either, a creative person could take it further. Score for the first, 4 druids. For the second, 5½ druids.

These are just two examples of hands-on model sets generated by Stonehenge one way or another. That mysterious urge to re-create it comes through in every form and size, with many new conceptions  of the Stonehenge idea yet to emerge. What brings people back to it again and again, recreating the ancient monument in ever newer ways, no two alike? We like to think that this collection we’ve created here at Clonehenge may help to bring us closer to an answer.

If not, at least it brings us to another, equally important question: Aren’t people, well, a little weird? Just sayin’.