Happy Solstice! A Long Post for the Longest Day!

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The famous Britton “Celtic” Cabinet at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes

Greetings and a very happy solstice to all of you out there in the increasingly strange world of now! We know that people generally don’t find time to read blog posts anymore, what with one apocalypse or another looming at any given moment, but in a contrary spirit we have decided to write a longer one than usual. But with pictures, so there’s that!

As some of you may know, a little over a year ago, the entire staff of the Clonehenge blog flew over the sea to the centre of henging contagion, that hulking grey pile of construction debris on Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge itself. We posted in October about the unabashed promotion of Stonehenge replicas we discovered at the shop in the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, but we have yet to share our other extraordinary encounters with replicas shown us by friends of the Clonehenge blog in the area.

The first of these was a huge concrete trilithon, currently being stored at the farm of Mr. Tim Daw  whose name may be familiar to Stonehenge fans as a result of theories and discoveries he made while employed at Stonehenge. He is also known for his remarkable construction, the Long Barrow at Al Cannings. He kindly treated us to a tour of that beautiful modern long barrow, and then, knowing our interests, led us through chalk mud, a remarkably clingy substance, to the three pieces of the trilithon, currently not set up as a trilithon but in repose. The two uprights, we are told, weigh 40 Tonnes each and the lintel 10 and a half!

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concrete trilithon in the Vale of Pewsy (the markings are not tribal, 😉  but were painted there for visibility on the lorry journey to where they now rest)

These “stones” were used in the 1996 BBC documentary Secrets of Lost Empires: Stonehenge to to represent the stones of Stonehenge’s largest trilithon, in an attempt to demonstrate how those and the other large stones at Stonehenge may have been moved. We assume their length includes the section that in the original stones extended underground to keep them steady and upright. Pictures on this page show their size better than our poor picture above. They are imposing in person, even lying down. Mr. Daw and others are hoping to use them again to test various Stone-Age-appropriate methods for transporting and erecting megaliths, for a programme on how Stonehenge may have been constructed. We look forward to that!

For the next couple days of our trip, we enjoyed the wonders of Wiltshire, its landscape, and many ancient stones and sites (including Stonehenge in the pouring rain, a quintessentially British experience not to be missed unless you have the opportunity to see it in any other weather!). Those days were overwhelmingly beautiful and fascinating, and we extend our thanks to many people for going out of their ways to make it so.

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West Kennet Long Barrow with Terence Meaden, who was kind enough to accompany us there and share his knowledge

And then, on our final day in that county, probably still bearing chalk mud in the treads of our shoes, we visited the Wiltshire Museum in the town of Devizes in the company of long-time friend of the blog Pete Glastonbury. There, to our astonishment, we were greeted by people who already knew of the name of Clonehenge, and who were therefore willing to reveal to us deeply secret Stonehenge models  hidden from the prying eyes of the general public! (Or, yes, possibly just Stonehenge models that would be of absolutely no interest to anyone one but us, but let us have our fantasies.)

After a few minutes surveying small Stonehenge models available in the museum shop, we were introduced to none other than Director David Dawson and led upstairs to view the wonderful Britton Cabinet whose picture adorns the top of this post. We posted about it on this blog years ago, with photos by Mr. Glastonbury, but it was another thing to see it in person! If we described it in detail, this post would be insufferably long (like it is already, only more so), but as it says on this page, “Integral to the design of the cabinet are three models of Stonehenge and Avebury made by Henry Browne.” We are not ashamed to say that we were moved to see in person some of the historical Stonehenge models made by Mr. Henry Browne himself. Browne’s models were, as far as we can tell, the first Stonehenge models to become popular enough to create a demand. The sale of small Stonehenges that we see today in such profusion probably started with him!

A drawer of the cabinet was opened for us, and protective covering carefully lifted from a model so that we might see it. Unlike the model under coloured glass atop the cabinet, which is meant to show the monument as it now stands, this one represents Stonehenge as it is thought to have looked before the destructive forces of time acted upon it.

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in the drawer, a Henry Browne model

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model of Avebury in a drawer of the cabinet, overseen by Pete Glastonbury

When we had finished looking at and photographing the cabinet and its contents, Mr. Dawson then kindly brought out two more Stonehenge models: a resin one made by Michael Postins, who made the ‘template’ for models sold by English Heritage for tourists,

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resin model by Michael Postins, here held by Director Dawson

and a smaller metal one with various military badges, a bit eccentric, which, of course, appeals to us. No history is known for this, but it’s a nice portrayal with stones that look a bit organic, as if they were about to come to life.

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There is much more to the museum, of course, including fascinating and beautiful artefacts from Wiltshire, some found at and near Stonehenge and thought to have belonged to the ancient people who built it and celebrated there. If you’re visiting Stonehenge and want more of its story, you should make a point to stop at the Wiltshire Museum.

We had many more adventures worth telling, and saw more Stonehenge and Avebury models on our trip. But solstice awaits, and the long journey toward shorter days. If you have read this far, we thank you for your time. There truly is a wonderful world of Stonehenge replicas out there, and wonderful people who make them or are fascinated by them. Until next time, friends, happy henging!

Exposé: Shocking Photos From Our Visit to the Heart of the International Henge Trade!

poshest Stonehenge replica at the store

poshest Stonehenge replica at the store

Once upon a time, we thought we’d died and gone to Heaven. But it was just the store at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.  Here is some of what we saw in our undercover foray into the international trade in henges of all kinds.

shelves full of Stonehenge replica: Clonehenge dream or Clonehenge nightmare??

shelves full of Stonehenge replicas: Clonehenge dream or Clonehenge nightmare??

more Stonehenges for sale!

more Stonehenges for sale! a snowglobe, a plaster model, a game, a ring, pens with trilithon charms, and a purple vinyl trilithon…

And what you see here is just a portion of what we witnessed during our investigative visit to discover the extent of the Stonehenge replica trafficking in which English Heritage is deeply implicated. Turns out they are waist deep in serious international trade in henge knock-offs, most of which are not even made in England.

This is the epicentre of a henge contagion that is spreading around the world, carried in the hands of innocent tourists. And yet, brazenly and without shame, EH displays its wares out in the open for anyone to see, with some even targeting the youngest and most innocent among us.

(In the interest of full disclosure, we bought a small Stonehenge in a tin, not pictured here, and a set of the chocolate trilithons, for medicinal purposes only!)

Of course there is still a place for the handmade henge, the Stonehenge made of food, and the garden replica, so until next time, gentle readers, happy henging!

Aerial pattern of the stones of Stonehenge, done in beads!

Aerial pattern of the stones of Stonehenge, done in pink beads! Is this meant for little girls???

more, more, more!!!

more, more, more!!! a pop-up book, another snowglobe, etched plexiglass, gold-tone and silver-tone trilithon pendants, chocolate trilithons, cheap molded Stonehenge models and trilithons, and the Stonehenge Anthology board game

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 Clonehenge.com 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!

Equinox Henge Sampler or, Good News—People are Still Strange!

knitted Stonehenge by Toogood Knits

knitted Stonehenge by Toogood Knits

Hello, friends! Yes, it’s vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere already and we haven’t posted on this blog since New Year’s. Go ahead, tell us how YOU’VE done everything YOU should have done since then. What’s that? We’re listening, but we can’t hear you? Okay, then.

At any rate, our absence here does not mean that nothing has been happening in the glamourous world of Stonehenge replicas. Au contraire! (See? Glamourous!) On Twitter and Facebook, many Stonehenge replicas, new and old, have been posted and admired. We thought we would post a few recent favourites here for those who still actually read blogs. Nostalgic for when people used to read, are you? The Clonehenge staff admires your old-school dedication!*

So behold: a wooden henge in a Liverpool park, made by John Merrill and John Ayling.

wooden henge in Liverpool's Princes Park

wooden henge in Liverpool’s Princes Park

A food-safe Stonehenge mold on Etsy, for fondant, chocolate, or candy henges, made by Michele B. Brosseau!

Stonehenge food-safe silicone mold

Stonehenge food-safe silicone mold from Etsy

An icehenge, built on a frozen lake in the northern U.S. by Drew McHenry, Kevin Lehner, Quinn Williams, Alec Niedringhaus and Patrick Shields.

Rock Lake Icehenge, in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, USA

Rock Lake Icehenge, in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, USA, photo by Eli Wedel

And then, of course, there are the many foodhenges, of which this melon henge is but an example. We’ve seen cakehenges, a beefhenge, and others including that old favourite, the sconehenge.

melonhenge from the blog Keep It Up, David

melonhenge from the blog Keep It Up, David

So, although our blog posts are sporadic, the world’s bizarre obsession with making Stonehenge replicas has not abated, and reports of them are still pouring in! If you can’t be at Stonehenge itself for the equinox/eclipse celebration this year, we suggest making your own Stonehenge and celebrating with friends. It’s the same earth, the same sun as they’ll have at Stonehenge, with less crowding, less noise, and less trash. And you know where to send the pictures!

Our thanks to all who have posted Stonehenge replicas where we could see them or who sent us emails or messages alerting us to them. A very happy equinox to all and until next time (and the Stones only know when that will be) we wish everyone out there some very happy henging!

*(We realise that you’ve given up reading and gone on to another blog by now, but it’s the thought that counts!)

The Fabulous Stonehenge Marbles: Perfect Gift for that Friend Who Blogs about Stonehenge Replicas!

Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano

Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano

We’ve all heard of the remarkable, historic, and controversial Elgin marbles, and lately they’ve been back in the news. But here on the Clonehenge blog we have something far more desirable to show you: the fabulous Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano! Here is the Stonehenge marbles website. Basically we are going to spam you with photos, quote the artist, and end with a suggestion. Mr. Schiano says of his work:

“Stonehenge Marbles are unique pieces of contemporary art. I hand draw each stone out of glass and encase them to create a permanent miniature replica of the sacred sites. Each marble is a labor of love, which I harness to capture the spirit of the megaliths and the people who envisioned them thousands of years ago.”

A Stonehenge marble, yes, at Stonehenge!

A Stonehenge marble, yes, at Stonehenge!

Every day I learn something new about the stone circle that I try to relay into the glass.

more marbles

more marbles

And although these beautiful creations are more than enough, he doesn’t stop at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge and more, trapped in marbles

Stonehenge and more, trapped in marbles

Above we see: “Stonehenge Past and Present, Avebury, Stones of Stenness, Carnac, The Great Wall of China, Egyptian and Aztec Pyramids, the Parthenon, and [not sure whether to say “sadly” or “of course”!—CH] a Moai.” He has even done a Stonehenge marble with an Easter Island moai hidden in the glass at the bottom, in a fine (?) tradition long established among Stonehenge replica creators! Stonehenge marbles may show the monument either as it currently exists or as it is thought to have been originally.

Stonehenge marble with sunset

Stonehenge marble with sunset

Be sure to have a look at this video of a marble that was auctioned off just recently!

*wipes drool from corners of mouth* Heh. Excuse us. That video, tho. There seriously are not enough druids in the world to award for these things.

In closing, we hardly need point out that winter solstice and the Christmas holiday are almost upon us, and we know you’re all wondering what to buy for that hard-to-please but much adored Stonehenge replica blogger on your holiday gift lists. Let us make it easy. Why not order a custom Stonehenge marble (no moai necessary!)? We guarantee it’s bound to please, and think of the satisfaction you will gain from supporting an original artist instead of spending the hundreds you were planning to spend on bric-a-brac.😉 Everyone wins!

We heartily wish a very happy solstice to all of our readers, and a happy holiday season to everyone. Until the next time, very close and very generous friends, happy henging!

Game Henges: Trash Goathenge. Ruin your cultural heritage!

Goathenge, photo by Jake Crimmins, used with permission

Goathenge, photo by Jake Crimmins, used with permission

from Venture Beat's Goat Simulator guide

from Venture Beat’s Goat Simulator guide

Virtual henges: no one likes to talk about them, but they are the dirty secret of a persistent reality in the Stonehenge replica world. Hardly a gaming world gets invented without a Stonehenge in it somewhere. Some have several—why should they be limited to one puny Stonehenge like our world is?

Maybe you’ve heard of  the game Goat Simulator. It has created a sensation in the gaming world in the short time since it was released, as much for its bugginess and simplicity  as for its game features. The game is played from the point of view of a goat and the goal is to wreak as much havoc as you can. And, of course, what would be more fun to trash than Stonehenge?? The copy reads, “Trash Goathenge: knock down all of the tall stones. Find Stonehenge and knock down every rock.” “Trash Goathenge. Ruin your cultural heritage.” We especially relish that last one. Almost makes us want to take up gaming! Actually it’s good to know that Stonehenge is still so much a part of pop culture that it shows up in games like this. And there’s something that feels right about goats and Stonehenge.

Another trendy game with a Stonehenge scene is Tearaway, a game in which everything appears to be made of sugar paper (construction paper if you’re from the wrong side of the Atlantic). Granted, you have to be watching for this one, but it’s there. In the following picture, you can see the paper Stonehenge below the main character and to the left.

screenshot from the game Tearaway

screenshot from the game Tearaway

Another Stonehenge, made in this case by a friend of the blog, James Brocklehurst, can be found in Minecraft on Snakeskin.

Stonehenge in Minecraft, on Snakeskin, made and imaged by James Brocklehurst

Stonehenge in Minecraft on Snakeskin, made and imaged by James Brocklehurst

It’s a little lumpy, but we’re told that underneath it is the Pandorica. If you don’t know what that is, drop your device right now and go watch the entire Doctor Who oeuvre! Not that you have to watch them all to know what it is, but it’s clear you haven’t watched them, which means you need to. Go ahead now. See you later.

Eternity Stonehenge, from Gamezebo's walkthrough

Eternity Stonehenge, from Gamezebo’s walkthrough

Stonehenges can also be found in games like Eternity and Mystery P.I.—The London Caper. Don’t ask us what platforms these games are on. We  don’t even know what that means. Just savour the henges, which show evidence of someone actually having looked at Stonehenge before designing them!

Stonehenge in Mystery P.I.—London Caper from Gamezebo's walkthrough

Stonehenge in Mystery P.I.—London Caper from Gamezebo’s walkthrough

We hoped to include more in this post, but there were so many game replicas that other kinds of virtual henges will have to have their own post.We have no doubt that readers will want to tell us about Stonehenges in other games. Please do, and we’ll include them in another post somewhere down the line. So far no Easter Island heads among these. Don’t send us anything that would ruin that for us!

Our thanks to inimitable friend of the blog Jake Crimmins for sending us the Goathenge and inspiring this post! And to James Brocklehurst for supplying the picture of his Minecraft henge. We have so many  non-virtual Stonehenge replicas needing to be posted that we have probably forgotten most of them. If you want to keep up, you can join the Clonehenge group on Facebook (or—get professional help!), where they get posted as we discover or learn about them. You would be surprised how often a new one gets posted. The world has a bad Stonehenge infection, and Stonehenge pop up all over like pustules. We’re just lazy about putting them here.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy gaming day to have a look at Clonehenge, and until the next time, friends, happy henging!

Compulsive Stonehenge Making: A Serious Psychological Problem!

(Attraction Dance Group Performance: Stonehenge makes its brief appearance from 16 to around 28 seconds into the performance.)

People clearly cannot help themselves! Lately the Stonehenge replicas have been showing up faster and faster, not just new replica, but new KINDS of replicas. The one in the video above, for example, is created as part of a “shadow dance”, in which dancers’ bodies create silhouettes resembling things, in this case Stonehenge, as well as the Tower Bridge, and so on. (But who cares after Stonehenge, really?)

Another recent television Stonehenge replica bit appeared on the Conan O’Brien show, when the musical group Fall Out Boy did a Spinal Tap tribute that included the legendary miniscule trilithon being lowered onto the stage:

Now, let us explain you a thing: the more involved you get with Stonehenge replicas, the less enthusiastic you become about Spinal Tap. Every time a Stonehenge replica is mentioned, some tiresome wag, impressed with his or her own cleverness, has to make a remark about it being crushed by a dwarf or quote lyrics from the song in the movie. If we had time we would do a blog of those comments and title it, Adventures in Nope. Still, we have to count the above performance as an appearance of a Stonehenge replica. Grudgingly.

Meanwhile, we have been seeing more small replicas: a Stonehenge cake, a careless foamhenge, a school project replica, a Stonehenge of wotsits, and, inevitable now that 3d printing is all the rage, a 3D printed Stonehenge!

3D printed Stonehenge by MakerBot

3D printed Stonehenge by MakerBot

There is also a small, rather Picasso-esque Stonehenge someone’s mum made for her garden, but permissions are pending, so it will have to be posted later if at all.

We are now convinced that the compulsion to make Stonehenge replicas is emerging as a serious psychological problem, and that it should be listed in the DSM as Compulsive Henging Disorder. By early recognition of this burgeoning syndrome we might be able to stem the tide of Stonehenge replicas of every material and description that could inundate the world of the future, a tsunami of Stonehenges threatening to overwhelm the world as we know it and create a Clonehenge apocalypse of unimaginable proportions!!!

What? Yes. Yes. It IS a load of bollocks, actually, but we have to fill the blog somehow. The point, however, should not be lost: something is forcing people to build Stonehenge replicas and making them think that it is their idea. Is it possible that Stonehenge itself is an alien life form seeking to reproduce itself by infecting the human mind like a virus or like the fungus that infects ant brains and makes them climb to a high point where a bird is likely to eat them? Is it possible that by the end of this sentence we will decide it’s time to end this post?

Possibly! It remains to be seen!

Until next time, friends, happy henging!