Sad news: one of the Stonehenge sculptures we had been planning to put on our large permanent list was dismantled in January. The sculpture, in Kharkiv, Ukraine and entitled Scythian Heritage, included a Stonehenge-like sculpture of concrete blocks, some marked with symbols, and a few stylised human figures in imitation of ancient Scythian statues. On the 4th of January the Kharkiv city government without notifying the sculptor, Eugene Kulik, had the sculpture dismantled. The artist was not even told where the pieces were taken. :’-(
You can see a short video walk-through taken about a week before its sudden disappearance at this link from @rtplaysocial on Instagram.
We’re always sorry to see a Stonehenge go! And it may be a while before anyone in Ukraine is thinking about building Stonehenges again. Best wishes to everyone there.
A new addition to our list of 100 Large Permanent Replicas (which is soon to be removed to a better url)! In the western end of Hungary, not far from Lake Balaton, is a basalt mining area that includes Zalahaláp Mountain (whose correct name may possibly be Haláp Mountain—Hungarian is not one of our languages). So much stone was removed during the 20th century mining years, which included World War I and World War II, that the former volcano which once rose to 358 meters now measures only 291 meters and is flat on top except for a rock cliff on one side. The mountain experienced some basalt mining during Roman times too.
An educational trail highlighting the history and natural features of the place now takes hikers to the flat space and on up to the highest point. A popular feature of the trail is the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park, a set of sculptures made from the basalt of the mountain and commemorating the mines and the people who worked in them. And of course we wouldn’t be talking about it if there weren’t a trilithon or two involved!
We first started seeing the trilithons on Instagram a while ago when we did our daily Stonehenge searches, as they are often tagged #Stonehenge, but it took a while for us to learn the story behind them. One of the pleasing aspects of what we do is that every Stonehenge has an interesting story and a creative person or people behind it. In this case the sculptors are Rhea Marmentini and Zoltán Balanyi. The sculpture park and educational trail were just finished in 2019.
What prompted the sculptors to include trilithons among their mountain top sculptures? We would love to know. They certainly seem to create an Instagrammable view with the backdrop of the broad green landscape reaching to other mountains in the far distance. These are known as the Witness Mountains and of them we read in translation:
“The most beautiful natural values of the Balaton Uplands are the so-called „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) which were given this name because they are witnesses to the pre-historic times.
Several million years ago, the mountains didn’t create a chain but stood alone out of the Pannon-sea. 20 million years ago, when the majority of the area of the country was covered by salty water, a significant volcanic activity took place here, due to which the shapes and forms of today were created.“
So today we learned about Lake Balaton, also known as the Hungarian Sea, which is the largest lake in Central Europe and about the Witness Mountains as well as basalt mining in Hungary. Here at Clonehenge we love that our pursuits take us to new, interesting, and beautiful places and force us to learn new things about the world. We have many more Stonehenges to add to the blog. Who knows what we’ll learn next!
Thank you for stopping in and until next time, friends, happy henging!
Because of Kari Kola’s brilliant Snowhenge we’ve been thinking a lot more about Finland lately. (We can’t really say this is Finland’s day in the sun. We believe that day is in June. Haha. Sorry.) Sadly the wonderful Snowhenge can’t be added to our List of Large Permanent Replicas since before long it will melt, but that doesn’t mean Finland doesn’t make our list at all! Near the border between Finland and Sweden on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia in a park in the city of Kemi stands a granite sculpture modeled after Stonehenge, entitled Stone Age. It was designed by artist and poet Keijo Nevaranta and donated to the city in 1998.
Built roughly on a 1/2 scale of Stonehenge itself, it is oriented to the same directions as the original so that it marks “the sunrise of the summer solstice, the sunrise of the winter solstice, [and] the northernmost and southernmost of the moon” according to Mr. Nevaranta’s blog. He states, “Like Stonehenge, the original idea of ”Stone Age” has been to move something from the spiritual tradition of mankind over time to the end of the second millennium and the following centuries, from the dawn of mankind to perhaps the twilight of mankind.” (A bit ominous but, it must be said, not inappropriate.)
We were curious about how firmly the stones are set into the ground, and we find the artist says, “When I designed the work and applied for a building permit from the City of Kemi, the city representatives were promised a 2,000-year warranty on the work. Yes, it will remain upright in this place for at least as long as Stonehenge, which is at the base of nature. This is better established.” Turns out it has concrete bases for the stones.
From what we have read, the artist devoted 18 months to the design and creation of the work. It was paid for by Ahti Mäntylä, owner of a granite mine who wanted a monument to the Finnish mining industry and to the Elijärvi mine, Finland’s largest mine, not far north of Kemi.
Stone Age stands in a park in Kemi. At one time the park, Ruutinpuisto, was threatened by development, but that threat seems to have passed for now, as some photos of the sculpture are pretty recent.
As for the monument from our point of view, it looks good but a bit in the mode of the Rolla, Missouri Stonehenge, small, without bluestones, and with very straight and even shapes for the stones. The artist says the reason for the straight lines is to create a visual conversation with the city buildings nearby. The inner trilithon horseshoe does face the three-lintel stretch, always a sign that someone’s paying attention. We’re convinced Mr. Nevaranta was paying close attention to Stonehenge as he conceived and created the work.
We were delighted to find this Stonehenge replica in far away Lapland! We first saw it on Twitter in June, in a video posted by @kaukamieli which can be seen here. The caption says, “”Mooooommmm! Let’s go see Stonehenge!” “We have Stonehenge at home.” Stonehenge at home:” He is obviously unimpressed. 😂 https://twitter.com/kaukamieli/status/1410212893451243520?s=20
We will add Mr. Nevaranta’s excellent sculpture to our list of large permanent replicas and hope that no one talks the city council into letting them develop the park and destroy it. We would love to find our way to Finland one day and see it in person! There is one more Stonehenge-ish structure in Finland beside this and the ephemeral Snowhenge. We’ll have to tell you about that one some time!
Have a great weekend, friends, and until next time, happy henging!
A full-sized Stonehenge sculpted from snow—one of those things we didn’t know we needed until we saw it! [See a short but wonderful video of the sculpture here] Look at the shapes of the trilithons and the arrangement of the “stones” of this Snowhenge in Finland. Time and thought have been taken to make it seem like the real one. I would love to experience what it’s like to walk among them!
This remarkable installation arose from the brilliant mind of Finnish light artist Kari Kola. On his Facebook page he writes:
“I wanted to create something iconic to these harsh times and i was thinking the strongest places i’ve been… then everything was clear! Let’s build Stonehenge on 1:1 scale from snow! Project is called Snowhenge! It’s been a privilege to work with ice-sculpting masters Mr. Anssi Kuosa and Mr. Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsuren with this project. Also this wouldn’t be possible without creative construction consultant Mr. Brendan Savage from Ireland to realize the exact scale and positions. Also it’s a privilege to be supported from Stonehenge, thank you Jessica Trethovan and Jennifer Davies! This is located in my gardens at my hometown Joensuu before it melts.”
An article about the snowhenge in Finnish STT info says “The multiple Finnish master of ice sculpture Anssi Kuosa has been responsible for the sculpture together with the world champion of Mongolian ice sculpture Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsure. Kola asked Brendan Savage, an Irish creative construction technology consultant with more than 30 years of experience in large structures and scale, to join the project.“
The article goes on to say, “Stonehenge has never before been built on a 1: 1 scale from snow. The stone circle is 32m in diameter and the largest stones are about 6m high. Construction of the project started on 27.12. and the project has been under construction by about 10 people. The complex is expected to be on view until mid-March in the Botanical Garden in Joensuu, owned by Kola.”
That is, until it melts. Is it just us or does anyone else hope there is a lengthy timelapse of it melting when this is all over? Watching Stonehenge Melt seems like a good title for a video, or for something at least.
Part of Kola’s motivation for making the Stonehenge is to encourage the creative arts. On his Facebook post about the Stonehenge replica he also writes: “I think it’s very important to remember history and importance of culture and arts. In these crazy times with the pandemic its been very sad to see many governments to have very low support for the arts and artist. I hope that the project will inspire other artists to keep creating beautiful projects all over the planet.“
What a wonderful project,! It’s the kind of thing that shows something we’ve reflected on from time to time. Doing Clonehenge allows us to see the best and most creative sides of people at a time when it’s easy to forget that humanity has a good side. Think of all the thought, planning, work, and certainly money that has gone into making this beautiful sculpture that has no practical use. It was built knowing that before long it will melt away. Instead of men at work, although they have certainly worked, it is in a sense men at play. For us this makes the list, with Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, of our favourite Stonehenge replicas of all time. Bravo to its creators and to the spirit of creativity and joy that it embodies!
People in this world with us are still brilliant, doing brilliant things! We can’t wait to see what youdo. So until next time, friends, happy henging!
Late-breaking news: since posting this we found this wonderful 360° experience of Kola’s Snowhenge, which allows the user to view it as if from inside, even providing a choice of day or nighttime! https://360panorama.fi/360BotaniaTalvipuutarha/
Well, here’s the story. For the last few years we have neglected this original Clonehenge blog, focusing instead on our presence on Twitter, Facebook, and eventually Instagram. Recently we’ve even dreamed of getting a cute animé 2-D avatar and becoming a Clonehenge V-tuber! Why not? We have to move with the times. 😉 Meanwhile we’ve let this WordPress blog fall into ruins, littered with broken links and humour that we (unlike everyone else) once thought funny but that is now super cringe. This past year we were even considering deleting the blog once we completed the mythical possibly never-to-be-completed Clonehenge World Map.
BUT things happen, plans change, often precipitated by unforeseen events. In this case the unforeseen event is called Mike Pitts*, or more properly a book written by him, set to be released in a few weeks, the book you see above entitled How to Build Stonehenge. Written by Pitts, well known archaeologist, journalist and Stonehenge scholar and enthusiast (he’s shown up on this blog in the past, I believe, bouncing on Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge and saying he recognised every stone. Hmm, must check we didn’t say anything in that post we might wish we hadn’t!), the book talks about how Stonehenge was built including the accumulated scholarship of the past plus all of the latest research, with lots of interesting tidbits thrown in to create a uniquely comprehensive and fascinating look at how it came together along with other points of interest about the iconic monument. We think. Haven’t actually read it, since it isn’t out yet, but we will see soon enough.
Normally the announcement of such a book would simply be delightful, if potentially expensive, news. But on the 16th of December of last year the author tweeted out a few photos of his author’s copy including part of a page of the preface and Lo, there in the that image was the name Clonehenge! Our thanks to Tim Daw of the informative Stonehenge website www.sarsen.org for drawing our attention to it. The photo not only mentions the name Clonehenge but also the name of the one behind the curtain, who honestly would never even have guessed that the esteemed Mr. Pitts knew their name.
Notice however that this mention doesn’t name our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. No, just this old WordPress blog which frankly we had stuck against the back wall of the garage behind some boxes, old sleds from when the children still lived here, and that former favourite no-longer-working lawnmower that’s just too good to throw away. I think some squirrels actually nested in this blog at some point and when we got it back out last month to have a look we had to dump nut shells, sticks, and grasses out of some of the posts from roughly 2013 to 2016. Yet when the book comes out and people become curious and look us up, this old abandoned wreck is what they’ll see.
So after lengthy panic (our area of expertise!) and a certain amount of contemplation, what we recommend for everyone who sees this is of course to buy Mike Pitts’ book How to Build Stonehenge, to be released 17 February in the U.K. and mid-March in the States, if you haven’t pre-ordered already, and not to look at any posts on this blog that are more than a year or two old. There aren’t any fleas but we can’t guarantee you won’t feel a little itchy after reading some of those old posts.
For our part we will start by writing brief new posts about Stonehenge replicas worldwide not yet added to our Large Permanent Replica list—there are well over 100 now and we need to catch up—and then eventually we’ll go back and improve old posts. There are well over 400 posts on this blog though, so it won’t happen overnight. Please bear with us. There’s only one of us and we have another blog on another subject with many more followers that also requires tending. If you run across any dust or nutshells in the meantime just toss them aside. Squirrels can be such a nuisance.
We thank you for being here, gentle readers, and until the next time, happy henging!
*Mike Pitts’ archaeology journalism blog can be found at Digging Deeper.
In gearing up for the Clonehenge World Map which is due to be finished by September or October, we commissioned a new logo and a new banner image to use on our social media accounts. In the banner above you can see, left to right, the Odessa, Texas Stonehenge, the Maryhill Washington State Stonehenge, Carhenge in Nebraska, and a small wooden Stonehenge. We think Lena Bane, the artist, did a wonderful job.
A side effect of this is that we can now offer Clonehenge merchandise bearing the new images! To do this we have opened 3 shops on Etsy, one for the U.S., one for the U.K., and one for Australia. All of them are print-on-demand, which means the items are printed after being ordered, in the country where they were ordered, and none have to be shipped internationally unless you are ordering from outside those 3 countries.
So far we only offer mugs and t-shirts but we’re open to suggestions or requests for other items. (You may not be impressed that we figured out how to make three shops in three different countries but we’re rather chuffed.)
Here we see long time friend of Clonehenge Simon Burrow sporting a brand new Clonehenge t-shirt:
And here is friend Timon Greenwood with a Clonehenge banner mug!
Purchases will of course help us to defray the costs of having the beautiful graphics created by Lena Bane, @lenabanegx on Twitter. But the best part of course will be how unattainably cool you will become just by owning one of these rare collectors’ items!
So thank you in advance for any purchases you decide to make! By the way, we did another interview recently, this time on BBC Somerset in the U.K., and we think Stonehenge replicas and the ideas around them are just coming into their own. There are a lot of you with fun ideas out there. We can’t wait to see them. And if you buy our merchandise, please send or post pictures!
Japan has its share of large Stonehenges. We have posted the impressive one at the Gunma Observatory and the glorious one (with Buddhist shrine inside and a line of moai nearby!!!) at Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo. Here is yet another one, large and handsome, at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka. We’re guessing the thinking went: “Rugby is English, and what else is English? Stonehenge! We’ll build a Stonehenge!”
At any rate, the construction is suitably rugged in style to match the game. It isn’t a full Stonehenge like the others in Japan, but a bit abstract with several solid trilithons. For the Clonehenge connoisseur it is reminiscent of the exceptional Stonehenge in Odessa, Texas. In one article the Daily Mail captioned their photo with the curious words “Stonehenge-like objects”.
We would love to know more, though. Whose idea was this? What was their thinking? Who designed it? Who built it? Where did the stone come from and what kind is it? Is there a plaque or some kind of dedication? If anyone can give us answers, we would be grateful.
In the 12 years we’ve been doing this blog, many new Stonehenges have appeared. We think the form’s popularity is due at least partly to the satisfaction of visiting a sculpture or construction that offers familiarity, simplicity, large size, and the pleasure of being able to interact with it, to actually walk through it. Add the hint of the ancient and of mystery that is associated with even the idea of Stonehenge and you have an attraction that many people will be eager to visit.
It has been suggested that a Stonehenge much like the real one be built near the original Stonehenge, to offer visitors the full experience of the stones without further threatening the ancient monument itself, many aspects of which, despite its rugged appearance, are fragile. As we are among those who have seen firsthand the damage created at Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow by public free access there, we have to agree that a close imitation offering the spacial and tactile experience of the stone circle would in the long run serve the public well.
Future generations would appreciate the preservation of the original and current generations would benefit by the extraordinary experience of walking freely in the circle, feeling the extraordinary ambience the stones create just by their form, size, and positioning. Even better might be two imitation Stonehenges with access, one as the monument stands now and one how it is envisioned to have been if and when it was completed.
But that’s far afield from Hanazono! Blood, sweat and rugby! And Stonehenge! A winning combination.
Hello! We are here to say that we are honored to have been mentioned in the Cabinet of Curiosities blog, written by Philip Steadman, esteemed author, researcher, and emeritus professor. His Clonehenge post is not just about Clonehenge but about Stonehenge replicas in general with added facts and perspectives. It is a delightful read. Discussing Jeremy Deller’s iconic inflatable Stonehenge entitled “Sacrilege”, Steadman writes: “When inflated the stones erected themselves gradually like waking elephants, and visitors could bounce with abandon on the green ‘turf’.”
We tend to think there is very little about Stonehenge replicas that we don’t know. We had not read, however, that the now defunct Fridgehenge in New Mexico “was built by ‘slaves’ in loincloths as a protest against consumer culture and the planned obsolescence of white goods.” And we must have been told this but had forgotten that “It seems that the very first [Stonehenge replica] was at Wilton House in Wiltshire, built in the 18th century, but nothing of this remains.“
Of course the best bit in the post is the three words “wonderful Clonehenge blog“. 😉 That alone has inspired us to begin posting here once more. We have many Stonehenges and Stonehenge-ish things in our files that have yet to be posted on this blog and we hope to improve that situation in the weeks to come.
We are off Twitter and Facebook until some time in early November, but we hope to see you here. Until next time, friends, happy henging!
Hello. We have fallen behind on this blog and its maintenance, perhaps irrevocably, so we’re doing a post to say hello and tell you what’s been happening in the topic of Stonehenge replicas.
This used to be a single manageable topic. Combining large permanent replicas, home replicas, small exhibit replicas, and larger temporary Stonehenge replicas didn’t seem like taking on a lot. There just weren’t that many of them, at least not posted online.
But things have taken a turn since then. Numbers have increased in every category. We find large new Stonehenge replicas, large Stonehenge-like circles, large trilithons, including sculptures and fountains, very frequently, all over the world. Stonehenge replicas for advertising and for display or exhibit purposes have become more common, or at least posted more often and therefore easier to find, and the number of at-home replicas and models has gone through the roof.
In the interest of documenting Stonehenge replicas, we still do searches every day, especially on Twitter and Instagram, keeping links to anything interesting in a file on our computer. That list has grown to hundreds of examples, large and small. If we posted all of them on Twitter or our Facebook group or page, people would be overwhelmed and unfollow us en masse. In short, people are making a *lot* of Stonehenges. It’s great, but we can’t keep up.
We still intend to work on and complete the Clonehenge map of permanent replicas around the world, but for now just adding a link for each one instead of trying to include photos and info. Once we have that basic map, then we or other people can improve it over time. Our original ambitions for it are not realistic in light of how much time we currently can spare to do the work.
Lockdown inspired a lot of people to try their hands at Stonehenge replicas, and 95% or more of those were made by people who never heard of Clonehenge. This burgeoning phenomenon has nothing to do with our existence, which makes it all the more curious. Stonehenge is looming larger and larger in the zeitgeist.
This all sounds very serious, but we do still think Stonehenge replicas are funny. We just wanted to take a minute and catch you up with what has been going on. We’re working on learning how to reblog things on Instagram, so we can have a presence there, reblogging every Stonehenge we find every day, with the entire original post. That’s a goal. It’s fascinating what people come up with, from dusty cement block Stonehenges in vacant lots to aesthetic little Stonehenge replicas made to look pretty on Instagram, and all of the usual zany and ingenious versions that seem to come out of nowhere to delight us. We see the most creative and joyful side of people every day.
We’re not sure what the answer is to the problem of overwhelming numbers of replicas, how we can best cover them in the time we have in our lives, which is not a lot. This is a non-paying hobby that is increasingly taking the time you would allot for at least a part-time job. It would be a full-time nonpaying job if we were doing everything we probably should.
Is there a place where we should post every single interesting replica we find? Does anyone out there know what might work? We considered finding people to help with different segments: someone for large replicas, someone for social network replicas, someone to catalogue museum and other exhibit replicas, but a lot of time would be required, for no pay.
We always meant to be thorough and to document everything about this topic that we could, including the history and backstories for important replicas, many of which we know more about than almost anyone. We don’t see a way to do that now, and it’s a shame because it has become a bigger, and so more important, topic than we ever imagined it would be. We’re going to keep brainstorming how best to present the replicas and sometimes the people making them. Unlike in this post we hope to make it entertaining and engaging. We’ll see what develops.
There’s some kind of big psychological thing going on here, making people create these replicas, and it’s our hope that someday someone looks into that. For now, we will continue to observe, and in our private files at least, document what we find. I can’t promise how often we’ll post here on the blog in the time to come, but it costs us a bit of money to maintain so we hope to keep using it. Most Clonehenge activity takes place in the Facebook group and page, and on the Clonehenge Twitter account. Our feed on Twitter overlaps with but is different from the accounts on FB. You can contact us there any time.
We hope you had a happy and uplifting solstice and that the turn of the year brings good things! Thank you for being there and until next time, friends, happy henging!