photo by Bethany Lee, reposted from Atomictown.com / Tri-City Herald
We’ve always been amused by things that show penguins and polar bears together. They’re from opposite ends of the world, right? How would they be together? Turns out there’s a similar trend with Stonehenge replicas: people will sometimes add, not a model of Silbury Hill or a barrow or a stone-lined avenue such as you might find near Stonehenge in Wiltshire but–moai such as you might find halfway around the world on Easter Island.
What’s that about? We can think of three examples* including this one. Unlike Washington’s Maryhill Stonehenge, today’s replica is small and privately owned, built by Ed Mays of Kennewick, Washington to replace the old rose garden in front of his home. Quoting from the article: “After forming some pillar bases for the replica, Mays estimates he went through about 75 sacks of cement, which he mixed all on his own. . . . In addition to the circular henge, he placed a giant rock with a carved out face in the center to portray another large rock design, Easter Island.”
Far be it from us to do anything but encourage henge building as a retirement activity! If we get a laugh out of this garden megalith complex (complete with a spotlight on the ersatz moai!), it is meant in the same good humour displayed by Mr. Mays’ admirable creation. Score: 5 druids for a game try by this solo pensioner!
* Stonehenge II in Texas and Harry Rossett’s Stonehenge come to mind.
photo from this site
The subject of this post, the Maryhill, Washington State Stonehenge replica, has a longer and less whimsical history than other Stonehenge replicas. Building of the monument began in 1918 and was completed in 1929. The builder, renowned Quaker Sam Hill meant it to commemorate local men who died in World War I and to remind people throughout the ages of the sacrifices of war. An excellent account is given at this link, and you can see an aerial perspective here.
We included the Youtube video both to add a little levity (the superior Stonehenge? sacrificial virgins?) and because it gives a sense of the hush that seems to come upon people inside the circle. This replica more than any other can leave visitors with a sense of awe and of the uncanny when they enter the arc of its concrete uprights. Maybe the spectacular siting and the sincere intent of the builder created the right environment for a gathering of the spirits that once lay beneath the land.
For perhaps the only time, we award the coveted 9 druids score to this haunted henge.
Note: We thought this was the earliest of the large henges, but we received this information from an alert and friendly reader:
I’m afraid the Washington replica is 200 years after the first known
example, at Wilton House, erected for the Earl of Pembroke.
The historic importance of the Washington replica is though in my
opinion, that it was the first to be erected after actual stones were
raised (‘restored’) at Stonehenge (1901) and at Avebury in the
Thank you! Our apologies. Perhaps we’ll post that older replica once we find out more about it.