Thursday, 25 February 2010
There is a new download available so you can explore Stonehenge virtually, Its quick to register and you will mixing with the Druids in minutes. Link at bottom of page.
What they say............
"The druid beckons us to travel back in time with him, to find out all about the mysteries of Stonehenge. He swivels to face away from us; we follow him. Suddenly the land around us changes - we're right in the heart of a dense forest, with all the plants, animals and atmosphere of Stonehenge brought to life right before our eyes.
"The druid carries on regardless. He turns, and he's changed: his clothes have dated thousands of years. A quick smile and a wink reassures us as we're whisked away through millennia of human history.
"And here we are - Stonehenge circa 2,400 BC, right around the time the last famous stones are being put in their fateful place. The giant megaliths resonate through the ages; just as breathlessly beautiful as they are today..."
This is just the smallest tip of an epic story we at Heritage Key are developing, in the journey through Stonehenge Virtual.
A place intertwined with history, controversy and ethereal mystery, Stonehenge has been a subject of speculation for centuries – its stones tell a silent story of thousands of years of clandestine ceremony, royal burials and celestial ambitions.
From the twisted bodies of the land's first people, to the majestic beauty of the midsummer's sunrise over its sarsens, Stonehenge raises just as many questions as it answers about life in prehistoric Britain.
Come with us!
Heritage Key invites you on an exclusive tour back thousands of years to the dawn of British history with Stonehenge Virtual.
•Explore the Neolithic settlement of Durrington Walls
•See the wonder of Stonehenge as it once stood over four thousand years ago.
•Interact with the people of the time, and take part in an ancient sunset ritual.
•Experience life as one of the ancient people who built Stonehenge.
Learn everything about Britain's most spectacular prehistoric landmark. Explore the plants, animals and food which made Bronze Age Britain such an awe-inspiring place. Invite your friends along to a modern-day Druid ritual at the world-famous summer solstice festival, and learn about its greatest characters.
There's so much more to the story of Stonehenge than its magnificent stones – fierce foreign warriors who came seeking magical medical redemption; powerful leaders who lived and died for the magnificent monument.
An amazing place
Stonehenge is one of the world's greatest landmarks, with a history that never ends - and we want you to be able to explore it in all its incredible glory while you enjoy our Virtual Experience.
Unlock the wonders of Stonehenge with Stonehenge Virtual: Coming soon to Heritage Key. Go to website
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
VISITORS to Stonehenge will now be able to take advantage of an expansion to the always popular Stonehenge Tour.
The new package for 2010/11, beginning on March 16, will feature Salisbury Cathedral and the Magna Carta and enable visitors to explore Stonehenge, the hillfort of Old Sarum, and the cathedral using a single ticket.
The tour allows visitors to step off trains at Salisbury station and straight onto the dedicated bus service.
Stuart Maughan, English Heritage head of visitor operations for Stonehenge and Old Sarum, said “Neatly wrapping up three of the area’s top heritage attractions into one easy package like this will have real appeal for tourists and most especially for overseas visitors.
“I feel sure it will encourage them to visit all three attractions – and inspire them to explore the city of Salisbury and surrounding countryside - so that everyone benefits from this new partnership.”
Customers join The Stonehenge Tour buses at Salisbury rail station, the bus station or any of the stops in Salisbury city centre or at the historic sites themselves.
Buses run every 30 minutes during the summer and once an hour for the remainder of the year. Tickets are bought from the driver. Adult ticket prices range from £11 (tour only) to £22 (including admission to Stonehenge, Old Sarum and a donation to Salisbury Cathedral).
Monday, 22 February 2010
English Heritage, working in conjunction with The National Trust, are fighting 'tooth and nail' to preserve the newly discovered ancient Henge found in Wiltshire, England.
Also located in Wiltshire is Stonehenge thought to have been erected in around 3000BC. Coincidently, Concrete Post Henge is only, a remarkable, fifty feet away from the former, just over a small hill. Chartered Surveyors were called to the scene immediately and were able to verify that the structure had been around since at least two days after The Big Bang. Primitive drill bit markings and circular saw striations were, apparently, the most obvious clues in the age determining process.
"I can't believe we didn't spot it before; it was right under our noses. The significance of this find cannot be underestimated. I've seen a few henges in my time, nobody knows what the heck a henge is yet, but I know this is a good one."
National Trust stalwart Walter Ernest made only one comment to The Spoof:
"It's a sad day here for us in Wiltshire. I've put my life, heart and soul into promoting 'old stoney' as the nation's oldest treasure, since my divorce it's been like a friend to me. No doubt some young bucks will get the job of looking after the new find and I'll probably have to go back to a career
in druid stone circles now..."
Now that was funny! The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.
This was from the Spoof website.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Our friends at the Stonehenge Tour Company have just announced their 2010 Summer Solstice Tour. See itinerary below. Works out cheaper and far less hassle if you are travelling from London. See link at bottom of page.
STONEHENGE SUMMER SOLTICE 'EXCLUSIVE' TOUR - JUNE 21st 2010 After the huge success of our tours in previous years we are delighted to announce our 2010 departure.
Each year on the 21 June visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to mark the summer solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. At dawn the central Altar stone aligns with the Slaughter stone, Heel stone and the rising sun to the northeast.
"A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity!"
STONEHENGE SPECIAL ACCESS TOUR
Each year on the 21 June visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to mark the summer solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. At dawn the central Altar stone aligns with the Slaughter stone, Heel stone and the rising sun to the northeast.
The Summer Solstice is the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to be there. It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people - 1000's of them!
For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's akin to a spiritual experience. Anyone who has witnessed the crowd become silent as the sky begins to brighten can attest to that. You will enjoy 3 - 4 hours within the circle at sunset on June 20th or sunrise on June 21st. The small group (16 people) nature of this tour means you can have a real personal experience.
We are offering two departure options for this special tour:
TOUR OPTION 1:
Depart central London at 5pm June 20th. Mini Coach Travel to Stonehenge with guide and spend 3 - 4 hours inside the circle and witness the sun setting, Druid Ceremony and festivities. Back to London at 1am
TOUR OPTION 2:
Depart central London at 1am June 21st. Mini Coach Travel to Stonehenge with guide and spend 3 - 4 hours in side the circle and witness the sun rising, Druid Ceremony and festivities. Back to London at 8am
This is not like our traditional guided 'Private Access' tour. Although this tour is guided it does not visit other attractions and is not everyone's cup of tea, however those who do participate will never forget it and will surely 'tell the tale' for many years to come...... Please take the time to view our images / video of previous 'Solstice Tours'.
For those of you who have not visited this sacred site, we should mention that the complex is roped off. Visitors observe the stones from a distance and are not permitted within the temple complex..........our 'Summer Solstice' tours allow you to be amongst the stones and to actually touch them.
N.B. With this exception English Heritage do not allow any other 'private access' tours between 16th June and 1st July
English Heritage provides Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice and works closely with agencies, and people from all sectors of the community, in order to create a peaceful occasion - ensuring an event that can be safely enjoyed by all and protects Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments.
Due to the nature of this 'special access' tour and the strict entry conditions that English Hritage impose please register your interest for this tour on the form below and we will contact you with booking details and terms and conditions. This is on a first come first serve' basis.
Click here to view full details
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Bluehenge unearthed: Prehistoric site that could be famous stone circle's little sister
The prehistoric circle has been named Bluehenge after the colour of the 27 giant stones it once incorporated
The find is already challenging conventional wisdom about how Stonehenge was built - and what it was used for.
Bluehenge was put up 5,000 years ago - around the same time as work began on Stonehenge - and appears to have been a miniature version of it.
The two circles stood together for hundreds of years before Bluehenge was dismantled. Researchers believe its stones were used to enlarge Stonehenge during one of a number of redevelopments.
Professor Tim Darvill, Stonehenge
'We thought we knew it all, but over the last few years we have discovered that something as familiar as Stonehenge is still a challenge to explore and understand. It wouldn't surprise me if there weren't more circles.'
All that remains of the 60ft wide Bluehenge are the holes of 27 giant stones set on a ramped mount. Chips of blue stone found in the holes appear to be identical to the blue stones used in Stonehenge.
The four-ton monsters, made of Preseli Spotted Dolerite - a chemically altered igneous rock harder than granite - were mined in the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire and then rolled, dragged and floated the 200 miles to the site on the banks of the Avon in Wiltshire.
Once installed, the stones would have been polished to a dark blue with silver flecks resembling the night sky. Bluehenge lies at the end of the 'Avenue' - a ritual pathway that connected Stonehenge to the Avon.
Stonehenge itself was built and rebuilt over 600 years in three main phases. The first - begun in 3000BC - saw the creation of a ditch and bank which later enclosed a circle of 56 holes for posts or stones.
Around 2600BC the site was transformed into two circles of 82 blue stones brought from the Welsh mountains.
Then, 150 years later, the ancient Britons set up 50-ton sarsen stones quarried at Marlborough, 25 miles away.
The blue stones were dug up and repositioned, and the sarsens used to create the Stonehenge familiar today. The new find changes this account of this history.
It suggests that the creators of Stonehenge originally built two circles - one with 56 stones at Stonehenge, and another with 27 at Bluehenge. The stones of the smaller circle were eventually incorporated into the bigger one.
Bluehenge was discovered by Professor Mike Parker Pearson, of Sheffield University, who argues the monuments were linked to rituals of life and death.
Julian Richards, archaeologist and presenter of BBC2 TV series Meet The Ancestors, believes, however, that such certainty is beyond our reach.
'Any one person who says they have the answer is being a bit over-confident,' he said.
'If you think that Stonehenge was created, used and modified over 1,400 years then it probably was used for many different things.'
Professor Geoffrey Wainwright, who found the source of the Stonehenge stones in Wales with Professor Darvill, said: 'This [new] henge is very important because it forms part of the picture of ceremonial monuments in the area and puts Stonehenge into context.
'It's no longer Stonehenge standing alone, but it has to be seen in context with the landscape.'
Lovers of prehistoric sites will have to wait until February before the full details of Bluehenge are published.
The creators of Stonehenge - who saw the Stone Age pass into the Bronze Age - were farmers who lived in small villages in huts made of wooden stakes and twigs, covered with a thick layer of clay and chalk.
Farming had been established for at least 1,000 years and the builders of Stonehenge were skilled at growing wheat and barley and keeping pigs and sheep.
Some experts believe they made cider and beer and ground wheat into flour to make bread and cakes.
But they were still forced to depend on wild fruit, peas, lentils, nuts and honey. Clothes were primitive leather coats and jackets, woollen leggings and simple shoes made of skins bound with twine.
No one knows what gods they worshipped, but the alignment of Stonehenge to the solstice shows that the Sun - and maybe the Moon - was important.
Has anybody noticed that stone henge is 1.31 miles from bluehenge and that bluehenge is 1.31 miles from woodhenge? since they worshipped the 4 seasons does that mean there is another henge? and that it could be buried 1.31 miles from stonehenge and wooodhenge to make a giant circle? you can check it out on google earth if you like :0)
Monday, 8 February 2010
Design watchdog hits out at plans for £20m visitor centre at megalithic jewel in England's cultural crown
Its footpaths are "tortuous", the roof likely to "channel wind and rain" and its myriad columns – meant to evoke a forest – are incongruous with the vast landscape surrounding it.
So says the government's design watchdog over plans for a controversial £20m visitor centre at Stonehenge, the megalithic jewel in England's cultural crown. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, has criticised the design of the proposed centre, claiming the futuristic building by Denton Corker Marshall does little to enhance the 5,000-year-old standing stones which attract more than 800,000 visitors each year.
Its concerns are the latest chapter in the long saga surrounding the English Heritage-backed project, and follow a government decision two years ago to scrap on cost grounds a highly ambitious £65m scheme to build a tunnel to reroute traffic to protect the World Heritage site.
The centre, which has been approved by Wiltshire county council planners, has divided opinion.
"We question whether, in this landscape of scale and huge horizons and with a very robust end point that has stood for centuries and centuries, this is the right design approach?" said Diane Haigh, CABE's director of design review.
"You need to feel you are approaching Stonehenge. You want the sense you are walking over Salisbury Plain towards the stones."
But the "twee little winding paths" were "more appropriate for an urban garden" than the "big scale open air setting the stones have", she added.
The many columns were meant to be "lots of trunks" holding up a "very delicate roof", she said. "Is this the best approach on what is actually a very exposed site. In particular, if it's a windy, rainy day, as it is quite often out there, it's not going to give you shelter. We are concerned it's very stylish nature will make it feel a bit dated in time, unlike the stones which have stood the test of time".
CABE believed the location of the centre, at Airman's Corner, is good, and were pleased "something was happening at last", but questioned the "architectural approach". The centre has the full support of local architects on the Wiltshire Design Forum, and has been passed by the local planning committee. Nevertheless English Heritage recognised it was an emotional and divisive subject.
"Innovative architectural designs will always polarise opinion, and often nowhere more so that within the architectural world itself," it said in a statement.
"The Stonehenge project has to overcome a unique set of challenges," it said. "This has required a pragmatic approach and, following widespread consultation, we maintain the current plans offer the best solution".
Stephen Quinlan, partner at Denton Corker Marshall, defended the design. The roof was meant to be a "sun canopy" and not offer weather protection in what was, principally "an outdoor experience".
"It's not an iconic masterpiece. It's a facility to help you appreciate the Stonehenge landscape. It's intellectually deferential in a big, big way to Stonehenge as a monument.
"I wouldn't even mind if you couldn't remember what the building looked like when you left. The visitor centre is not the destination," Quinlan said.
However, he added: "We don't take criticism from CABE lightly. And we are crawling through their comments to see if there are any improvements we can make."
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Salisbury Plain, Wilts - (Ass Mess): Druids, vegans and assorted goths are to be excluded from Summer solstice commemoration ceremonies at Stonehenge this year after locals branded them a pest to wildlife who habitually dump excessive tonnes of toxic human waste into the surrounding ecosystem.
"Each year we have to put up with acres of foreign lentils sprouting up in the fields surrounding this ancient monument after these hippies crap all over our pastureland," local Soil Association representatives have told the press.
"Mostly they are organic free-trade Peruvian-origin virulent strains that defy digestion and germinate in the lower gut before acts of nature deposit them in the ancient Wiltshire countryside.
"For the last five years we have had to spend over ten million pounds on heavy duty industrial crop busting machinery to uproot these foreign lentil varieties which spread like wildfire across the county."
Despite Ministry of Agriculture measures to contain the outbreaks the invasive legumes keep sprouting and often affect indigenous wildlife nesting in the myriad hedgerows of the nearby countryside.
"We've tried asking the solstice visitors to amend their diets before and during their annual pilgrimages to our country's most ancient monument, but do they listen?
"Even installing bio-degradeable lavatory facilities at vast cost to the taxpayer is a futile act because many of these vegan and Druid chappies only void in the open, under moonlight and according to their spiritual beliefs.
"Most of them appear to prefer soiling themselves than using one of our portable hygenic chemical toilet facilities," local health official reported.
A five mile exclusion zone has cordoned off the Stonehenge monument today in anticipation of an early influx of the annual travellers whose convoys have already been spotted on the nearby local bypass armed with their trademark teepees, wigwams and calor gas fry-up equipment.
The sun's annual ingress into the sign of Cancer takes place on Thursday evening this week.
You have been warned.
I did promise a few laughs on this blog - it can't all be serious. Ha ha..............
Friday, 5 February 2010
Survey of landscape suggests prehistoric monument was surrounded by two circular hedges.
The Monty Python knights who craved a shrubbery were not so far off the historical mark: archaeologists have uncovered startling evidence of The Great Stonehenge Hedge.
Inevitably dubbed Stonehedge, the evidence from a new survey of the Stonehenge landscape suggests that 4,000 years ago the world's most famous prehistoric monument was surrounded by two circular hedges, planted on low concentric
banks. The best guess of the archaeologists from English Heritage, who carried out the first detailed survey of the landscape of the monument since the Ordnance Survey maps of 1919, is that the hedges could have served as screens keeping even more secret from the crowd the ceremonies carried out by the elite allowed inside the stone circle.
Their findings are revealed tomorrow in British Archaeology magazine, whose editor, Mike Pitts, an archaeologist and expert on Stonehenge himself, said: "It is utterly surprising that this is the first survey for such a long time, but the results are fascinating. Stonehenge never fails to reveal more surprises."
"The time these two concentric hedges around the monument were planted is a matter of speculation, but it may well have been during the Bronze Age. The reason for planting them is enigmatic."
Pitts wonders if the hedges might have been to shelter the watchers from the power of the stones, as much as to ward off their impious gaze.
If the early Bronze Age date is correct, when the hedges were planted the Stonehenge monument already had the formation now familiar to millions of tourists, after centuries when the small bluestones from west Wales and the gigantic sarsens from the Stonehenge plain were continually rearranged.
The survey also found puzzling evidence that there may once have been a shallow mound among the stones, inside the circle. It was flattened long ago, but is shown in some 18th century watercolours though it was written off as artistic licence by artists trying to make the site look even more picturesque. The archaeologists wonder if the circle originally incorporated a mound which could have been a natural geological feature, or an even earlier monument.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
On Tuesday night, February 2, Wiltshire's ancient stone monument was taken over by a film crew.....filming season five of BBC 1's Doctor Who.
Turns out that when the moon lies above the stone circle and the sun is on the opposite side of the earth, the stone circle acts as a gateway to a parallel time and place. Standing in the centre of the circle can allow one to be at one with the entire universe but unfortunately induces runaway ageing and exposure to other more evil personalities bent upon conquest. Dr Who finds himself imprisoned within the stone circle of an advanced extra-galactic civilisation and is held as a hostage until dastardly demands are met. The clock is running and the Doctor is rapidly ageing towards infancy. A twist in the tale is the entity that is allowed into the modern Human world when the stone circle is activated. Sadly, the choices are harsh.....either allow the proposed McDonalds drive-through planned for the Avenue, the bowling alley, the souvenir shop and the vast visitor facilities or, the Doctor will be wearing nappies for the remainder of this series and the evil personality (a hybrid mutation of David Icke and Schliemann) will win executive control of English Heritage.
Doctor Who at Stonehenge
Despite it being a closed set...
Local fans, braved the rain hoping to catch a glimpse of the action: "I've been a fan of Doctor Who since I was five, that's 35 years now, and this has been the first chance I've had to see it being filmed."
...plus returning professor River Song (Alex Kingston) have all been spotted on set - along with a brazier or two - the rumour is that the latest episodes including The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks will all be set 'some time in the past'.
With early filming reports claiming that the Doctor aka Matt Smith along with his sexy assistant Amy Pond played by Karen Gillan...
Monday, 1 February 2010
Ancient man had his own form of 'sat nav' that helped him find his way across Britain, according to new research.
The sophisticated geometric system was based on a stone circle markers.
Our ancestors were able to travel between settlements with pinpoint accuracy thanks to a complex network of hilltop monuments.
These covered much of southern England and Wales and included now famous landmarks such as Stonehenge and The Mount.
Researcher Tom Brooks analysed 1,500 prehistoric monuments, including Stonehenge and Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, and found them all to be on a grid of isosceles triangles - those with two sides of equal length - each pointing to the next site.
He believes this proves there were keen mathematicians among the ancient Britons 5,000-6,000 years ago, at least two millennia before the Greeks who were supposed to have discovered geometry.
Many monuments are 250 miles or more away but GPS co-ordinates now show all are accurate to within 100 metres and provided a simple map for ancient Britons to follow.
Incredibly, the triangles still exist today as many medieval churches, abbeys and cathedrals were constructed on top of the original stone circle markers.
Historian and writer Tom Brooks, from Honiton, Devon, believes prehistoric men were 'highly intelligent surveyors and planners.'
He said: 'It is known that many, if not all, early churches, abbeys and cathedrals were constructed on ancient sites and this diagram illustrates that point.
'This ancient form of geometry permits the production of various patterns across our landscape linking prehistoric settlements and waymarks.
'Such is the mathematical precision that it is inconceivable that this work could have been carried out by the primitive indigenous culture we have always associated with such structures.
'Such patterns could only have been the work of highly intelligent surveyors and planners which throws into question all previous claims as to the origin of mathematics.
'All this suggests a culture existing in these islands in the past quite outside our expectation and experience today.'
Mr Brooks analysed 1,500 sites stretching from Norfolk to north Wales. These included standing stones, hilltop forts, stone circles and hill camps.
Each was built within eyeshot of the next. Using GPS co-ordinates, he plotted a course between the monuments and noted their positions to each other.
He found that they all lie on a vast geometric grid made up of isosceles 'triangles'.
Each triangle has two sides of the same length and 'point' to the next settlement.
Thus, anyone standing on the site of Stonehenge in Wiltshire could have navigated their way to Lanyon Quoit in Cornwall without a map.
Mr Brooks believes many of the Stone Age sites were created 5,000 years ago by an expanding population recovering from the trauma of the Ice Age.
Lower ground and valleys would have been reduced to bog and marshes, and people would have naturally sought higher ground to settle.
He said: 'The modern-day diagram links 13 churches within four counties of south-west England, ranges across 60 miles, and is a remarkably accurate arrangement of isosceles triangles projecting to varying compass points.
'The medieval system reaches from Derbyshire to Cambridgeshire, Sussex, Hampshire, Somerset and Wales, using only isosceles triangles accurate to within 100m over distances up to 250 miles.'
'Prehistoric Geometry in Britain: the Discoveries of Tom Brooks' is now on sale priced £13.90.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1240746/Prehistoric-sat-nav-set-ancestors-Britain.html#ixzz0eHHBmsJa