Tuesday 17 December 2013

New Exhibition Centre - Stonehenge

STONEHENGE TRANSFORMED
- Major exhibition for visitors opens on 18 Dec -
-        Over 250 exhibits of international importance -
-        Face of Early Neolithic man unveiled –
-        Virtual “Stand in the stones” experience -
- Existing facilities to go, area to return to grass
Photo: View from within the stones looking North East at sunrise.
The long-awaited Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre will open on 18 December. For the first time, visitors will have a proper introduction to one of the world’s most important prehistoric monuments. It is the first phase of English Heritage’s £27million project to transform the visitor experience of the iconic site, made possible by a £10m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and substantial gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Linbury Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

Visitors will be able to see original objects used in its construction and those connected with Neolithic and Bronze Age men and women, their lives, their rituals and daily struggles. The reconstructed face of a 5,500 year-old man buried in a long barrow 1.5 miles from Stonehenge – the most advanced reconstruction of a Neolithic man’s face to date - is a highlight. (Images from PA, Getty and AFP)

A special exhibition will display important objects, never seen together before, that tell the story of the changing understanding of Stonehenge over centuries. These include two rare 14th-century manuscripts which are among the earliest known drawings of the monument, Roman coins and jewellery, and early surveying equipment.

A 360-degree virtual experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter the gallery. This three-minute film, based on state-of-the-art laser scan images of the stone circle, will transport the viewer back in time through the millennia and enable them to experience the summer and winter solstices.   

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive, English Heritage, said: “At last, visitors toStonehenge will be able to get a sense of the people who built this monument, of their lives, their deaths and their ceremonies. Visitors will, for the first time, learn the astonishing history of the stones and will see objects, many never seen before, that will bring the stones to life.

“Instead of just a stopover or a quick photo opportunity, we want our visitors to step back in time and into the shoes of those who created and used this extraordinary place, to marvel at original everyday objects they used, to walk the surrounding landscape as they did, and to sit in the dwellings that they would have built. It makes the real encounter with the stones themselves so much more exciting.”

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most iconic sites, undeniably worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage status attracting 1 million tourists every year from the UK and all over the world. So it’s only right that, after decades of indecision, we can now offer them the visitor experience and exhibition centre they deserve. A huge amount of work has gone into getting this right and making sure people can see the stones and their story in a whole new light.”

Bettany Hughes, award-winning author, historian and broadcaster, said: “I have no doubt that those who first constructed Stonehenge did so with awe and with a profound appreciation of the beauty and power of the world around. For millennia men and women have travelled to the site to try to share that experience. Now in the 21st century with the help of these developments, we can appreciate both the intriguing story of the site - and its mystery.”

Early Neolithic man - ancestor of Stonehenge creators
The reconstruction of the early Neolithic face, using forensic evidence derived from skeletal analysis, is the face of a man 25 – 40 years old, of slender build, born about 5,500 years ago - about 500 years before the circular ditch and banks, the first monument at Stonehenge, was built.

He was among those people who were active on Salisbury Plain in early Neolithic Britain and helped to explain why people chose this area to erect the stones a thousand years later: the area already held significance. His presence emphasises the fact that Stonehenge is part of a remarkable landscape of prehistoric monuments which visitors can now explore on foot as part of their visit.

The reconstructed head is based on the skeleton of an adult male which was excavated in 1863 from a long barrow at Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire, and had been stored at in the Duckworth Laboratory at Cambridge University before it was loaned to English Heritage for the new exhibition. He is shown upright in the display with the reconstructed head beside him. 

Specially trained volunteers will embark on building a group of Neolithic houses in January, complete with furniture and fittings. These will be the highlight of an outdoor gallery, to open at Easter 2014, and are based on evidence of houses excavated at nearby Durrington Walls where the builders of Stonehenge most probably lived. 

Experience Stonehenge in a more dignified setting  
Visitors will have a heightened sense of anticipation when they arrive at the visitor building as Stonehenge is not visible - it will only emerge slowly on the horizon during the ten-minute shuttle ride to the monument.

At the stone circle, there will be opportunities to walk and explore the surroundings of the monument including the Avenue, Stonehenge’s ancient processional approach, guided by new interpretation panels specially developed with the National Trust.

The Avenue has been reconnected to the stone circle after being severed by the A344 road for centuries. The whole area is now free of traffic, and newly sown grass is establishing on the former route of the road.

A sensitively designed modern building
Designed by leading practice Denton Corker Marshall, the exhibition and visitor centre appears light and unimposing, sensitive to its surroundings and deferential to the stones. The galleries, café, shop and toilets are housed in a pair of single-storey “pods”, sitting beneath an undulating canopy that evokes the gentle rolling plains nearby. Locally sourced, pre-weathered sweet chestnut and Salisbury limestone are among the materials used.

Improvements to visitor facilities include:
·        full disability access;
·        dedicated education space;
·        a bright and spacious café with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 260;
·        a bigger shop with a wide range of specially commissioned merchandise;
·        a visitors’ carpark with space for 500 vehicles and 30 coaches;
·        ample toilets;
·        a pre-booked timed ticket system to help minimise queues and avoid over-crowdedness at peak times; and
·        new, downloadable and hand held free audio guides in 10 languages

Carole Souter, Chief Executive, HLF, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to tell the full story of Stonehenge’s past, its present and how it will be understood by future generations.  The Heritage Lottery Fund has been working in close partnership with English Heritage and a myriad of other funders and donors to make these imaginative plans a reality.  We’re proud to have invested £10million in the exhibition and visitor centre and hope it will capture people’s imaginations and inspire them to learn more about life in both Neolithic and Bronze Age times.”

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director-General, the National Trust, said: “As owners of much of the surrounding land, we have supported English Heritage in bringing the Stonehenge landscape together and developing visitors’ understanding of the World Heritage Site as a whole. The removal of the A344 reconnects the monument with the landscape, giving visitors an opportunity to once again appreciate the ancient processional approach up to the stones. The new centre, with its fresh interpretation and displays, will help visitors understand the stones and the Neolithic world of ancient Britain from a different perspective.”
                                            
Loraine Knowles, Stonehenge Director, English Heritage, said: “This is a major milestone in a long journey to make the experience of Stonehenge worthy of its iconic world heritage status. When the restoration of the landscape is complete by summer 2014, visitors will be able to enjoy the special atmosphere of this place with far fewer distractions from modern-day sights and sounds.  I’d like to thank our partners and the many individuals and organisations who have shared our vision and helped us to achieve this historic event.”

All the permanent exhibits are on loan from Salisbury and South Wiltshire MuseumWiltshireMuseum in Devizes, and the Duckworth Laboratory, University of Cambridge. All were found within the World Heritage Site. Temporary loans come from many sources including the British Museum, the British Library, Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford University.

The Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project is the largest capital project ever undertaken by English Heritage. It is financed almost entirely by the HLF, English Heritage commercial income and philanthropic donations.

The building is sited 1.5 miles away from Stonehenge to enable the immediate area around the monument to be free of modern structures. Work to demolish the existing facilities and car park and return the area to grass will begin imminently. The restoration of the landscape around Stonehenge will be completed in summer 2014.

Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre, 1.5 miles from StonehengeWiltshireSP3 4DX. For visits from the 1st February 2014, entrance to Stonehenge will be managed through timed tickets and advance booking is strongly recommended. Adult £14.90, Concession £13.40 and Child £8.90.  

Friday 13 December 2013

Winter Solstice Stonehenge 2013

WINTER SOLSTICE

AT STONEHENGE  21st December 8.09 AM 
English Heritage will once again allow people access to Stonehenge for the
celebration of the Winter Solstice, the first day of the winter season. Sunrise is at
8.09am on Saturday 21 December and visitors will be able to access the monument
as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. 

Entrance is free and will be available
from roughly 7.30am until 9am, when the site will close - before re-opening as per
usual to paying visitors at 9.30am.

The exact time of the Solstice this year, when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away
from the sun, is at 17.11pm on 21 December, however it is generally accepted that
the celebration takes place at dawn and therefore access is
permitted at Stonehenge earlier that morning.

Over the last few years, the popularity of Winter Solstice has grown considerably,
with many families and young people joining the druid and pagan community in the
celebrations. Three years ago, 2,000 people attended Winter Solstice and in 2012
more than 5,000 people attended.

Kate Davies, Stonehenge General Manager said: “We are delighted to offer people a
warm welcome to Stonehenge this Winter Solstice but as facilities are limited, we are
not able to accommodate any more people than last year. We don't have the luxury
of using nearby fields in winter for parking and encourage people to make use of the
special bus service running from Salisbury.

We are working very closely with the local authorities and agencies plus the druid and pagan community to ensure that access to Stonehenge will once again be a success.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Stonehenge Video

Our family had a great time visiting Stonehenge and Avebury during our trip to the U.K. this past summer and contemplating their mysteries. We made a video of our trip and wanted to share it with you: 

Thank you!

Best regards,

The Velloso Family

Friday 1 November 2013

STONEHENGE PROJECT UPDATE

STONEHENGE PROJECT UPDATE

Autumn 2013

We are pleased to announce that the new visitor centre - the first phase of the long-awaited improvements to the setting and visitor experience of Stonehenge - will open to the public on 18 December
211 steel columns support the gently undulating canopy, under which sit two "pods" which house the exhibition, education, café, and retail space
211 steel columns support the gently undulating canopy, under which sit two "pods" which house the exhibition, education, café, and retail space
Apart from modern facilities, visitors can expect a stunning exhibition that will fascinate even those who have seen the Stones before. This is the first time Stonehenge has had a proper place to tell its story, and visitors will be able to find out much more about this complex monument, distinguishing facts from theories.
A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors 'stand in the stones' before they enter a gallery featuring various displays and nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts. The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum, and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge. All of the materials were found inside the World Heritage Site and many are on public display for the first time.
Artist’s impression of the permanent exhibition which features, among other things, precious objects on loan from the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
Artist’s impression of the permanent exhibition which features, among other things, precious objects on loan from the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
Flint arrowhead, from a grave near Stonehenge on loan from Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
Flint arrowhead, from a grave near Stonehenge on loan from Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
The new visitor building, designed by leading practice Denton Corker Marshall, is reaching the final stages of construction and interior fit-out has started. It is a low key structure featuring many enhancements over what is on offer at Stonehenge now, including
  • an environmentally sensitive and fully accessible building with a high BREEAM rating (the industry standard assessment system for sustainable building design and construction). There are a number of green features such as an open loop ground source heating system, mixed mode ventilation and a treatment system for recycling grey water; 
  • dedicated education space; 
  • a bright and spacious café with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 260;
  • a bigger shop;
  • a visitors carpark with space for 500 vehicles and 30 coaches; 
  • ample toilets, including disabled toilets; 
  • a pre-booked timed ticket system to help minimise queues and avoid over-crowdedness at peak times; and 
  • new, downloadable and hand-held free audio guides in 10 languages.
Artist’s impression of the visitor shuttle which will transport visitors to the stones on a 10-minute ride
Artist’s impression of the visitor shuttle which will transport visitors to the stones on a 10-minute ride
Artist’s impression of the new café which has indoor and outdoor seating areas
Artist’s impression of the new café which has indoor and outdoor seating areas
Artist’s impression of the new retail space
Artist’s impression of the new retail space

Transforming the Landscape

When the new visitor centre opens in December, the transformation of the landscape setting of the Stones will not be finished but visitors will get a good sense of the vision we are trying to achieve.
The closed section of the A344 road will have been seeded with grass and the fences along it will have been removed. In January 2014 work will start on decommissioning the existing facilities and returning the car park to grass. This work will be complete by the end of June 2014, although it will take some time after that for the newly seeded areas to establish and for the full landscape vision to be fully realised.
Before and after aerial views of Stonehenge
Before and after aerial views of Stonehenge

Continued Access to Stonehenge

Switching over to the new visitor centre will happen overnight, which means there is no disruption to visitors and you can still visit Stonehenge now. There is continued road access to Stonehenge - motorists will need to use a diverted route via Longbarrow Roundabout (junction of A303 and A360) and Airman's Corner (junction of A360 and A344). Motorists travelling west on the A303 will see a sign in the vicinity of Stonehenge Bottom indicating that they should continue straight ahead for Stonehenge. There will also be signs at Longbarrow Roundabout.

A New Home for Airman's Cross

The other good news is that Airman's Cross, the memorial erected at Airman's Corner in 1913 to commemorate two pioneering airmen who lost their lives whilst flying on duty, has been relocated to a position with easier and safer access. 
The Grade II-listed Airman's Cross memorial commemorates Captain Eustace Loraine and Staff Sergeant Richard Wilson who lost their lives on 5 July 1912 whilst flying on duty - the first members of the Royal Flying Corps to do so. As the Cross is one of the very first monuments to military flyers anywhere in the country, it has come to be regarded as a symbol of all early flying on Salisbury Plain, the cradle of British military aviation, and we are very pleased to have provided a new home for it.
It is now located close to the pedestrian path linking the car park with the new Stonehenge visitor centre, away from traffic and overlooking the most likely position of the crash site itself. Thousands of visitors will now be able to see it at close distance and find out more about its fascinating history.
Airman's Cross being reinstalled
After being cleaned and kept in safe storage by the Royal Engineers, Airman's Cross has now been re-installed at the new visitor centre ahead of its opening

Salisbury Christmas Market | Salisbury Christmas Market

Salisbury Christmas Market | Salisbury Christmas Market
28th November – 21st December 2013

Come to Salisbury’s gorgeous Christmas Market! Rated by the Daily Telegraph in 2012 as one of the ‘Top 10 Christmas Markets in the UK’, we hope you will find it to be one of the prettiest, loveliest and most tasteful Christmas Markets in the country.

With beautifully decorated chalets, inspiring and desirable gifts and gourmet foods, a warm welcome from stall holders, a Father Christmas Grotto, a spectacular lantern procession, and traditional music by local choirs and schools to serenade you while you shop, we hope we have all the ingredients for the perfect traditional Christmas.
Salisbury Christmas Market (C) Simon Ward Photography

Saturday 19 October 2013

Mark-Cooper-Photography

Welcome guest Photographer Mark Cooper. 
Welcome to Mark Cooper Photography. Salisbury based freelance photographer. Thanks Mark for the excellent photos.
http://mccphoto.co.uk/



Wednesday 16 October 2013

Heavy Skies at Stonehenge

Heavy Skies - Bring me a wheel of oaken wood A rein of polished leather A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky Brewing heavy weather.

Monday 30 September 2013

NEW STONEHENGE EXHIBITION AND VISITOR FACILITIES TO OPEN ON 18 DECEMBER

NEW STONEHENGE EXHIBITION AND VISITOR FACILITIES TO OPEN ON 18 DECEMBER
English Heritage announced today (30th September) that the first phase of the long-awaited improvements to the setting and visitor experience of Stonehenge will be launched to the public on Wednesday, 18 December 2013. 

Visitors will be welcomed at a new visitor building, located 2.1km (1.5 miles) to the west of Stonehenge. For the first time ever at the site, they will be able to learn more about this complex monument in a stunning, museum-quality permanent exhibition curated by English Heritage experts. A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter a gallery presenting the facts and theories surrounding the monument through various displays and nearly 300prehistoric artefacts.

The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and SouthWiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum, and the Duckworth Collection, University ofCambridge. All were found inside the World Heritage Site and many are on public display for the first time.

Set in Stone? How our ancestors saw Stonehenge, will be the first special temporary exhibition. It will chart over 800 years of ideas and debate - from 12th-century legends to radiocarbon dating reports in the 1950s - on who built Stonehenge and when, and features objects on loan from many national museums.

Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “This world famous monument, perpetually described as a mystery, finally has a place in which to tell its story. The exhibition will change the way people experience and think about Stonehenge forever - beyond the clichés and towards a meaningful inquiry into an extraordinary human achievement in the distant past. It will put at its centre the individuals associated with its creation and use, and I am very proud with what we have to unveil to the world in December.”

Visitors will have a heightened sense of anticipation when they arrive at the visitor building as Stonehenge is not immediately visible; it will only emerge slowly on the horizon during the 10-minute shuttle ride to the monument.

At the stones, there will be opportunities to walk and explore the surroundings of the monument including the Avenue, Stonehenge’s ancient processional approach, guided by new interpretation panels specially developed with the National Trust. The Avenue will have been reconnected to the stone circle after being severed by the A344 road for centuries, the whole area will be free of traffic, and newly sown grass will be establishing on the former route of the road.

The new visitor building, designed by leading practice Denton Corker Marshall, is reaching the final stages of construction and interior fit out has started. It is a low key structure featuring many enhancements over what is on offer now, including
·        an environmentally sensitive and fully accessible building with a high BREEAM rating (the industry standard assessment system for sustainable building design and construction). There are a number of green features such as an open loop ground source heating system, mixed mode ventilation and a treatment system for recycling grey water;
·        dedicated education space;
·        a bright and spacious café with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 260;
·        a bigger shop;
·        a visitors carpark with space for 500 vehicles and 30 coaches;
·        ample toilets, including disabled toilets;
·        a pre-booked timed ticket system to help minimise queues and avoid over-crowdedness at peak times; and
·        new, downloadable and hand held free audio guides in 10 languages

In Easter 2014, visitors can look forward to the opening of a group of reconstructed Neolithic houses. The Neolithic houses are the highlight of the outdoor gallery and will be built from January 2014 onwards by volunteers based on houses where the builders of Stonehenge may have lived, complete with furniture and fittings. 

The final phase of the project – the restoration of the landscape aroundStonehenge – will be completed in the Summer of 2014. Work to demolish the existing facilities and return the area to grass will begin immediately after the new visitor centre has opened and will continue for a few months.

The £27-million Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Programme is the largest capital project ever undertaken by English Heritage. It is financed almost entirely by Heritage Lottery Fund money (£10m), English Heritage commercial income and philanthropic donations including significant gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Linbury Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.













Monday 23 September 2013

Stonehenge with the grassed over A344


Friday 13 September 2013

Sunlight Filter Stonehenge



BBC News - Ancient pathway uncovered during works at Stonehenge.

BBC News - Ancient pathway uncovered during works at Stonehenge:

Ancient pathway uncovered during works at Stonehenge

Stonehenge before and after the A344 is covered overThe A344 - which ran by the stones - is being restored to grass


An ancient ceremonial pathway linking Stonehenge and the nearby River Avon has been unearthed during work to close the road alongside the monument.
Two ditches buried beneath the A344 represent either side of the Avenue, a processional approach aligned with the sunrise of the summer solstice.
Its connection with Stonehenge had been severed when the A344 was built hundreds of years ago.
The find was made near the Heel Stone, about 24 metres from the monument.
English Heritage's Heather Sebire called it "the missing piece of the jigsaw", as the Avenue had been difficult to identify on the ground, but is clearly visible in aerial photographs.
She said: "The part of the Avenue that was cut through by the road has obviously been destroyed forever, but we were hopeful that archaeology below the road would survive.
'Restore dignity'
"It is very exciting to find a piece of physical evidence that officially makes the connection which we were hoping for."
National Trust archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall said it confirms "with total certainty" that Stonehenge and its Avenue were linked.
Work is currently being carried out to restore the A344 alongside the monument to grass and build a new visitor centre.
English Heritage said the work would "restore the dignity" of the stones' setting and "minimise the intrusion of the modern world".
Once the A344 has been restored to grass in summer 2014, markers will be put in place to demonstrate the solstice alignment.
English Heritage said it will enable visitors to "appreciate the position of the Avenue and its intimate connection with and significance to Stonehenge"

Stonehenge Autumn Equinox - Mon 23 Sep 2013

Stonehenge Autumn Equinox - Mon 23 Sep 2013
Stonehenge

  • Date: Mon 23 Sep 2013
  • Property: 
    Stonehenge
  • Time: 6.15am-8am
  • Suitable for: Everyone
The Autumn Equinox occurs at 8.44pm on Sunday 22 September 2013.
Celebration of the Autumn Equinox will take place at Stonehenge at sunrise on Monday 23 September 2013.

Visitors wishing to celebrate the Autumn Equinox at Stonehenge will be given access into the monument when it is considered sufficiently light and therefore safe to do so. This is likely to be from approximately 6.15am. Sunrise that morning will be at approximately 6.56am. Visitors will be asked to vacate the site by 8am.

Please note that access to Stonehenge might not be possible if the ground conditions are poor or if it is considered that access might result in severe damage to the monument.

Limited facilities are available at Stonehenge for the duration of the access although these facilities will not be open prior to the access commencing.
If you require disabled parking, please email Sally Gardner at sally.gardner@english-heritage.org.uk.

Prices

TYPEPRICE
English Heritage MembersFree
AdultFree
Child, 5-15 yearsFree
ConcessionFree
FamilyFree

Price Notes

No car parking is provided by English Heritage (except disabled parking, by prior agreement only).

Source English Heritage