Monday 30 September 2013


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

  • Date: Mon 23 Sep 2013
  • Property: 
  • 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


English Heritage MembersFree
Child, 5-15 yearsFree

Price Notes

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

Source English Heritage

Stonehenge Questions - Postbox on site

Stonehenge Questions - Postbox on site?

Question: Is there a post box at Stonehenge?

Answer: Yes there is and you can buy postcards and stamps at the giftshop.