Stonehenge Field Notes

2022 is the year of Stonehenge. A new exhibit at the British Museum collects artifacts from Neolithic and early-Bronze Age Europe, giving context to “The World of Stonehenge.” I recently took a camera through the gallery, as part of a larger video project about the monument. This culminated in Wiltshire where I spent the morning filming within Stonehenge itself.

You can watch the video below, or at YouTube.

See also: Help Save Stonehenge.

Stonehenge Undermined

Associated Press reports:

The British government went against the recommendations of planning officials Thursday, approving controversial plans for a road tunnel to be built near the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in southern England.

As I wrote back in 2018:

The lifespan of concrete is remarkably short. Modern reinforced concrete needs repairs after only fifty years. In the fullness of time the decay of the tunnel will destabilize the landscape around Stonehenge. Assuming this generation wishes to bequeath the monument to posterity the risk is unacceptable.

A regrettable outcome.

Update (July 2021): The High Court has ruled against the consent order; there is new hope for the old stones.

Help Save Stonehenge

Since 2014 a plan has been under consideration to dig a nearly two mile tunnel through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. From the Stonehenge Alliance website:

The Government proposes to widen the A303 trunk road to the south west.  The 4-lane carriageway, tunnel, slip roads and trenches would cross the iconic Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS): a landscape that is considered “the most archaeologically significant land surface in Europe without parallel”.  The whole Stonehenge landscape has an outstanding universal value that is of immense significance for all people for all time, and this transcends any consideration of sorting out a 21st century part-time traffic jam.

The whole site, extending to beyond the horizons around the famous stones themselves, is c. 5.4 km across. All of it makes up a “huge ancient complex” that holds many secrets yet to be discovered. Yet the proposal is for a 2.9km (1.8 mile) tunnel.  It would result in at least 1.6 km of above-ground 21st-century road engineering within the WHS.

The lifespan of concrete is remarkably short. Modern reinforced concrete needs repairs after only fifty years. In the fullness of time the decay of the tunnel will destabilize the landscape around Stonehenge. Assuming this generation wishes to bequeath the monument to posterity the risk is unacceptable. Please help Stonehenge Alliance protect the site.

See also: Stonehenge Field Notes.