Stonehenge

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henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
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Derby
‘Out & about’ well, in my head I was there.watched the winter solstice online at Stonehenge(2020)
Drab grey, rain & a few blokes in yellow vis vests with the whole monument to themselves.
Strange times we live in
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Me neither.

I honestly think that if folks want to celebrate the Solstices then maybe it's time to create a new place, a new 'theatre' for it.
Keep Stonehenge as a place for quiet contemplation of the past and of the people who made it.
 
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champ

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Dec 20, 2020
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To be honest i forgot about it.I have visited a few times in the summer many years ago when you could get close to the stones.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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I was lucky enough to spend time at Stonehenge before any fencing went up and you could walk around it freely - and I photographed sunset (but neither of THE sunsets :)). It is an awe inspiring place but totally spoilt now by the number of people, a lot of idiots, and the £50 fee to go into the centre.

I agree, let it rest, and certainly save it from the re-invented, self-crowned, robe wearing fools (sorry, touched a nerve there :))
 
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Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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Is it that expensive?

Ive been blogging on Wiltshire Heritage, and making a list of places I really want to cover.

And thinking. "Shall I? Meh??"

And also thinking "Shall I email them with examples of what I have done and telling them...

....Surprise me....

...And seeing what they might suggest???"

I am so tempted but I am busy with tentative enquiries to all sort of places at the moment, -there are a great many things I can cover that, to be frank, are more interesting and don't require going over the same old same old. I am `not` a prehistorian and though I take a casual sort of interest in anything that may catch my easily distracted eye, (and I am easily distracted) I am not in the business of gawking at huge rocks. (Even those that have been imported at astronomical expense for my delectation...) Still less in paying to gawk at huge rocks.

What do you think?
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
I watched the sunrise from within the stones in 1984, the year before the violent crackdown on the festival and the Peace Convoy. The festival was ‘interesting’ to say the least, but held well away from the stones. The violence the next year and subsequent fencing off and visitor centre left a bitter taste, and though I’ve driven past it many times since, I’ve never felt I wanted to visit again.
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Hey, I was there that year too!
Remember the band playing in the sunrise?I think it was the enid. I know they played at one point that night.hazy memories, but lots of them. I could tell a hundred stories of that weekend!
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
415
270
Derby
All very interesting points put across,but why should we be forced to celebrate our heathen/ pagan path by paying a large sum of money to visit on three special days of the year.. I know there’s eight but let’s keep it simple?
Yes, it is full of idiots/ stoners who know diddly squat what it’s truly about..unfortunately we have to look past them for a clearer picture.
 

Wander

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Jan 6, 2017
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You will be very relieved to hear, then, that you are NOT forced to celebrate your pagan path by paying a large sum of money.
That's because you are NOT forced to go to Stonehenge!
(My apologies and heartfelt sympathy if you do, in fact, have someone pointing a gun at you and telling you to go there 'or else')
Since no one knows what Stonehenge was built for (it was already ancient - and no one knew what it was for - by the time the Romans arrived. Despite what those 'stunning new evidence' Channel 5 documentaries would have us believe) then there is no compulsion or need to go there to celebrate anything.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I'm one of the archaeologists on the forum. This kind of topic is one that is often discussed.

Bluntly, people wreck sites. People trash sites, they peck away at them until they are utterly deformed and debased. They have this 'need' to make their mark on sites, to leave something of themselves, or to take away a 'remembrance' a 'souvenir', but in doing so they slowly destroy the very thing they came to admire.
Foot traffic alone destroys the ground, wears away the structures stability and weathering ability.
People clambering over stones destroy fine detail, wear away carvings, and the damage is cumulative.

So, paying for access, creates a 'value' to the site, and that value pays for security, for maintenance, for repair, and a hopefully truthful and unbiased information based explanation of what we know.

The site as it is now, is not the site that it's builders conceived or built. It is simply the wreckage of that site, and it's place in pre history.

Adherents of modern religious practices layered onto the bones of past often do not accept that their interpretation is just that.
We have no way to communicate with the people of the past. We can experience Stonehenge through our modern eyes and senses, but it is not as it was through their eyes, their senses, their cultural affinity or their religious rites and devotions.
Everyone has an opinion, but too often they cherrypick the facts to make it fit, instead of making the interpretation fit the facts.

So, if people really want a site where they can practice their devotions, feel anchored to the past and the future, to be part of and aware of the turning of the year, the Earth the Moon the Sun, then go and build that.

Create something to be now, and to leave for the future to wonder about.

Stonehenge is part of the cultural history of us all, not just those who claim it as a religious centre.

M....who did celebrate the Solstice :)
 
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Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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You might ask why do we have to pay so much money for conservation of the natural environment, which so obviously is something that occurs of its own accord, and cost nothing to put up?

Well, part of it is to protect it, and another part is to make it available to the public to enjoy.

There used to be a right of way through the centre.

And idle shepherds boys looking for a fee to chips bits off...or carve your name.

(Its funny how the public say Heritage is a worthwhile thing but then refuse to cough up.)

Its not a sacred site and for all we know might never have been. To my mind it seems too scientific for anything I know about paganism. A sacred well or grove would be more appropriate (And, incidentally, have actual archaeological evidence for sanctity.)
 
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Tengu

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Jan 10, 2006
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Hoy Toddy, bit slow to read your post, -but you said pretty much what I did

(Incidentally the reason why you cant go amid the stone anymore might well be because of certain new age people...not the public at large)
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
415
270
Derby
You will be very relieved to hear, then, that you are NOT forced to celebrate your pagan path by paying a large sum of money.
That's because you are NOT forced to go to Stonehenge!
(My apologies and heartfelt sympathy if you do, in fact, have someone pointing a gun at you and telling you to go there 'or else')
Since no one knows what Stonehenge was built for (it was already ancient - and no one knew what it was for - by the time the Romans arrived. Despite what those 'stunning new evidence' Channel 5 documentaries would have us believe) then there is no compulsion or need to go there to celebrate anything.
I’ve never been because of what it’s become..a tourist trap,hence the slight frustration.so I therefore visit the much lesser known ones which are free.
I see henges/stone circles in my own interpretation, not what others think?(which I keep private).
I personally haven’t owned a goggle box for nine years as I refuse to be conditioned..although I do miss David Attenborough
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,123
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Mid Wales
Sorry, I totally agree, I wasn't complaining that there was a charge but that it is not what it was.

And yes, I celebrate the Solstice (Alban Arthuan - or whatever it is called in your culture) by just taking in the moment, reflecting on the year past and planning the year ahead.

Let's be blunt though, Stonhenge is only part of the cultural history of a fraction of modern Britons. John Rothwell was born in Wakefield and is likely to have a closer DNA match to Harald Greycloak than Uther.

To be clear, I celebrate Britain's cultural diversity, but to claim to be descended from an ancient Briton is going too far :)
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,325
1,808
W.Sussex
Hey, I was there that year too!
Remember the band playing in the sunrise?I think it was the enid. I know they played at one point that night.hazy memories, but lots of them. I could tell a hundred stories of that weekend!
Cool!

I’m not sure of the band at sunrise, but that weekend introduced me to Ozric Tentacles and my first live Hawkwind gig. Time, and the mad man giving out cups of mushroom cider and it’s all a bit hazy. I ought to have known better by looking at him :D
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
415
270
Derby
I'm one of the archaeologists on the forum. This kind of topic is one that is often discussed.

Bluntly, people wreck sites. People trash sites, they peck away at them until they are utterly deformed and debased. They have this 'need' to make their mark on sites, to leave something of themselves, or to take away a 'remembrance' a 'souvenir', but in doing so they slowly destroy the very thing they came to admire.
Foot traffic alone destroys the ground, wears away the structures stability and weathering ability.
People clambering over stones destroy fine detail, wear away carvings, and the damage is cumulative.

So, paying for access, creates a 'value' to the site, and that value pays for security, for maintenance, for repair, and a hopefully truthful and unbiased information based explanation of what we know.

The site as it is now, is not the site that it's builders conceived or built. It is simply the wreckage of that site, and it's place in pre history.

Adherents of modern religious practices layered onto the bones of past often do not accept that their interpretation is just that.
We have no way to communicate with the people of the past. We can experience Stonehenge through our modern eyes and senses, but it is not as it was through their eyes, their senses, their cultural affinity or their religious rites and devotions.
Everyone has an opinion, but too often they cherrypick the facts to make it fit, instead of making the interpretation fit the facts.

So, if people really want a site where they can practice their devotions, feel anchored to the past and the future, to be part of and aware of the turning of the year, the Earth the Moon the Sun, then go and build that.

Create something to be now, and to leave for the future to wonder about.

Stonehenge is part of the cultural history of us all, not just those who claim it as a religious centre.

M....who did celebrate the Solstice :)
Thank you, I’m not an academic so I therefore welcome what you have said.
I never thought about it that way,.

Something has been puzzling me for years though..humans for thousands of years from all over the world have never been in contact with each other, yet ancient descriptions of spirals/cups/ circles & lozenges have been carved into rocks.
Makes one wonder?
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,698
2,618
S. Lanarkshire
Check out any shamanism and the same symbols come up time and time and time again.
It's something to do with how the human brain is hardwired and how hallucinogenics/ intoxicants/exhaustion/ stress/ dwam/ meditation, etc., interacts with it.
Basically we see things :)
How each culture, and the individuals within it interpret and explain those images differs widely though.
 
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Laurentius

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
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Knowhere
M....who did celebrate the Solstice :)
Not so much celebrate as breathe a sigh of relief that the days will be getting longer again, I tend to be rather miserable at this time of year. I was out in the woods today and a muddy woods they were, generally walking in the late afternoon before it got too dark to stay in there.
 
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