Stonehenge… a bunch of stones

Stonehenge… a bunch of stones

This isn’t how I would describe Stonehenge, this is what our driver called them as he said,

“Be back on the bus in an hour or we’ll leave without you. And really folks, it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to walk around a bunch of stones.”

No, he didn’t really say folks and I don’t think he was right about the time. We stopped and took pictures and read the signs set out around it. They have made a path around the ancient circle, so you’re always about 50+ feet from it. I’m sure they don’t want people leaning on them.

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It was put up around 2500 BC

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You can feel the solitary vibe up there. The wind is blowing hard and cold against your face. You are at the top of hill and can see far off in the distance for anything coming, it’s certainly not hidden away. And some of those stones came from Pont Saeson in Pembrokeshire – more than 240 miles away.

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After we walked around, we headed back to the tram to hitch a ride back to the Visitor’s Center.

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This is the Visitor’s Center designed by Denton Corker Marshall. It just opened in December of 2013. 

They are building some exhibits outside to tell more of the story of Stonehenge. How the folks lived, how the stones were transported there, how they connect with the surrounding land.

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The Visitor’s Center is quite a sight. You get the immediate concept of these 3 separate buildings being protected in the forrest. The forrest of steel columns…Or the British say the wood. Can’t see the wood for the trees instead of can’t see the forrest for the trees. That was off topic but I feel like it was a bonus fact.

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Above the steel column trunks is a metal clad tree canopy with perforated panels around the edges to soften the edge of the grove. When you’re standing inside it doesn’t feel imposing, it feels very comfortable.

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The materials they used are anything but stone, which I think is quite appropriate and it doesn’t try to mimic the main attraction which is refreshing.  This wood clad building is the Main Exhibition space. I’m in love with the way they treated the entrance.

These are some of the displays. I was so happy to see signs that said “Please touch the models”… they want kids and adults to get excited about this place and to understand how important it is to preserve.

And these are just nifty details I liked along the way. Lights and guide fencing along routes and nicely designed benches for sitting and contemplating the vast land around the area and the beautiful buildings themselves.

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This was one of my favorite sights. Maybe because I love wood, maybe because it was so simple and clean. Maybe because I couldn’t go inside…

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And then we got on the bus and headed to Bath…

Stay tuned for The City of Bath post.



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