No, it’s not a scene from Spinal Tap…
…however, the plans for the new Stonhenge visitor centre are back on the drawing board.
An article in the Telegraph we just found on twitter discusses the plans English Heritage are making for the new visitor centre at Stonehenge. It doesn’t sound bad, actually – though it is a matter of course that no matter what EH does there, they will be slaughtered in the press and lots of people will hate it.
I’d like to take this opportunity to be daring and swim against the tide of popular thinking on this one, and give EH the benefit of the doubt. From the sounds for the tenders they’ve been putting out for the interpretation, it sounds to us like they are headed in the right direction. The best, most sensitively done and generally awesome visitor centre we’ve ever been to is at Brú na Bóinne in Ireland, for the Newgrange monument, which has a similar situation to Stonehenge in that it’s been placed far enough away from the monument so that it doesn’t disturb the landscape perspective. People are then bused the short distance to the monument, where you are actually allowed inside Newgrange and given a guided tour…which is of course different than Stonehenge, where the monument is roped off. It’s an interesting side note that people seem to be able to be respectful enough of Newgrange not to vandalise or damage it and thus access to the monument is still possible, whereas this is a problem at Stonehenge, along with ‘erosion’. Food for thought.
The visitor centre issue is one we have been following over the years with total amazement at just how contentious the whole process has been. What do you think? Leave us a comment below!
DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Become a DigVentures Subscriber and be part of great archaeology - all year round!