The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Stonehenge and its Environs


Stonehenge visitor centre and road closure project starts

A £27m project at Stonehenge to build a new visitor centre and close the road alongside the monument has begun.

The centre will replace existing buildings. After the closure of the A344, a shuttle service taking visitors to and from the stones will start.

The existing car and coach park next to Stonehenge will also be removed.

English Heritage said the work would "restore the dignity" of the stones' setting and "minimise the intrusion of the modern world".

The 3,500-year-old World Heritage site receives more than one million visitors a year.

English Heritage said the closure of the A344 would reunite the monument with The Avenue - its ancient processional approach. The stretch of road to be closed will be grassed over.

Stonehenge is believed to have been used as an important religious site by early Britons up to 4,000 years ago
Its stones are believed to be from Pont Saeson in Pembrokeshire - more than 240 miles (386 km) away
Recent pagan celebrations at the Henge began in the 20th Century
On Summer Solstice (Litha), the central Altar stone aligns with the Heel stone, the Slaughter stone and the rising sun to the north east
Read more about the history of Stonehenge
Find out more: BBC Religion Paganism

Head of Stonehenge Peter Carson said: "It's a really fantastic day for Stonehenge.

"What this does is address a lot of concerns that people have had at Stonehenge for decades. It will remove the inadequate facilities and it will mean that we have an open landscape that people can explore.

"I'm absolutely delighted and it will transform the experience for those who visit in the future."

When finished, the visitor centre will be situated at Airman's Corner, about a mile-and-a-half (2.4km) west of the stones, and is expected to open in autumn 2013.

The centre will include exhibition and education facilities, a cafe, shop and toilets.

The area near the stone circle will be restored to grass in summer 2014.

A grade II listed Airman's Cross memorial at Airman's Corner was recently removed to make way for work to upgrade the road junction.

It has been put into temporary storage and will be re-sited in the grounds of the new visitor centre once work is completed.
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
11th July 2012ce
Edited 12th July 2012ce

Comments (4)

Well it is in all the news today, Simon Thurley "A new dawn has sprung" or words to that effect, anyway here is the Guardian link....
moss Posted by moss
12th July 2012ce

Ta for the link.

Having read it, I'm not so sure about the statement that:
"Work is beginning to transform the area around Stonehenge from a "national embarrassment" into a tranquil setting for one of the world's great prehistoric monuments."

So, the road that will still exist to the south will still be heard, as will the EH transport of people to the stones. Seems to me that the only difference will be the loss of the traffic by the Heel Stone and the monstrosity that was the visitor centre and car park.

Not exactly what we all wanted, I'm sure you'll agree.


The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
12th July 2012ce
Hi Eternal,

Yes I agree, think we have to be grateful for small mercies, and await the quieter electric cars which will probably be around in force 20/30 years hence. Things move slowly at Stonehenge and I am happy the landscape has been opened out, I hated the fencing could not go in to see the stones because of my dog, so I much prefer the ability to roam freely.

Moss X
moss Posted by moss
13th July 2012ce
Hi Moss,

Belatedly (sorry), I agree with you. The future will be better, I'm sure.

Hopefully yours,
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
4th November 2012ce
You must be logged in to add a comment