|Quoit a resurrection
WOW! It's true, the stones are all finally up!
Me and Rupe walked the dog round the bottom end of the lake this afternoon (rather than parking up by the recycling centre) to find this:
As well as the stones going up, the henge had been mown and looked all 'coifed' and magnificent, and the hundreds of rabbits I saw last month with ocifant were gone.
We paused by the biggest of the original stones – it was thrilling to see it back up again, looking just like in the 1882 photo by Henry Taunt. I took a photo, as the shadows looked remarkably similar to that in Taunt's picture.
To my knowledge this complete reconstruction of a site using what is left of the original stones, plus some new ones, is unique. Interesting that it's the painstaking excavation of Oxford Archaeology working with site owner Hanson who have made it happen.
As we were leaving, two blokes wearing florescent yellow jackets and hard hats from the portakabin at the dump approached us. They had seen us as we walked round the top of the bank. One wore a tie and had clean hands (obviously the site manager) and the other wore a sweaty T-shirt, big shit-kicking boots and had dirty hands (obviously a workman). They asked what we were doing there as there is no public access. I told them the dog gets walked up there every day (by my kids) as we only live 'over there' *points towards to village*.
A charm offensive was needed to diffuse any whiff of trespass, so I enthused about the stones (not difficult!) and how over the years we'd watched the work continuing and how excited we were to see the stones go up on Wednesday. This seemed to do the trick.
The man in the tie said they'd be a public opening in late August/early September. He also told me that once it was open, they planned to limit access to it with a fence "like at Stonehenge", he said, to stop people walking all over it, wearing it down and to prevent rabbits recolonising it and denuding it. "Like hell that's going to happen" I thought. He said that all the rabbits had been gassed last week and they were keen to keep them off – they were damaging the ditch and bank very badly.
I asked the man with the dirty hands if he was part of the team who put the stones up. He was! He said it felt pretty special to be part of it, which I thought was nice.
So there you have it.
And as we walked back to Rupe's house he said: "your stone-hugger friends will be excited … ooh, there's two of them now!" and at that moment Vybik John and Common Era pulled up in a car. I told them which way to walk round the lake to the stones without being spotted by the site staff.
Please remember if you visit the henge that you are technically trespassing.
Posted by Jane
4th July 2008ce
Edited 7th July 2008ce