In the latest rather, er, unique bid to boost tourism, an Australian town is planning to build a life-size replica of the famous 4,000 year-old rock formation Stonehenge – so let’s check out if this is a rock-solid plan or a rather rocky road to disaster…
Twilight Beach in Esperance, Western Australia, is the planned venue for the ‘new’ Stonehenge.
The controversial plan aims to recreate the ancient Wiltshire monument on a hillside overlooking the beach, 740km southeast of Perth. More than 100 stones are to be erected, with the largest stone standing more than seven metres high and weighing in at more than 50 tonnes.
The plan was originally announced back in 2008, when local businessman Ross Smith ordered the granite blocks. But, his £850,000 project collapsed after the proposed development went into the hands of liquidators.
Now, the plan has been raised from the dead and the quarry has offered the stone blocks to the town of Esperance for £180,000. A further £545,000 is needed for site works, a car park and tourism facilities.
The project, to be called The Henge, will include 101 granite stones arranged in an inner and outer circle and a central altar.
Unlike the original Stonehenge, guests will be encouraged to play around the new monument, which will also have an interpretive centre and a children’s playground.
Mr Smith said The Henge would be a business venture, to be hired out for weddings and other events.
A small team of quarry workers has spent the past five months drilling and blasting the stones into shape.
The ‘REAL’ Stonehenge Stone Circle website
>What is a ‘Henge’ monument
Stone Henge – What is one?
A henge is the term given to a large prehistoric earthwork, usually but not always circular, whether of stones, wood, or earth.
This word, interestingly, is a back-formation from Stonehenge. Additionally some spell it stone henge or stonehedge even though that is incorrect. Stonehenge was the Saxon name for the famous monument on the Salisbury plain, and the “henge” part is Old English for “hang,” not earthwork. Nonetheless, the term henge is in wide use in both popular and scientific literature to refer to megalithic monuments of the Neolithic and Bronze ages.
Whether you are thinking stone henge or Stonehenge, both are basically Megaliths. Megaliths are single large stones, or a group of “standing stones” usually arranged in a circular or semi-circular formation, and that archaeologists believe were religious temples or monuments. The earliest sites are thought to date back to the millenia. The word, “megalith” itself has Greek origins: “mega” meaning “great” and “lithos” meaning “stone”. Certain megalith sites, and there are thousands of them all around the world, were also known burial sites. England seems to have the greatest concentration of megaliths that carry names like Avebury, the Hurlers, the Merry Maidens, and the Rollright Stones. The most famous of these is, of course, Stonehenge.
People do commonly mistake the words stone henge for Stonehenge and should learn the difference so they may find the correct information.
The Stonehenge Web Site