• More than a million  people visit Stonehenge every year – but it has been roped off from the public  since 1977
  • A new £27million centre  nearby will contain a 360-degree cinema screen with a 100ft  circumference

Visitors to Stonehenge will again be able to  experience standing inside the ancient stone circle thanks to a 360-degree  cinema.

The battle for access to the World Heritage  site has been fought for many years, with campaigners wanting to be allowed into  the world-famous monument.

At last, protestors may partially get their  wishes, as English Heritage is developing a solution – a virtual visit in a  panoramic cinema

New evidence: Studies of cremated human remains show that a larger stone circle was erected at the same site as a community graveyard

New evidence: Studies of cremated human remains show that a larger stone circle was erected at the same site as a community graveyard

The picturehouse will be the jewel in the  crown of a new £27million centre and will include a 32ft landscape wall, on to  which computer generated images of the countryside around the circle and other  ancient earthworks will be projected.

The new auditorium’s 100ft circumference is  smaller than the actual stone circle, which is around 300ft. It’s expected to be  built just over a mile from the stones.

Also planned are films providing information  about the monument and prehistoric items, exploring theories over the uses of  Stonehenge.

The picturehouse will be the jewel in the  crown of a new £27million centre and will include a 32ft landscape wall, on to  which computer generated images of the countryside around the circle and other  ancient earthworks will be projected.

The new auditorium’s 100ft circumference is  smaller than the actual stone circle, which is around 300ft. It’s expected to be  built just over a mile from the stones.

Also planned are films providing information  about the monument and prehistoric items, exploring theories over the uses of  Stonehenge.

New studies of cremated human remains  excavated from the site suggest that about 500 years before the Stonehenge we  know today was built, a larger stone circle was erected at the same site as a  community graveyard, researchers said.

‘These were men, women, children, so  presumably family groups,’ University College London professor Mike Parker  Pearson, who led the team, said.

‘We’d thought that maybe it was a place where  a dynasty of kings was buried, but this seemed to be much more of a community, a  different kind of power structure.’

The virtual visits may not win over  all  campaigners including Pagans and Druids who want open access to  Stonehenge,  which was created about 5,000 years ago.

When it was first opened to the public, it  was possible to walk among and  even climb on the stones. However, they were  roped off in 1977 due to  problems with erosion.

However, English Heritage does permit access  during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox.

British researchers have proposed a new  theory for the origins of Stonehenge:  It may have started as a giant burial  ground for elite families around  3,000 B.C.

By Fiona Keating Daly Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2298923/Panoramic-virtual-views-Stonehenge-wow-visitors-32ft-landscape-wall.html

STONEHENGE TOUR GUIDE

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