Stonehenge, taking in the present Visitor Centre and car park. Image credit Moss

Jonathan Jones said it very well – that the coalition is guilty of a final betrayal of Stonehenge and the fact its first cultural cuts include what was already an inadequate plan for the site’s rehabilitation just adds insult to injury – “a callous and unjustified assault on a wonder of the world.”


“Spending on Stonehenge is not a luxury: work there is massively overdue, and no one who visits the place can possibly think its current facilities appropriate to such a great and mysterious ancient legacy. The site is so badly landscaped that it scars your memory of a visit there with crummy visions of Britain in decay. If the coalition thinks the most remarkable monument in the British Isles is a dispensable luxury, God help the culture, God help the land.”

That’s a phrase that will chime with everybody: “so badly landscaped that it scars your memory”…

So surely, “improving” the present visitor centre and leaving it there is not an option. Nor is failing to grass over the A344 where it cuts across the monument. Those are the two things that have scarred the memories of millions of people for decades. Whatever else happens, government finance or private, new interpretation centre or none, removing those two scars on everyone’s memories, those two callous and unjustified assaults on a wonder of the world MUST be the priority and duty of English Heritage. Those are the least expensive and most needed elements and finance has ALWAYS been available for them, so let us hope they will be actioned very soon. How about a timetable English Heritage: done and dusted in as many months from now as the number of decades it has been talked about?

UPDATE: But it now seems unlikely this is going to be resolved any time soon. See this reaction from RESCUE!

Who knows, maybe the delay will be a blessing. Better right than soon!