Stonehenge will soon be released from its fences and clutter and re-united with its landscape. So might it be time to release it from its perceptual limits as well? It’s one of the world’s most iconic gathering places yet is barely used or known for gatherings other than for solstice and equinox. What about the rest of the year and the rest of the stakeholders? Might it be a good thing to celebrate and utilise it in lots of ways? Isn’t public engagement a good way to promote public protectiveness?

The recent Fire Garden event showed the way. “A comfortable friendly gathering” said Mike Pitts (and much else) but there are lots of other events that could be held there, quite a few each year – why not, if they were self-financing? So we’re asking for suggestions for possible events that English Heritage and the National Trust could be asked to consider. Not pop festivals (enough already!) or motorcycling and not this…..

Not events like this! Hare Coursing at Stonehenge in 1865 (Reproduced with kind permission of Stonehenge Collectables)

…. but events that aren’t necessarily connected with Stonehenge but would benefit from being held there and of course wouldn’t be harmful to it.

If you have any suggestions please let us know, bearing in mind the following basic criteria that we suspect the responsible authorities would regard as important:
 Entry by ticket only (thus avoiding overcrowding and making for an easily managed event)
 Tickets to cost sufficient to cover the cost of the event plus a modest profit (why not?! Why should the taxpayer pay?)
 Events to take place on “slow” visitor days or times of year or after hours or when normal visiting needn’t be suspended (to ensure they don’t cause a reduction in visitor revenue)
 The stones to be used as a backdrop for the gathering, not as its location and the dignity of Stonehenge not to be compromised.

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For suggestions about how Stonehenge could be used put New Ways in the search box