Postcards to friends of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site

Stonehenge by Henry Mark Anthony (1817-1886)

Stonehenge by Henry Mark Anthony, 1817-1886

So far as I can recall I managed to live more than fifty years without really hearing of Avebury. Well, apart from a small black-and-white photo I saw of it when I was about eight in the tattered volume of “1001 Wonderful Things” that served as our version of television in those days – and for some reason I assumed the stones were only about a foot tall so I instantly dismissed them from my thoughts. As for Silbury, I definitely hadn’t heard of that.

Wind forward to the first day of the twenty first century and I’m driving west on the A4 from Marlborough with a friend, exploring. We go round a bend and up pops Silbury right in front of us. “What the hell is that?” were my very first words on the subject of British prehistory. If you’re going to start, you might as well start like that. I was amazed – like all who first travel along that route, including the Romans no doubt.

Later we drove on for our very first visit to Stonehenge. We were shocked rigid by the adjacent squalid visitor centre – so much so (and it was maybe a bit childish and out of character for a couple of otherwise respectable fifty somethings) that we went away and returned with two large placards asking people to write to their MP or Congressman about the state of things! We were chucked out of the car park and had to risk all by standing in the busy road but everyone seemed to agree with us.

But now, thirteen years later things are about to change. The road we were told to stand in will soon be gone and much else will change for the better. Restoring Stonehenge to something closer to “splendid isolation” has to be one of the best things ever achieved in the name of heritage. I’m so glad it’s happening in “my” time.

NRS

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This is part of a series of short “postcards” that anyone with something to share is welcome to submit, whether that is a digital snap and a “wish you were here” or something more involved. Please do join in by sending your postcards to theheritagejournal@gmail.com

For others in the series put postcards in the search box.