Thursday 6 October 2016

Secret Major Stonehenge Excavations For the Tunnel

Visible from the Long Barrow roundabout there is a major machine assisted excavation going on in the World Heritage Site just south of Normanton Gorse - the Google Aerial View is marked with a star where it is. This is where one of the Stonehenge tunnel entrances is planned  in one of the possible plans.

So I drove down the Byway to have a little look.

As I drove down a pickup spotted me and sped across as I stopped to take a snap from the Byway.

A very nice man, with a Wessex Archaeology jacket, asked what I was doing, said that he had to record everyone that drove up and down the byway as it was "sensitive"  excavating in the World Heritage  Site.

Looks like where the western tunnel portal will be has been decided....

Click pictures to enlarge.


Andy Rhind-Tutt makes the very valid point that if the western portal to the tunnel is built where Wessex Archaeology are digging at the moment the lights from the tunnel entrance and approach road will be directly in line with the winter solstice sunset, the most important view at Stonehenge. No more last flash as the sun goes down just an orange glow....
The site of the dig is marked with an orange triangle, and connects to the approach road marked with a thick orange line. The solstitial alignment is the thin line through the monument.


  1. Hi Tim,

    I have posted an update of the solar alignments at Stonehenge on the Megalithic Portal's "Twisted Trilithon" thread. For delta T I have used Morrison & Stephenson, 1982.

    It would be useful for people checking the potential tunnel alignments to refer to the table for consistency. If anyone has an up-to-date 360-degree local horizon profile for Stellarium, based on 2-metre LiDAR data or better, I would be very grateful to have a copy of it.

    I have a higher resolution copy of the table if you wish to make it available on your blog.

    All the best,


    1. Richard - many thanks for that, really useful. I think over there is better place for any discussion as that seems to be where the experts are but the link from here is a good idea. Tim

  2. With a bit of care in the planning, which I think English Heritage will insist upon, I don't think the proposed tunnel entrance would really be much of a problem. For a start, it won't be lit with low-pressure sodium lamps, because modern planning insists on something a bit more economical and more directed than these rather antiquated devices.

    Secondly, the tunnel entrance won't be at ground level. Going from a ground level road to a tunnel which will have to be bored, not a cut & cover job because of the sensitivity of the landscape will necessitate an approach road that is substantially sunk into the ground. The approach will thus be down a canyon, with the actual portal being several metres below the surface.

    Thirdly, this is a world heritage site where the purpose and local sensitivities clearly known. As such, I would strongly suggest to the builders that they really would like to put ANPR average speed cameras onto the road, to enforce a 50 MPH limit most of the time. For the actual day of the solstice, a limit of 30 MPH could be enforced, to go along with substantially dimming the LED road lighting, so as not to ruin the view for onlookers.

  3. Mike Pitts has a few words to say about this:


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