Friday 9 December 2016

The Archaeology of the Stonehenge Festivals

British Archaeology Magazine (Jan-Feb 2017) contains an impassioned plea to remember the Stonehenge Free Festivals and concludes: "The festival is now fading history, with the very road and car park that made it possible removed.... We are in danger of forgetting. Perhaps there should be an inquiry. As useful, and much cheaper, would be a full archaeological research programme, on the ground, in the archives, and most importantly through talking to people who were there, from every part of the rich and confusing mix. Freedoms, rights and open reporting were compromised at Stonehenge in the 1980s. We need to know what really happened: to hold authority to account and to honour the place."

Click to embiggen

The genteel walkers across the National Trust fields seem to follow the Hippy trails of the festivals. (Though some of them may well be the same people.)

I have a copy of Alternative England and Wales from 1975 ( for a guided tour of its contents) and Stonehenge isn't mentioned, and the guidebooks all are of Avebury and Stonehenge.

Much of the present iconic status of the monument can be traced back to the Festivals and not only should there be a proper research project into them but they would also make a fantastic exhibition subject.

Mike Pitts has written about the festivals here -

1 comment:

  1. I was there from the beginning and was a member of the Wallies . contact me if you would like more information .