Tuesday 29 August 2023

The Little Britain Stonehenge

Kenny Brophy - "...recently visited Stonehenge, curious to see how this icon of Britishness is presented to visitors and tourists. ...It is very clear that the Stonehenge experience – the real Stonehenge – is a long way removed from the idealised Stonehenge we keep getting told about. If this monument is a jewel in the crown, it’s a fake.

The reality is sadly many miles removed from the glossy airport adverts – make no mistake, visiting Stonehenge in the summer these days is a tawdry, tacky experience...

...The very existence of Stonehenge is political, created in many phases of activity that were designed to empower and boost certain individuals and interest groups. Medieval stories about the stones were political too, origin myths to support claims of power and the status quo. These stones have been and continue to be used to peddle myths about the past while conserving power and control today – academic power, political power, power over access, an essential celebrity and politician photo opportunity, a place that one has to be associated with...

Thanks Kenny, it's a great gift to be able to see, what we might think of as ours, as other see it. It should free us from many blunders and foolish notions. If only the fanciful wrappings and devotions might be stripped from it and reveal the real Stonehenge. 

One of the many reasons I preferred the old visitor centre was its honesty of purpose and architecture.   

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