Monday, March 31, 2008

Stone 'Enge

By December 21, Australia will have its own full-scale replica of Stonehenge, amongst the wineries of Margaret River, WA.

December 21 is the completion day chosen by former brewer Ross Smith because it marks the next summer solstice. Bloody pagans.

Smith is promising a 101 stone replica of the legendary 'Enge, which will be built from 2500 tonnes of Esperance granite, with stones standing eight metres high. It will cost Smith about $1.5 million to build on his Margaret River property.
It would replicate how the British structure stood about 5000 years ago.

Mr Smith said no one had ever tried to replicate Stonehenge in granite and the project’s location had been changed because of the high cost of a bitumen road and due to neighbours’ objections.

“It’s a standing circle of stones 33m across and I had to laugh when some people said in their opposition to it on the other property, ‘What does Stonehenge have to do with Margaret River?’,” he said. “Well, I can say, 25 years ago what did grapevines have to do with Margaret River?”

Smith has cracked onto a very good idea. Remarkably, there doesn't exist a full-sized replica of Stonehenge anywhere in the world, despite it being one of the most famous of all the ancient monuments, according to Smith.

"I'm doing it because I can," said Mr Smith...

...The Henge, will include 101 granite stones arranged in an inner and outer circle and a central altar.

Unlike the original Stonehenge, guests will be encouraged to play around the new monument, which will also have an interpretive centre and a children's playground.

Mr Smith said The Henge would be a business venture, to be hired out for weddings and other events.

If the popularity of WA's Wave Rock is anything to go by (hours of driving to see a rock that looks like a wave. Sort of), the 'Enge will be a massive 'it with tourists.

Smith should be seriously looking into booking Spinal Tap for the opening of The Henge. They'll supply the midgets.

UPDATE : Ross Smith is wrong, there are other full-sized replicas of Stonehenge, including Maryhill Henge in Washington, built in the early 1900s as a memorial to the dead of World War I.