Photographer's Note

So much has been written about Stonehenge - so will try to write something diff

By the beginning of the 20th century a number of the stones had fallen or were leaning precariously, probably due to the increase in curious visitors clambering on them during the nineteenth century. Three phases of conservation work were undertaken which righted some unstable or fallen stones and carefully replaced them in their original positions using information from antiquarian drawings.

Stonehenge is a place of pilgrimage for neo-druids and those following pagan or neo-pagan beliefs. The midsummer sunrise began attracting modern visitors in 1870s, with the first record of recreated Druidic practices dating to 1905 when the Ancient Order of Druids enacted a ceremony. Despite efforts by archaeologists and historians to stress the differences between the Iron Age Druidic religion, the much older monument and modern Druidry, Stonehenge has become increasingly, almost inextricably, associated with British Druidism, Neo Paganism and New Age philosophy.

The earlier rituals were augmented by the Stonehenge free festival, held between 1972 and 1984, and loosely organised by the Politantric Circle. However, in 1985 the site was closed to festivalgoers by English Heritage and the National Trust by which time the number of midsummer visitors had risen from 500 to 30,000. A consequence of the end of the festival was the violent confrontation between the police and new age travellers that became known as the Battle of the Beanfield when police blockaded a convoy of travellers to prevent them from approaching Stonehenge. There was then no midsummer access for almost fifteen years until limited opening was negotiated in 2000.

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  • Copyright: sameera sachdeva (sameeras) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 11] (49)
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  • Date Taken: 2004-07-17
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  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400
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  • : UK Trip
  • Date Submitted: 2006-09-25 10:48
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