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Stonehenge – a final solution?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Stone OBE


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Stonehenge, one of the world's iconic prehistoric sites, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986. The landscape immediately surrounding Stonehenge is dissected by two busy roads which intrude on the landscape, shattering its tranquillity, and pass within metres of the stone circle. Over the last twenty years some 50 different options for the removal of these roads have been discussed. After a lengthy Public Inquiry in 2004 the Inspector recommended that one be closed and the other placed in a 2.1 km bored tunnel. However, a year later, in the light of increased costs not available at the Inquiry, the Government has decided that this recommendation, which it had supported, is too expensive. It has therefore put forward four other much cheaper options to consultation and is now on the verge of making a crucial, final decision that will radically affect Stonehenge and its surroundings for ever. It appears, unfortunately, that this decision will be made without taking either the wider responsibilities enshrined in the 1972 World Heritage Convention or the full economic implications of the decision into due consideration. Some argue that these omissions mean that the site should be put on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stone PG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Public Archaeology

Year: 2006

Volume: 3

Pages: 139-149

ISSN (print): 1465-5187

ISSN (electronic): 1753-5530

Publisher: Maney Publishing