Tunnel Under Stonehenge?
March 21, 2004 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Archaeologists are denouncing plans for a tunnel under Stonehenge. It's not the idea of the tunnel itself that is drawing fire, so much as the execution. The govt seems to be doing it on the cheap, in a way that won't solve the problem of the modern world intruding on the prehistoric megalith.
posted by Slagman (8 comments total)
Best case scenario: The tunnel and traffic interrupt a magnetic leyline that then disrupts electrical activity in the area like an electromagnetic pulse, leaving cars stranded for miles and robbing the surrounding area of power, teaching modern humans a lesson and reminding them of the wisdom of the ancients.

Okay, I can wish for it, can't I?
posted by Shane at 2:51 PM on March 21, 2004

building such a tunnel would create much slag, no?
posted by quonsar at 2:56 PM on March 21, 2004

Damn you, quonsar, do not reveal my evil plan.
posted by Slagman at 3:55 PM on March 21, 2004

What am I missing?

This, Stonehenge... it's a pile of rocks?

How big can the thing be, can't they just build the road around it?
posted by cedar at 6:01 PM on March 21, 2004

Pity none of the links show a diagram of the layout. They talk about the A303, which passes to the south, but not the A360 which passes much closer to the north, and would seem to me to be more disruptive. But I walked about north of the stones, not south, when I visited.

Without any further information, it would only be reasonable to side with the people out to preserve the site.

But that being said, I must add, it is a big disappointment to visit such a place, and find you can't stand inside the circle, you can't walk between the standing stones. If not for the audio tour (at least that's free with admission), it would be totally boring.
posted by Goofyy at 11:52 PM on March 21, 2004

Stonehenge Master Plan and A303 road scheme. Map showing the relationship of the tunnel to the world heritage site boundaries.

Presently the Stonehenge megalith itself is in a wye between two arterial town-to-town routes. One will be closed, its traffic diverted to the other, which will be buried. This will create a parklike space that will be limited somewhat more to tourists and reduce vandalism (Stonehenge is notorious for graffiti and trash). Terming the World Heritage Site a 'sacred space' is a bit tendentious (or intentionally aspersive on the part of the commentator); there are good archaeological reasons to be careful with any such construction. But rerouting the traffic completely around the site seems unlikely, and aside from the tunnel entrances, there aren't necessarily any objectives of interest at the tunnel depth. Never having personally been there, I think the modifications are reasonable, and it's a good deal. They should take it.

Regarding security, Stonehenge has been an 'attractive nuisance' and the site of a kind of English-style Burning Man on past occasions.
posted by dhartung at 12:09 AM on March 22, 2004

The gods will not be pleased; a dark spirit will arise from the center of the circle and afflict mankind for 6.66 years. The tunnel drilling will be abandoned as Old Blighty is plunged into chaos, plagued with maladies and curses prepared by the Druids of old for those who would disturb the unholy site of their barbaric rituals.

(Don't steal my movie idea!)
posted by TreeHugger at 10:00 AM on March 22, 2004

Stonehenge is as much the work of 20th-century engineers as prehistoric humans
Researcher Brian Edwards has uncovered photographs showing fallen stones at the site in southern England being hauled into place using cranes and scaffolding during facelifts over the last 100 years.

blog entry
posted by NortonDC at 3:49 PM on March 22, 2004

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