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Stonehenge tunnel plan is divisive

03 Dec 2014
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Archaeologists and conservation groups are divided over the proposals for the road tunnel at the world heritage site.

Proposed tunnel at Stonehenge

For many years, one of the most important prehistoric archaeological sites has stood uncomfortably beside one of Britain's busiest roads - literally, within meters. But this may all change with a proposed tunnel.

English Heritage and the National Trust, who own the site and the surrounding landscape, see this as a very significant development, but not all agree. Some archaeologists feel that the work will damage the landscape within the World Heritage site. Others feel that the tunnel will be too short, and that the proposal smacks of tokenism. Furthermore, the government is being accused of not consulting the international bodies who hold legal responsibility for World Heritage sites.

As we now understand, Stonehenge represents the jewel in the crown; the entire area is an archaeological 'theme park' - see below - with elements being constantly discovered. According to Mike Heyworth, director of the Council for British Archaeology, if the tunnel has both an entrance and an exit within the World Heritage site it would have major implications for the archaeology.

archaeological park at Stonehenge

Editor's note: I am astounded that a tunnel is being considered. An orbital ring road to circumnavigate the whole archaeological area must surely be preferable, for many obvious reasons. On a more positive note, I strongly recommend the new Stonehenge Visitors Center. A walk from the Center through the archaeological park is an excellent way to arrive at the monument.

Stonehenge Visitors Center

Visit our Stonehenge section:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/stonehenge/index.php

Read a previous Latest News story on the continued archaeological research at Stonehenge:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/news/world_heritage.php?id=Beneath-Stonehenge

 

 

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