Tag Archives: English Heritage

Stonehenge , the winter solstice.


The first time I visited Stonehenge  was back in the summer of 1983 en route back to Oxford from Cornwall, the then notorious festival was in full swing and comprised of a rebellious mix of hippies, punks, Hell’s Angels , New Agers and druids, in fact the full gamut of British outsider culture, I have been a frequent visitor to the winter and summer solstices ever since. Compared to now, back then  existed as fairly anarchic and edgy event and cocked a snook at the ‘powers that be’ which  all ended acrimoniously with the infamous Battle of the Bean Field, in effect a heavy handed assault by police under orders from above (a.k.a. the Tory government). Sadly to my mind what we are left with is a twice yearly inconvenience to English Heritage, high viz over organisation and zealous stewardship that has sucked much of the life and joy from an ancient celebration.This coming Monday 22nd at sunrise, a day later than usual, there will be as many tourists attending as there are serious solstice celebrants, not that I find that a problem but it is just indicates the way the world is now a smaller place and full of seekers  searching for the authentic and by so doing diluting the genuine experience they seek.