Stonehenge is one of the most important and loved prehistoric monuments in the
world. It has stood on Salisbury Plain for thousands of years, evocative and enigmatic,
arousing awe and wonder in each generation that has gazed upon it. As a World
Heritage Site, it is a testimony to mankind’s creativity, ingenuity and engineering skills.
However, everyone agrees it deserves a better setting and visitors deserve a better
experience. Over the years, there have been several attempts to do something
about it and we are delighted that, on 20th January 2010, our plans for a new
Visitor Centre at Airman’s Corner were given the go-ahead by Wiltshire Council.
Our proposals for a new visitor centre and for transport and access to Stonehenge are
available on this website.
Click here for the 'New Stonehenge' Gallery tual Stonehenge QVTR-2
As a World Heritage Site (WHS), Stonehenge and its surroundings are powerful witness to the once great civilisations of the Stone and Bronze Ages. Its WHS status requires the UK Government to conserve and communicate its Outstanding Universal Value to present and future generations.
Today Stonehenge is severely compromised. Busy roads cut it off from surrounding monuments and landscape and, most importantly, from the Avenue – its ancient processional approach. Visitor facilities and parking so close to the Stones represents a significant visual intrusion at the centre of the WHS.
The facilities themselves are basic and cramped and there is no space for education or exhibitions. The shop is regularly overcrowded, and refreshments are only available from an outdoor kiosk. Parking is inadequate, overflowing onto adjoining fields at busy times.
Latest News (please also visit our 'Stonehenge News' page for hisorical background and the most recent developments
Stonehenge visitor centre approved
12:22pm Friday 22nd January 2010
PLANS for the new £27.5million visitor centre and facilities at Stonehenge have been given the go ahead by Wiltshire Council.
Despite concerns raised about increased congestion, the size of the new car park and transportation from the centre to the ancient monument, 12 out of 13 councillors on the council’s strategic planning committee voted to approve the scheme.
The project involves building a new centre with a car park at Airman’s Corner, with a land train to take visitors to the stone circle.
The existing visitor centre and parking will be removed and the A344 from Stonehenge to the A303 will be closed off and grassed over.
Cars will be diverted to Longbarrow Roundabout and along the A360 to Airman’s Corner, where a new roundabout will be constructed.
“There is no question that something is needed,” said Amesbury councillor Fred Westmoreland. “To me, this site makes sense.
“Most of the objections which are being made are looking for a solution we are never going to get. This is the third planning application, or the fourth, and you will never get everyone to agree on everything.
“If in five years or five months time we find the road system does not work, no problem, we can change the system. If we find the buildings themselves are not working particularly well, we can amend them.
Cllr Christine Crisp said: “There is public money on the table to make this one happen. If it is delayed a year or two years, we will have no idea whether there is any public money on the table to make that development happen.”
Loraine Knowles, Stonehenge project director for English Heritage, said: “This is an important step in returning Stonehenge to a more dignified setting and creating facilities more fitting for a world-renowned tourist attraction.
“We can now begin to look forward to providing a much improved, high quality experience for visitors at an environmentally sensitive development.”
* Councillors also approved an application to move the Airman’s Cross monument from its current position at the staggered junction into the visitor centre grounds, where it will be placed next to the path from the car park to the centre.
2012 New Visitor centre
Please visit our Stonehenge news blog for the latest developments