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This weekend I took friends visiting from Peru to see Stonehenge, Britain's most renowned ancient monument, which they were naturally very keen to see. We were stunned and horrified by what we found there. This world heritage site is managed on behalf of humanity by "English Heritage" who are clearly gripped by a bureaucratic, unimaginative mindset and who are in the process of turning the megalithic circle and its surroundings into something with about as much charm and mystery as Disneyland. Anyone who has been to Stonehenge within the last year will know that things were bad before, but they are a thousand times worse now. One must go first to the newly built visitor centre about a mile from the henge, and then be taken by shuttle bus or on a little supposedly ecologically friendly "train" drawn by Land Rover [See Photo] to the site where you are of course not allowed to approach the stones themselves but are kept at a distance by ropes and barriers. The theme park atmosphere induced by the shuttle bus and/or "train" ride completely destroys the mystery and creates an atmosphere in which the megaliths appear to be held captive, tamed, forced into obedience by the narrow-minded officials who have imposed their control on the site. No longer does it feel in any way that this is an English heritage or a British heritage or a world heritage monument of great mystery and spiritual power but rather that we are confronted by a beaten, destroyed, subjugated, enslaved monument castrated by the dead hand of bureaucracy. People are still able to walk in the surrounding fields half a mile or so away nearby the Neolithic long barrows and round barrows in the vicinity of Stonehenge but I have no doubt that this freedom, too, will soon be removed. Meanwhile the English Heritage organisation who are responsible for Stonehenge appear to have done little to dissuade the Ministry of Defence from building housing blocks at the exact point on the horizon where the sun at the summer solstice rises in line with the heel stone at Stonehenge. Nonetheless, if enough public opposition is registered it may still be possible to stop this silly and unnecessary housing plan (there is plenty of room to build these houses elsewhere) so please add your signature to this petition which I signed this morning and which must be completed and delivered tomorrow, 1 April 2014. Meanwhile Stonehenge does remain fully open to the public on four days a year, the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Winter and Summer Solstices. On the Spring Equinox 2014 my friends at Megalithomania filmed this short video at Stonehenge which addresses the Ministry of Defence housing plans and shows some of the construction work being done by English Heritage to tame the site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqLQaP0E17I.
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