Tuesday 6 March 2018, 5.30PM18:45
Speaker(s): Martyn Barber
What do we experience today when we visit Stonehenge? The stones and their surroundings have been greatly transformed over the last century and a half, as the desire to know more about the monument’s origins and purpose has grown alongside concerns about its long-term stability and its presentation to a paying public (as the Office of Works put it in 1935, “our whole aim is to enhance its beauty and dignity by producing a little more seemliness and order”). Drawing on contemporary accounts and archival material, Martyn will take a closer look at the causes, aims and motivations behind some of the key interventions at Stonehenge during the later 19th and early 20th century. Viewing the recent history of Stonehenge through a narrative that sees a privately-owned and neglected ruin transformed, via essential maintenance and repair, into a unique expression of Neolithic beliefs and achievement rather overlooks the complexities underlying that transformation.