Scaffolding Spotted at Stonehenge as Iconic 4,500-Year-Old Monument Gets Repaired
13:29 GMT 14.09.2021 (Updated: 14:31 GMT 14.09.2021)
One of Britain’s best-known cultural icons last enjoyed any work more than 60 years ago, when a cracked stone was stuck back together with concrete and returned to its original place.
Scaffolding and craftsmen were spotted at the great circle of Stonehenge this week, when the owner English Heritage launched its reparation works at one of the UK’s most famous landmarks.
Laser scans had previously shown extensive cracks and deep natural holes in lintel stones - horizontal rocks that give the structure its shape and balance – sparking concerns among the monument-managing officials.
English Heritage’s senior curator Heather Sebire told the Guardian that the weather was to blame.
“The weather is changing. We’re getting more extremes – the stones dry out in the hot weather and puddles form in the torrential rain,” she explained.
In the next two weeks, engineers and workers are expected to fix these erosions by digging out deteriorating concrete used for Stonehenge’s repairs over 60 years ago and by replacing it with lighter lime mortar.
Back in 1958, workers utilized the hard concrete to restore the stone number 122 that had fallen and cracked in 1900, but technologies and methods have changed since then. Sebire expressed hope that thanks to the project “the stones should be able to stand the test of time”.
“The stones look as if they will stand forever but like just about everything they are vulnerable. This vital work will protect the features which make Stonehenge so distinctive,” the renowned curator noted.
English Heritage has promised not to meddle with Stonehenge too much but pointed out that it’s still a human-made structure which needs repairs from time to time to get it going. At the moment, one of the biggest concerns is that no stones will fall down upon craftsmen shoulders, Sebire noted.
In the meantime, mysteries around Stonehenge have been haunting the 4,500-year-old structure for generations, with conspiracy theories suggesting it could have been built not by industrious earthlings for religious or burial purposes but by aliens – as their landing spot.