Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Government kills off DCM's Stonehenge Visitor Centre
#51
vulpes Wrote:My point was to question the assumption that important archaeological sites 'need' visitor centres, marketing etc. The so called 'success' of Stonehenge as a visitor attraction (actually more like the 9th or 10th most popular in the UK and a long way behind Blackpool Pleasure Beach!) has inexorably lead to inappropriate development within it's setting, car parks, subways and so on. It has also resulted in reduced access to the site itself.

I'm not a fan of the reduced access, but I can see how there is a need for facilities and information about the site. Not everone who visits has specialist knowledge, and there should be some way to present the information about the site that has been garnered by archaeological studies. Otherwise, why study it or permit archaeologists to even excavate or study the site, or for that matter any site?

Surely, conservation of the site means some sort of management and control? Making Stonehenge a free-range site may cause more harm than good, with no control at all as to how the site is treated by the visitors.
Prime practitioner of headology, with a side order of melting glass with a stern glare.
Reply
#52
Some sites are iconic and unique hence World Heritage Status

They become a focal point for a wide variety of visitors with equally ranging agendas. They could be left for free access but the number of uncontrolled visitors leads to destruction whether through thoughtless behaviour or just physical numbers and in some cases clashes of interests between different groups of visitors.

Such sites have to be managed so that the site survives and the visitors get the best experience in the circumstances.

The alternative is to restrict access & build a replica (cave art sites in Europe).

I wonder would a henge theme park somewhere else in the county draw in the visitors? There are modern “henges” all over the world using a wide variety of materials and imagination. Would it be cheaper to build a full sized replica of Stonehenge at is most visually impressive stage? Included in that could be some real hands on experimental archaeology. It could even be built under the spiritual guidance of modern pagans.:face-thinks:

I am not being totally frivolous as a considerable number of visitors to historic sites are only looking for an interesting day out in the open air.
Reply
#53
Places like Stonehenge have somehow attained a mythical, cult status that eludes other sites with just as much to offer, they're 'bucket' locations which adds to the drive to see them. I love Stonehenge, partly because it's just so damn neat, but there are other places I love as much if not more. They have not achieved the same sort of bucket-esque appeal, so they don't have the same problems with access/maintenance. Making a new henge would be a great idea, there's no reason why it couldn't become as much a part of the cultural landscape the way public art such as the Angel of the North has. It would be a lot better than the big white plastic horse that is in the process of being created for Kent. My Pretty Kentish Horsie or a NewHenge?

As for the visitor centre, no matter what happens there is a need for some sort of public amenity there or else it's going to be a lot of well-fertilised grass in places.
Prime practitioner of headology, with a side order of melting glass with a stern glare.
Reply
#54
vulpes Wrote:My point was only that the Burra Charter is based on the Venice Charter and is a response to it. Whereas we have our own guidance so no the Burra Charter is not at all relevant. This forum just gets more bizarre.

Am I not being clear? The Burra Charter is not relevant in law here but the sentiments are, due to World Heritage Site having the word World in the title. Other countries are facing he same problems as at Stonehenge and we should be co-operating and exchanging information on what answers are to be had. Jeez, its not hard to see that, is it?
Reply
#55
vulpes Wrote:My point was to question the assumption that important archaeological sites 'need' visitor centres, marketing etc. It seems a bit chicken and egg to me. The so called 'success' of Stonehenge as a visitor attraction (actually more like the 9th or 10th most popular in the UK and a long way behind Blackpool Pleasure Beach!) has inexorably lead to inappropriate development within it's setting, car parks, subways and so on. It has also resulted in reduced access to the site itself. I personally have no interest in visiting such a heavily circumscribed and compromised site.

You have made the point for management - well done. }Smile
Reply
#56
Personally I would have no interest in going to see a replica (as at Lascaux) but it could work for many. 'Honypot' sites need managing so that visitors do not destroy what they have come to see (Lake District etc.). How that is done and who pays is the question so we need to move on from wasting time arguing about management/no management.
Reply
#57
What is the visitors centre for? Somewhere to take the visitors' money, provide basic amenities and sell incredibly naff tourist kitsch and cream teas in the Druid themed tea room?

Or somewhere where the archaeology can be revealed to those who want to know more, the significance of the site, the impact on pagan worship etc etc etc

Until someone makes up their mind what they want amd focuses on that one aim, it ain;t going to happen. One of the first rules of war is maintenance of the aim. Surely it should be easier for a World Heritage site?
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
Reply
#58
Quote:My point was to question the assumption that important archaeological sites 'need' visitor centres, marketing etc. It seems a bit chicken and egg to me. The so called 'success' of Stonehenge as a visitor attraction (actually more like the 9th or 10th most popular in the UK and a long way behind Blackpool Pleasure Beach!) has inexorably lead to inappropriate development within it's setting, car parks, subways and so on. It has also resulted in reduced access to the site itself. I personally have no interest in visiting such a heavily circumscribed and compromised site.
Fear not... when eventually teased out of the witty one liners... Vulpes eventually is capable of forming full sentences - even paragraphs that make sense.. Rather than picking on people and being uber pedantic... there is a valid point to be made. However, we are in a position where Stonehenge has become 'Iconic' like it or not... and I notice Iconic for Britain... not just England. Tourism is a hard one... as there is a limit to how many people can physically go to Stonehenge... for my money Go to Stenness in Orkney (no visitor centre) or Kilmartin (great visitor centre) - you gets what you pays for... but in this case you ain't got nothing for what has been paid for.

Like Vuples I have no interest in going to this ringfenced bauble. I may have in the past (I remember wandering the stones when I was young on holiday there, and we drove the Austin A40 (I jest not) to the site. ) I enjoyed the French treatment of teh Pont du Gard... I hated the Pyramids... I loved and loathed Petra. but still people come... and so perhaps the best thing is to leave this to marketing people and keep us out of it.

So I agree in majority with Vulpes, just wish he would go straight to the point :face-kiss: - Its funny how some people complain about Forums... then can't help but come on and talk about how much they dislike forums ----
Reply
#59
The trouble with leaving it to the marketing people is that they have very different agendas and are quite capable of destroying some of the “heritage” aspect of a site by ill thought-out quick buck generating infra structures and events.

It needs a balanced approach that looks at long term conservation in hand with income generation, a very difficult and fine line to tread.

So we get back to square one, it is easier to put the project on hold than to commit to something which will be long term and financially draining and may not solve the problem. Sad
Reply
#60
Wax Wrote:The trouble with leaving it to the marketing people is that they have very different agendas and are quite capable of destroying some of the “heritage” aspect of a site by ill thought-out quick buck generating infra structures and events.

It needs a balanced approach that looks at long term conservation in hand with income generation, a very difficult and fine line to tread.

So we get back to square one, it is easier to put the project on hold than to commit to something which will be long term and financially draining and may not solve the problem. Sad

OK. If we go back to square one, perhaps someone will come up with a project that has a clear aim, stops "mission creep", stops heamorraghing money "on research" which no one sees and gets on with it!
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Scottish Crannog Centre survey BAJR 1 2,514 13th February 2014, 08:54 PM
Last Post: BAJR
  Call for Responses on the Future of Local Government Archaeology Services BAJR 2 2,571 17th January 2014, 05:51 PM
Last Post: SocAntiquaries
  UK government acknowledge IfA membership as pre-qualification to tender. kevin wooldridge 26 14,483 4th January 2013, 04:37 PM
Last Post: Martin Locock
  In depth study of druidic practice at Stonehenge BAJR 3 2,350 28th June 2012, 04:38 PM
Last Post: CARTOON REALITY
  From Stonehenge to Orkney BAJR 3 2,484 11th May 2012, 09:25 PM
Last Post: monty
  At last... A useful Stonehenge BAJR 4 2,597 20th April 2012, 04:29 PM
Last Post: Dinosaur
  Stonehenge... my thoughts exactly :) BAJR 13 6,013 17th November 2011, 07:45 PM
Last Post: mpoole
  Outrage at Hungarian government's 30 day rule BAJR 3 4,471 19th October 2011, 11:14 AM
Last Post: BAJR
  Government vote on higher education fees GnomeKing 65 25,513 21st December 2010, 04:14 PM
Last Post: GnomeKing
  Government support for archaeologists Madweasels 38 16,554 17th November 2010, 09:12 PM
Last Post: deadlylampshade

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)