Where Digging Deeper leads…


… the Architects’ Journal and Building Design follow. Sort of. While I reported that Denton Corker Marshall’s proposal for the new Stonehenge visitor centre was “difficult to fault… within the severe limitations of the commission”, the pros tell of a less favourable response. The AJ posts a few images and a brief description, but BD says the  building design has already been compared to an “immigration detention centre”: Paul Sample, a former mayor of Salisbury, also calls the scheme “cheap and nasty”. Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald (a member of the International Council on Monuments & Sites, and a specialist in heritage landscape management and legislation) apparently says it resembles “a derelict aircraft hangar”. Some of us remember Icomos’s confused and unhelpful criticism of the original, ambitious scheme, which was attacked too by Alexander-Fitzgerald. The opportunity was there. We reap what we sow.

The photo above is from the DCM/English Heritage presentation, showing Stonehenge without the A344 and current car park (just a small underground staff facility on the right). Looks good… but let’s get serious, now, where is milestone 80?

The planning application is to go to Wiltshire county council in two or three weeks. Photo below shows one of Wessex Archaeology’s recent evaluation trenches at at the site of the centre; apparently nothing was found to make it unsuitable for the proposed use.

(c) Wiltshire Heritage
(c) Wiltshire Heritage

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