thinking about archaeology

The Airmen take off

Work on the Stonehenge visitor centre starts in a couple of weeks when Vinci Construction take possession of the Airman’s Corner site. That’s the formal line. But for me it began yesterday, when the Royal Engineers, watched by Wessex Archaeology and English Heritage, released the memorial from its concrete. The site takes its name from this granite cross, commemorating the deaths of Captain Eustace Loraine and Staff Sergeant Richard Wilson a century ago on July 5. The hardest job seemed to be extracting the plaque set in 1996. It will all be looked after at Tidworth barracks for the next year, then returned to a more accessible, safer and attractive location – and just a little closer to the actual crash site.

And here’s how it all looked, with contractors fencing out the site. The Muddy patch in the field left by the solstice parking is where the visitor centre will be, and the road access site is near the future car park.

Meanwhile at Stonehenge, a strawberry vendor makes the most of Byway 12 and the gate from the car park offering access to the Cursus barrows.

And just to prove the cross was moved, here a couple of photos kindly provided by Martin Harvey of English Heritage, taken later in the day.

3 responses

  1. I always thought it was called Airmen’s Corner not Airman’s Corner, which would have been logical as it commemorates two airmen. But as so often I think I was wrong, but I shouldn’t have been, should I?

    June 26, 2012 at 7:26 am

  2. mikepitts

    Added the last two photos July 1

    July 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

  3. Stephanie Thomas

    It was really weird looking at these pictures of the removal of the Airman’s Cross which is part of my family history. Staff Sgt Wilson was my grandmother’s cousin and I also knew the family of Capt Loraine. I am so pleased to see it being so well looked after and knowing that it will be relocated at the Stonehenge visitors centre. The cetenary of the crash is this week – July 5th, a very important date in aviation history. I am so glad that two such gallant men are still being remembered.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s