thinking about archaeology

Stonehenge is changing

car park loo

The other day Vinci project manager Simon Clark very kindly showed me around the works at the emerging new visitor centre at Airman’s Cross. It’s well on it’s way, though even looking at it like this it’s still difficult to believe it’s really happening, so complex has been the route. Here is what it looked like, with, first, a couple of shots of the old (present) site. There are subtle changes here if you know what to look out for, like this hedge cut down:

car park hedge

Here is a view in the new Denton Corker Marshall building, looking out from the ticket booth:

visitor centre with Simon Clark

Inside it’s very spacious, from the top below, retail area and then part of the museum:

visitor centre with Simon Clark

VC musuem

Here are some views of the undulating roof:

visitor centre with Simon Clark

visitor centre with Simon Clark

visitor centre with Simon Clark

And a view from the roof (you can just see some of the Winterbourne barrows in the distance):

visitor centre with Simon Clark

The front wall, with its forest of erratically aligned supports:

visitor centre with Simon Clark

And then there are the plant rooms, bus park ticket office, stores, offices and so on – not to mention the huge landscaped parking areas – that will help to make this a completely different experience from the old facilities for everyone who works there or visits:

visitor centre with Simon Clark

visitor centre with Simon Clark

visitor centre with Simon Clark

And soon this will be history, the A344:

A344

Adding a couple of photos May 20 (see comment below). This shows works at Airman’s Corner (on the same day as the above photos). The first gives an idea of how much ground has been moved in an area that looks flat (look for the old surface below the road sign), and the second part of an old concrete road surface unexpectedly revealed beneath the modern road, removing which added to the time the works took.

 

4 responses

  1. Mike, can you please explain what the turnstile in the penultimate picture is for? It doesn’t look very wheelchair or family friendly!

    May 8, 2013 at 5:51 am

    • mikepitts

      I have no idea what the turnstile is, though it’s worth noting that it’s in the coach park area (which is separate from the car park, and largely behind trees), where there will be a dedicated ticketing operation for coach parties. From the tenor of the whole project, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone who can’t get through the gate will be disadvantaged. I liked the weird setup, with this proud, shiny new gate and its bright yellow lock rendered completely useless by its surroundings, which are defiantly refusing to take part in the game; the wire fence panels either side seem to be offering a little comfort, but no help.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm

  2. Would love to know why the Airman’s Cross roadworks are going to take just under a year?? And what’s happening to the roundabout on the A303?

    May 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    • mikepitts

      As the Salisbury Times discovered, the work at Airman’s Cross has taken significantly longer than had been anticipated. Much of this is apparently down to the old road, which had to be taken up, and which turned out to be more complex – or from an archaeologist’s point of view, more interesting – than had been expected. Beneath the layers of tarmac where you would think there would have been a bit of gravel or just dirt, there was a solid concrete old road surface. That’s a world heritage site for you.

      I’ve added a couple of photos above.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

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