We went to Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire, the other day, parts of which stood in for Thomas Cromwell’s home in the BBC Wolf Hall series. The grounds are very pleasant (complete with a kingfisher on the moat). The house is a medieval manor largely rebuilt by Thomas Tropnell (1405–88), not an inappropriate setting for the TV series. … Continue reading Miss Maurice’s organ case
First Stonehenge, now our old friend the BM. What’s gone wrong? “Disaster” is what art critic Brian Sewell calls the newly opened “Vikings: Life and Legend” exhibition – and also the room in which it’s held, part of the new and hugely significant extension to the British Museum. Writing in the Evening Standard, he describes … Continue reading Is British Museum Vikings show a disaster?
I wrote about last Christmas’s John Lewis ad, and here’s another work of commercial genius, from BBH (to the sound of London Calling by The Clash): the British Airways "Don’t Fly. Support Team GB and ParalympicsGB” advert (it seems to be working). The world was ready for a clever ad that tells you not to … Continue reading Taking Stonehenge for a ride
Like summer solstice but with gentility – the Stonehenge Fire Garden. The stones close and personal and erratically wrapped in flames and paraffin smells in the growing darkness, thousands of people politely queuing, one man making gentle electronic music surrounded by a quiet crowd, a comfortable friendly gathering with no manic focus and no camera-hunger … Continue reading The other night at Stonehenge
Sacrilege! Here is a guide to some of the things you may not know about Stonehenge and Jeremy Deller’s touring “recreational bouncer”, as it’s known in the trade. My headline was inspired by Mitch Benn’s must-hear song “Bouncy, bouncy druids”, so let’s start with that. Apparently he wrote it during the interval at Leeds City … Continue reading A quick guide to bouncy druids
Don’t miss it! It’s wonderful, especially if you are a child or have children. It’s huge fun, and for many will be their first introduction to Stonehenge, and even the idea of prehistory. On the tour’s first day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Jeremy Deller and I were sheltering in a little tent … Continue reading Sacrilege on tour
We’re really proud of the new British Archaeology. The cover shows the main feature, an exclusive insight into the archaeological research and excavations at the 2012 Olympic Park site, one of the UK’s largest recent field projects. Until the academic monograph is published later this year, this article is likely to remain the only authoritative … Continue reading The archaeology of the 2012 Olympics site
Whatever critics and bloggers might say, judging by Marlborough High Street this morning most people simply love the spontaneous theatre of the Olympics. On a road known mostly for arguments about parking and stray Waitrose shopping trolleys, there was nothing but smiles. Can’t be all bad.
So here it is, Jeremy Deller’s bouncyhenge. Or balloonhenge, or wobblyhenge (thought I’d get in first with those three as a starter). The Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art has opened, and down on Glasgow Green is a full-scale inflatable replica of Stonehenge as it looks now (less the fallen stones, apparently for reasons of … Continue reading Bouncyhenge is here!