Stonehenge: Wish you were here

Stonehenge: Wish you were here

Visitors to Stonehenge until 31 August will have the chance to see Wish You Were Here a new exhibition in the visitor centre, curated by archaeologist, broadcaster and writer Julian Richards.

It celebrates the changing ways in which Stonehenge has been experienced by its many visitors over the last two centuries and its status as a world-wide icon through historical souvenirs and guidebooks, postcards and photographs.

Stonehenge Wish You Were Here Exhibit 3

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Every Stonehenge guidebook from the very first edition dating back to 1823, through to the current edition, written by Julian Richards himself.
  • A postcard wall where hundreds of postcards chart the changing face of Stonehenge and the responses of visitors to their experience.
  • An eclectic selection of objects ranging from china ornaments with depictions of Stonehenge on them, to a Great Trilithon-shaped toasting fork and the iconic Spinal Tap shaped LP.

Though an isolated ruin in the 19th century, Stonehenge saw enough visitors to warrant the production of the first guide books and souvenirs. The first admission charge was introduced in 1901 to address the cost of increasing amounts of damage to help pay for a police constable.

Postcards went on sale in the early 1900’s and from that point on, cards in sepia, lurid ‘tints’, black-and-white and full colour, document the changing face of Stonehenge and its surroundings.  From the 1970s onwards the growing international recognition of Stonehenge saw the iconic stone circle spawn an eclectic range of art, music and popular culture.

Admission to the special exhibition is included in the entry price for Stonehenge.

Visitors are being invited to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #stonehengewishyouwerehere.

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