CLONES AND METAPHORMS
Everyone with even the slightest interest in sacred site
architecture will be familiar with Stonehenge, the circular neolithic
complex located on Salisbury Plain in England. An Alta-Vista search for the keyword
"Stonehenge" discloses more than 400 web sites on which it is mentioned. (The striking picture
above was lifted from one of the better of these pages, The
Buckingham Gate Events site.) The subject of
many, many books (among them good ones by Chippendale, Hawkins,
and Meaden, all listed in the Sacred Landscape
Bibliography) the site has been described as everything from an
archaeoastronomical observatory to a landing place for
What is less well known is that Stonehenge has given rise to
many replicas and "metaphorms" (variations in which its form is
used as a metaphor) in the United States of America.
In discussions of these "clones" in usenet groups and in the e-list firstname.lastname@example.org, some British subscribers have
commented on how "tacky" such replicas are, or how they cannot
possibly contain or transmit the "spiritual" energy of a
long-hallowed sacred site. Be that as it may, Stonehenge
and other megalithic facsimilies, parodies, clones, and metaphorms
are the subject of sincere sacred site tourism in the United
States. Four of these places -- the Maryhill Stonehenge in Washington,
Stonehenge II in Texas, Carhenge in Nebraska, and the Georgia Guidestones in Georgia -- are reputably said to be used as sites for pagan gatherings
Here is a handy list of Stonehenge clones and other neo-neolithic
metaphorms in North America, with illustrated web sites noted (and web-authors credited in parentheses).
Georgia: The Georgia Guidestones
This neo-megalithic site is an intricate and well-designed
astronomical observatory built of granite in 1979 near the small
town of Elberton under the direction of the pseudonymous "R. C.
Christian," who presumeably named himself after "Christian
Rosenkreutz," the pseudonymous 17th century author of "The
Chemical Wedding." In addition to astro-calendrical features, it
also boasts didactic New Age messages of the "ten commandments"
type in numerous languages. The link given here is not to a page
on the Georgia Guidestones themselves (i haven't found one so far) but rather to the very
useful University of Missuori-Rolla pages on
"The Missouri Megalith," which lists and depicts a few other
neo-retro-archaeoastronomical sites -- including this one -- for the purposes of comparison. (Dr. David Summers; Matthew Roberts)
The picture shown here a crummy reduced thumbnail of one of
several b&w photos of the Georgia Guidestones which can be viewed
in larger format at the UMR web site.
Missouri: The Missouri Megalith
This is a modified scale model of Stonehenge carved in granite by faculty and students
at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and dedicated in 1984 by a British
Druid priest. "The Missouri Megalith" is smaller than the original Stonehenge but
contains added features (including an analemma and a north pole sighting window) that make it highly accurate as an
astrocalendrical device. Note that the UMR pages come in both a
text version with links to the numerous pictures and in a very slow
loading format with thumbnails included. I have used both
versions and recommend the text-only version, which allows you to click on the
picture-links. (Dr. David Summers; Matthew Roberts)
The picture shown here is a badly reduced jpeg of one of dozens
of colour photos depicting The Missouri Megalith which can be
viewed in larger format at the UMR web site.
Nebraska: The Alliance Carhenge web site
This wacky Stonehenge replica was designed by an engineer named Jim
Reinders and built by six local families out of used Amercan cars
near Alliance, Nebraska in 1987. The cars depict
Stonehenge in its present ruined form and all are painted grey.
The henge is said to be used by local druids for Solstice
ceremonies; it has become a major tourist attraction. There is no text at the first
site, just a dim but viewable gif; the second site has a better
picture and quite a bit of information. (Nebraska Travel and
Tourism; Travel Nebraska)
The picture shown here is a half-size jpeg of the gif at the Nebraska Travel and
Tourism web site.
New Hampshire: America's Stonehenge
This is the home page for the controversial New Hampshire site
which its owners claim is a 4,000 year old
archaeoastronomical observatory -- and scholars declare to
be an elaborate hoax. Formerly known as Mystery Hill, it makes a pretty nice
roadside attraction -- and does not resemble Stonehenge in any way. (America's Stonehenge)
Texas: Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch is a neo-neolithic straight row alignment of 10 Cadillac cars,
dating between 1949 and 1963, "planted" in the ground, fins up,
at a 45 degree angle. It stands on land owned by Stanley Marsh III,
an Amarillo helium tycoon (see The Helium
Monument). The web site linked here is actually about
Cadillacs and contains little about the Cadillac Ranch per se.
The picture i have selected to show is not from Gruwez's site
but is instead a reproduction of a commercial postcard, lifted from a defunt web site
created by my friend Ledia Pearl Carroll.
Texas: Stonehenge II
At this URL you will find explanatory text and numerous
clear pictures of Stonehenge II, a half-size replica of the
English neolithic site, designed by Al Shepperd and
constructed by Doug Hill in rural Hunt, Texas. The web page,
maintained by Shepperd's nephew, also named Al Shepperd,
includes a road map and an explanation of how this unusual
sacred site -- complete with two reduced-size replicas of the
famous stone heads from Easter Island -- came to be.
The picture here is from "The Barbarian's" web site, no longer online.
I no longer have an URL for
the Carhenge built in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, by a sculptor
named Bill Lishman. Unlike the Nebraska Carhenge, which
consists of whole cars painted grey, Lishman's henge is made
of "partially crushed cars...the size of the stones in the
This picture is a reduced version of the one formerly found at the UMR web site.
I no longer have an URL for the full-scale concrete
replica of Stonehenge built shortly after World War One by Sam
Hill in Klickitat County, Washington. Former web pages cited its remarkable
astronomical alignment. Like several other Stonehenge replicas,
this one is home to local Pagan Solstice ceremonies.
The picture is a reduced image formerly found at the UMR web site.
STONEHENGE CLONES NO LONGER WITH US
The above listing of Stonehenge metaphorms only covers North
America. I know of one such structure -- alas, a temporary art
installation now demolished -- built in New Zealand. This was Fridgehenge,
created entirely from discarded refrigerators.
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