Major Stonehenge Restoration Started

British curators have embarked on restoration work on Stonehenge. It is the largest restoration of the monument in more than sixty years. During the restoration, holes and cracks formed by erosion in the stones are closed. Especially the lintels, the stones placed on top of the other stones, are addressed.

The concrete used in the last major restorations in the 1950s and 60s is also replaced by lime mortar, a mixture of lime and masonry sand. This is a breathable material that allows water to pass through. This makes water less likely to lie in the cracks. For example, there is less chance of the water freezing and expelling, which can damage the stones.

The renovation is commissioned by English Heritage, an agency for conservation of nature and culture. Today, the first jetty was placed near the monument. Before the repair work began, 71-year-old Richard Woodman-Bailey placed a coin under one of the stones. As an 8-year-old boy, he did the same in 1958, and his father led the repair work that year.

See how Woodman-Bailey put the coin today and how he did it in 1958:

Stonehenge is about 4,500 years old. Presumably the stone circle was first built in Wales. A people who lived there would have taken the stones with a move and set up almost 250 kilometers away.

The monument is popular with tourists. Among other things, they flock to see the sunrise and sunset during the summer solstice and winter solstice, the longest and shortest day of the year.