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Travel blog

June
16

Unhenged

Panorama of Keppel Henge (© Steve Irvine)With summer solstice nigh, you might feel the distance between you and Stonehenge. Don’t fret, my lovely Druids (it’s all right; my family tree has Druids coming out of the woodwork), here are some of my favorite replicas and homages to the imposing stone circle that you might find much closer to home.Summer solstice at Keppel Henge (©Steve Irvine)

Let’s start with Keppel Henge: Friends Steve Irvine and Bill Loney wanted to do something to mark the year 2000 and hit on something grand that will last, well, as long as limestone can stand. They chose a henge, figuring, “It would be something substantial that future generations could enjoy and it would also be an exciting project that could have historical, astronomical, sculptural, and spiritual references,” they say on their website.

Loney and his wife, Dawn, own Keppel Croft Farm and Gardens in Ontario, Canada, a convenient place for Keppel Henge to mark time in grandeur. You can not only visit it, but you can study their website to get the lowdown on the entire construction project. They leave no stone unturned.

A Stonehenge in your backyard? That is the very definition of cool. And where better than Texas, where cool is outsized? Stonehenge II was built in Kerrville, Texas, but moved to Ingram, Texas, where it has been joined by Easter Island heads. Think of it as a large-stone-monument-building addiction.

Auto buffs will want to check out the classic Carhenge in Alliance, Neb. This well-established attraction boasts a Keppel Henge (© Steve Irving)pit stop for snacks and souvenirs. See how many makes and models you can name.

Stonehenge Aotearoa in the Antipodes is the antithesis of goofy replicas. Its website says, “Built on the same scale as Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in England. Stonehenge Aotearoa is not a replica. It is a complete and working structure designed and built for its precise location in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand.” You’re invited on a journey in space and time. Go. Now.

Homebound? You can be hengebound with a few clicks of your mouse. No fewer than 67 large, permanent replicas are listed on Clonehenge, which anoints Washington as the “Stonehenge State,” for the wonderfully vast and awesome works by resident Stoners. This site also mourns the henges that have passed into immortality, including two Fridgehenges, Bamboo henge, Foamhenge, and even a Tankhenge in Berlin that proves Germans certainly do have a sense of humor.

You say you’re got the replicating bug? Take a look at designboom for a genuinely ingenious salute to the builders of yore and your project: easy-to-read and easy-to-follow instructions.

All photos courtesy of Steve Irvine

Been to Stonehenge? Maybe a replica? Perhaps you’re a builder. Tell us about it.

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