Stonehenge repair work to fix cracks and holes begins | News | DW | 14.09.2021

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Stonehenge repair work to fix cracks and holes begins

Detailed laser scans showed the stones, which date back some 4,500 years, are in need of essential repair work. Bad news for tourists: The restoration requires scaffolding to wrap parts of the prehistoric monument.

Scaffolding is set up at Stonehenge

Work begins on the Stonehenge monument

For the first time in more than 60 years, vital repair work began at Stonehenge on Tuesday, the monument's caretaker English Heritage announced.

English Heritage said its conservation plan for one of the world's most famous prehistoric monuments will prevent further erosion and repair earlier works that took place in the 1950s and 60s.

It became apparent that Stonehenge was in need of a face-lift after the issues with the stones were uncovered by detailed laser scans.

Conservator James Preston uses a pointing spoon atop scaffold erected inside the stone circle at Stonehenge

Conservator James Preston uses a pointing spoon on top of scaffolding as work begins on Stonehenge for the first time in decades

What will the work entail?

"Stonehenge is unique among stone circles by virtue of its lintels and the special joints used to secure the lintels in place," said Heather Sebire, English Heritage's Senior Curator for the site.

"Four and a half thousand years of being buffeted by wind and rain has created cracks and holes in the surface of the stone, and this vital work will protect the features which make Stonehenge so distinctive."

The workers are using scaffolding to enable access to the top of the stones, the largest of which is about 9 meters (30 feet) high. The work will stop existing cracks getting bigger and replace concrete mortar that was placed several decades earlier.

Eight-year-old Richard Woodman-Bailey put a coin under one of the giant stones in 1958 during the last major works. And now, at the age of 71, he will return to the site to place a newly created 2 pound coin within the fresh mortar.

It was Woodman-Bailey's father who led the restoration work from more than half a century ago.

Watch video 04:09

Stonehenge Tunnel

Reuters contributed to this article.

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