Even though it is one of the most well-known historical monuments in the world, the visitor facilities at the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in Wiltshire County have long been a source of national embarrassment for the UK. But that is set to change as construction on a brand new visitor center designed by Australian architects Denton Corker Marshall has finally broken ground this week.
After years of fits and starts, the £27 million restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund will be used to build a new visitor center and galleries that depict the history of this remarkable site, and to clear an existing car park, toilets, shop and fencing. The A344 road that currently runs nearby the Neolithic stone ruins will be closed and grassed over in order to allow the monument to be presented in its ancient processional way.
The new visitor center is expected to be completed by the Fall of 2013, after which time visitors will be required to either walk to the circular setting or to take a 10-minute shuttle ride. Final clearance of the existing infrastructure will follow shortly thereafter in the summer of 2014. In the meantime, visitors from around the world will still be able to visit the site. Nearly a decade’s worth of planning has culminated in this exciting endeavor that will enrich scores of tourists who flock to this treasure each year.