Posted by: travelrat | July 2, 2010

The Ancestor

We first saw him when we were ‘walking the virtual dog’ around the Solstice Park trading estate. A huge, 20-foot bronze figure of a kneeling man, of rather Neanderthal appearance, had appeared outside the Holiday Inn… almost as mysteriously as the crop circles which sometimes appear overnight in these parts. He looked so much like a friend’s ex-husband, we immediately christened him ‘Arnold’.

Inquiries of the staff at the Holiday Inn revealed that he’d been there a few days, but they couldn’t tell us much more, apart from give us a card with a picture, and a website where further information could be found.

‘The Ancestor’, as Arnold is officially known, is the work of AR Metalcraft ( from nearby Netheravon. It’s run by husband and wife team Andy Rawlings and Michelle Topps, who’ve been working together as AR Metalcraft for four years, and more of their work can be seen locally.

‘The Ancestor’ made his debut at Stonehenge, where he formed a focus for the solstice celebrations, wearing a crown made by students of the Avon Valley College, and surrounded by banners representing the signs of the Zodiac, created by schools and Cub and Beaver Scout groups in the area.

After the celebrations, he was moved to his present location, where he kneels, greeting the rising sun, and joining the three other sculptures in the Park, which I’ve already posted about.

Andy Rawlings said at Stonehenge that he hoped someone would give The Ancestor a permanent home … I’m wondering if this is it? But, I’m sure there are more sculptures to come.



  1. Thank you for writing about ‘The Ancestor’, love the name Arnold. We loved the fact that he just appeared at Stonehenge and was gone, then appeared at The Holiday Inn.Its like he walked there. When we moved him to the hotel a chap stopped with his wife and said he spotted him at Stonehenge on the Sunday and went home all excited to tell his wife. They decided to go and have a look at him on the Monday and couldn’t believe he had gone! The poor man thought he had lost his marbles. Imagine the shock of seeing him again down the road!! At least his sanity is intact. If you are local keep an eye out for us, hes got a few more finishing touches. Including a chalk carving round the base of three running hares. Got to improve the grass though.
    We’d love to see you.
    Michelle and Andy

    • Hi, Michelle!

      That’s a great story! I’d have probably sworn off the drink for life, if it happened to me

      (a chalk carving round the base of three running hares.)

      A sort of miniature of the chalk hill carvings? And, I believe the Ancients attached some significance to the hare, a trace of which survives as the modern ‘Easter Bunny’?

      (We’d love to see you.)

      I live in Amesbury but I’ll be moving about considerably for the next couple of months or so. But, I’ll email you sme contact details, anyway


      Keith (Travelrat)

  2. It sort of resembles the statues from Easter Island. Where in the world do you find all these things? I drove passed the world’s largest display chicken (about 10 feet tall) in Kansas once. That just sounds sad.

    • I can see it from the end of the next street, about 200 yards from my front door.

      I don’t think Easter Island; they have long faces. I thought more of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ And, I wouln’t be surprised if we passed ‘The Big Pineapple’ in the next few weeks.

  3. Amazing Statue 😀
    For those who are interested in returning the Stonehenge Ancestors,
    I am sharing my new machinima film
    Stonehenge Is Our Temple
    Please sign the e-petition in link below film and share the film so others will get the message, thank you ~

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