Posted by: travelrat | September 26, 2021

The Lintel Project

For 3500 years, Stonehenge has stood against everything that Salisbury Plain could throw at it in the way of weather. So, naturally, today, it looks a bit second-hand. It has been restored over the years, but only to the condition it was in in 1740. This was the year in which William Stukeley visited, and produced the earlies accurate drawing we know about. So, anything before that year is really conjecture … indeed, there is one theory the circle was never actually completed.

The last major restoration was in the 1960s, when it was noticed the lintels … that is, the horizontal pieces atop the stones … were starting to degrade, mainly due to weather. So, they were reinforced with mortar. But, they had used ordinary cement mortar, which absorbed water, and was showing signs of deterioration.

It was decided therefore, to replace it with a lime-based mortar, which is more water-resistant, and can allow any water that is absorbed to escape. Not, however, before experiments had been carried out to determine which mix would be the least obtrusive, and the best for the job.

The work stated in early September, and is only expected to take a couple of weeks to complete. During that time, we’ll have the unusual sight of scaffolding against Stonehenge. But, it will soon be gone. I think of other, much younger buildings, some of which were encased in scaffolding for years!


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