Once this latest farce has run its full course, I would imagine that most observers would regard the saga of the Stonehenge Tunnel to be little more than another short-lived episode in the history of the ruins on the plain, one that’s undistinguished by any drama on a par with that which accompanied the Battle of the Beanfield or the more recent removal of the Ancestors, to name but two other notable events.
To present the story in its most Lacedaemonian form, the UK government proposed building a tunnel beneath the Stonehenge landscape, but this course of action looks unlikely to go ahead in light of the singular opposition that’s arisen to the apparently ill-conceived scheme. Most notably, the harsh wording of the criticism of such an enterprise from groups including archaeologists, ICOMOS and others is unprecedented and while Stonehenge has long been famous for arousing passions, the visceral opposition from so many quarters is unique and in my considered view, it means that the plans for the tunnel will soon be dropped.
I am inclined to agree with Tim Daw in his assessment, when he pretty much states that the plans for the tunnel being dropped in the face of ferocious and entirely predictable opposition is the outcome the government desired all along. If this is indeed the case, then it lays bare at best a horrendous miscalculation on the part of some of those who vocally supported the tunnel, and at worst some vested interests that I can only speculate upon.
The Stonehenge landscape is of incalculable valuable to us all, regardless of our individual views of its true nature and origin. It follows that all those who seek to preserve it, let alone to exalt it, will find their individual and collective rewards soon enough, whereas those who choose to despoil this wonderful place for their selfish, short-term ends will endure eternal and lasting scorn as the legacy of their ill-advised efforts to diminish one of the undisputed Wonders of the World.
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”