This summer marked a number of triumphs for Stonehenge: not only did it gain a nextdoor neighbour in newly-discovered Bluestonehenge, but the stone circle topped a poll of British landmarks to be inaugurated in Google’s Street View campaign.
The July poll saw 35,000 Brits cast their votes for the nation’s favourite spots. And Stonehenge came out on top of a final shortlist of six that includes: the Millennium Stadium; Angel of the North; Loch Ness; Eden Project; and Warwick Castle. Northumberland’s Bamburgh Castle was picked as a ‘wildcard entry’ by co-organisers Visit Britain. It’s not even the first poll Stonehenge has topped this year: October saw it crowned the king of Britain’s tourist sites, according to a Travelodge childrens’ survey.
Stonehenge Head of Visitor Operations Stuart Maughan cites the megalith’s mystery as its winning quality: “The question mark over Stonehenge’s origins and purpose continues to fascinate people in the UK, and our hope is that its appearance on Google Street View will help encourage people to visit themselves, and decide whether Stonehenge was a place of sun worship, a sacred burial site, or something different altogether.”
As you can see from this picture, it’s a great chance to get close to the famous megalithic complex – though not quite as good as our very own Stonehenge Virtual, coming soon to Heritage Key. Wessex Archaeology may have something to say about their own 3D Stonehenge landscape, too. Google’s PR assures us the Street View Trike is “an 18 stone mechanical masterpiece comprising three bicycle wheels, a mounted Street View camera and a specially decorated box containing image-collecting gadgetry.”
Looks more like a voyeuristic ice cream cart to us, but then who’s anyone to argue with Google? Sightings of Google Street View cars are becoming commonplace in Britain’s towns and cities, despite public outcry as to its implications for home security – I just hope they haven’t photographed my dodgy front room window…