Explore your world
Stonehenge construction | © English Heritage
Stonehenge construction | © English Heritage

Moving Stonehenge Attempt At UCL Festival Of Culture

Picture of Johanna Gill
Updated: 28 September 2016
The UCL Festival of Culture returns this May with a programme set to showcase the rich diversity of world-class research led by staff and students in the Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences. Visitors will be able to attend five days of over 80 free events this year to be entertained, informed and inspired by some of the world’s best minds.

The impressive number of free events will take part around the Bloomsbury campus and will feature interesting exhibitions, talks and activities. For history fans, there’s a session called Galileo in Crime, about the lead-up to Galileo’s trial by the Roman Inquisition, as well as the trial itself, where you – the jury – decide his fate. Another interesting talk Russia’s New Rich and their Attitudes to the West considers the rich Russians’ difficult relationship with the West and why many Russians think that their culture morally and intellectually outshines all others.

The Why we post exhibition tells the story of nine anthropologists who set out to comparatively examine the uses and consequences of social media, which will certainly hold some important facts for most of us in this Age of Social Media. A little treat for all Star Wars fans will be Star Wars in the Classroom, a session about how we can use a story like Star Wars to tell our own stories in our classes, what we can learn from such a story and why we should look into this all.

Gordon Square at Bloomsbury | © Ewan-M / WikiCommons

Gordon Square at Bloomsbury | © Ewan-M / WikiCommons

One event, that is especially appealing is Moving Stonehenge. Part experiment and part experience, participants are offered to become a part of an experimental team that will attempt to transport a large replica stone using presumed Neolithic technology. The construction of Stonehenge was estimated to have taken over 10 million combined hours of labour, including the time to dig the monument’s enclosing ditch, the transport of the bluestones from the Preseli hills in Wales and the lifting up and shaping of the iconic upright stones. As these impressive figures tell us little about what it was actually like to participate in this mighty project, a one tonne load around London’s Gordon Square Garden will attempt to be lifted using only people power. Drawing inspiration from preserved prehistoric Asian sledges and non-industrialised societies that build stone monuments today, participants will receive a briefing before the experiment begins.

Stonehenge construction | © English Heritage

Stonehenge construction | © English Heritage


23 – 27 May 2016: Festival of Culture

Various venues on and around the Bloomsbury Campus

23 May 2016: Moving Stonehenge

Gordon Square Garden, London, WHC1H


Johanna Gill