Stonehenge to repair damaged lintel stones in biggest work at ancient monument for 60 years

·1-min read

Work to repair cracks and holes in Stonehenge is getting under way in the first major maintenance project in more than 60 years.

Experts will work on the lintels - the horizontal stones - after laser scans showed the concrete mortar used for repairs in the 1950s had eroded.

Scaffolding will help them access the top of the stones to replace the concrete with lime mortar, as well as fix holes and cracks.

Much of the damage is being put down to the ancient monument being buffeted by wind and rain.

Cement mortar isn't breathable and leaves the stones vulnerable to damage from trapped moisture, English Heritage said.

Lime mortar keeps water out and allows any that does get in to escape.

The work on the 5,000-year-old monument is expected to take about two weeks.

Pictures of the last restoration show people walking on top of the stones without safety equipment or harnesses, with one casually smoking a pipe.

But this year's project will use a scaffolding tower, as well as the obligatory hard hats and high-viz jackets.

A boy who was allowed to put a coin under one of the stones during repairs in 1958 is also being invited back to repeat the gesture.

Now 71, Richard Woodman-Bailey will place a specially-made £2 coin under one of the lintels.

Stonehenge was built in several stages, according to English Heritage.

The first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, with the stone circle erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.

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