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Historics: Goodwood Revival to feature Stonehenge replica

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Continuing its reputation for large and eye-catching displays featured at its annual Goodwood Revival historic motor racing event, the Goodwood Estate near Chichester, England announced on its website Monday, August 18, that it plans to install a larger-than-life replica of Stonehenge on the grounds for this year's display.

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According to Goodwood, the replica will be installed this year because 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Britain's Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. What better reason to build a replica of Stonehenge as part of a historic motor racing event?

According to the Order's website, the organization is "a worldwide group dedicated to practicing, teaching, and developing Druidry as a valuable and inspiring spirituality." It was founded by Ross Nichols, a historian and poet, along with the founder of the Tolkien Society, Vera Chapman, and others.

Lord (Charles) March has commissioned the replica to be made larger than the monument's actual size so that the thousands of visitors to the Revival may see it better. Goodwood estimates that the number of their visitors over the Revival weekend (150,000) exceeds the number of inhabitants (they estimate 100,000) in all of the U.K. 5,000 years ago when Stonehenge was formed.

According to Goodwood, 99 years ago in 1915, Stonehenge was purchased at auction for about 6,600 pounds ($11,000) or in today's money, 500,000 pounds ($830,000) by Cecil Chubb who, it has been said by some, saved it from going to America. Goodwood suggests that perhaps the owner of the replica might be more open to such a sea-faring transaction.

Unlike with the real Stonehenge, the replica will be open and available for people to walk, and take photographs, among the "rocks." Some Druids have been invited to demonstrate their rituals and ceremonies at the replica.

The Stonehenge replica will be installed at the entrance of the Rolex Drivers' Club.

The Goodwood Revival takes place September 12-14 and is regarded around the world as one of the premiere historic motor racing events. The Revival features days of historic motor races, period dress and festivities from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, entertainment happenings, and...this year, a large replica of an ancient stone formation.