WHAT the Neolithic peoples who built Stonehenge really thought when they stood back and admired their handiwork will forever be a mystery.
What is almost certain is that they didn’t bounce up and down on it – unlike the inflatable version in Parliament Hill fields.
However, yesterday, queues of up to 300 waited patiently for their turn for a leap on Sacrilege, an inflatable bouncy castle-style installation dreamt up by artist Jeremy Deller.
Everybody, from toddlers to pensioners, were lining up for a go, despite a spot of drizzle.
This “interactive” artwork is a 110-ft wide creation and has been touring the country before Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s office booked it as part of the capital’s celebrations for the Olympics.
Not all the bouncers, however, were clear on Stonehenge’s history.
Jack Hughes, 11, said confidently: “The Scottish built the monument in BC, a long time ago before King William, the stones are very spiritual, they used them for signs and protection.”
Jack Deasy, nine, added: “Stonehenge was built by people a long time ago in the Stone Age to mark where their land started.”
Peter Eiseman-Renyard, 66, from Camden, was a bit more informed. “I am a bit of an archeological buff,” he said. “It was not the druids who built it, apparently it was the Beaker folk who were from the Stone to Bronze Age. It is brilliant. It is a joke, it is silly, it is of absolutely no use.”
Sacrilege’s creator artist Jeremy Deller said his bouncy creation was “a way for everyone to learn about these places in quite a silly way.” “It is difficult not to like it when you are bouncing around on it,” he added.
“City Hall teamed up with us but Boris has not had a bounce on it, even though it is really up his street in so many different ways.
“I have bounced on it but it is quite tough on the legs, you can over exert yourself, you should warm up before going on it.”
Speaking before Team GB struck gold in rowing and cycling yesterday (Wednesday), he added: “I was quite liking that Britain was doing so badly in the Olympics, it is brilliantly typical of Britain to host it and do terribly.”
The bouncers kept on coming.
Maggie Eiseman-Renyard, said: “When I first came to the UK as a student tourist from New York in 1966, I took a coach trip to Stonehenge and I was appalled that people wanted to drink, play football and climb on the real thing.”
Lucy Brooks added: “There are tours to Stonehenge but they cost quite a bit of money. But this is awesome, without spending any money or leaving London we have seen some of our great British heritage on our doorstep.
“My 10-year-old daughter is a budding artist and I can see her looking at the construction and thinking about it – it is wonderful.”
RUTH STIVEY - http://www.camdennewjournal.com/
Stonehenge Tour Guide