Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Stonehenge general manager sought

The owners of Stonehenge are looking to hire a general manager to ensure 'dignity for the stones'

For the first time in 5,000 years, the owners of Stonehenge are looking for a general manager to ensure "dignity for the stones" amid the Druids and daytrippers who descend on the prehistoric monument each year.

But only the "brightest and best" need apply for the £65,000-a-year job which will involve liaising with Druid leaders and ensuring the solstice celebrations "aren't in some way compromising the mystery and integrity of the stones", English Heritage said.

The successful candidate will be expected to manage the famous attraction, which is aligned with the solstice sun, muck in to help the site's one million visitors and lead the monument's 180 staff and volunteers.

Tim Reeve, English Heritage's historic properties director, said: "You could be up at the stones one minute, in outdoor garb trying to help visitors, then you can be back in a state-of-the-art visitors centre. The next time you could be in a suit, representing our site.

"It is also important to ensure we keep dignity for the stones, and that the solstice celebrations aren't in some way compromising the mystery and integrity of the stones."

Another important duty would be maintaining relationships with Druid leaders such as King Arthur Pendragon who campaigned to make the site open to the public during the summer and winter solstices, he said.

He added: "This year marks a new dawn for Stonehenge."

General responsibilities will include promoting ideas and overseeing the arrangements for the summer and winter solstices and seasonal gatherings. The closing date for job applications is May 5, 2013.

Stonehenge was raised more than 4,000 years ago as a temple to the sun, and its banks and ditches are even older. It was begun around 3,000BC in the Neolithic period and construction activities continued until about 1600BC in the Bronze Age.

It is aligned with the rising and setting of the sun at the solstices, but its exact purpose remains a mystery.

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