Friday 18 June 2021

Weird London: Stonehenge's Brutalist Child - Stonepenge

Everyone loves to visit a stone circle at the Solstice, don't they? If you live in South London, rather than going all the way to Stonehenge in the middle of nowhere, why not visit it's near-namesake close to home - Stonepenge!

Here are just a few of the 49 reviews posted on Google Maps of the site us locals hold sacred:
"My tribe and I go there at summer solstice to sacrifice a Beyond Meat Burger goat.  We honour my ancestors who legend has it sacrificed a real goat, we have updated this tradition to be more animal friendly and modern."

"If I need to balance my chakras, I head straight to Stonepenge. Such a place of peace and tranquility, complete with the gentle hum of illegal quad bike riders and the subtle smell of South London's finest weed."

"The heart of the local community. We meet there every full moon to enact the rites that keep the dinosaurs asleep and protect all good Pengeuins. And we have cake purchased earlier in the day from the fine new cafe in the Park. Five stars. Would recommend."
Oh and this is the review I left: 
"The sacred heart of Crystal Palace! Happy memories of picnicking at the stones in my childhood, after bathing at the sports centre pool!"
Actually, that last bit's true. Those three brutalist concrete megaliths surrounded by an outer ring of smaller slabs was a seating area built in the early 1960s as part of the National Sports Centre, and I do have very happy memories of eating packed lunches there with my friends after going swimming. While those reviews were written with humour, those weirdly tall seats are a local landmark and, in their way, are loved by the people who live around the park in Penge and Crystal Palace. 

As well as the photos, which I took recently, you can see a map of the area - just in case you want to visit for the Solstice or any other time. The park is mostly famous for its Victorian dinosaur statues, well worth seeing too.

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