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Sunday, 21 January, 2001, 13:12 GMT
More doubt over Bluestone journey
stone
Volunteers have been vital to the bluestone project
The controversial 100,000 Millennium project to move a three-tonne Bluestone from north Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge is still in doubt.

Efforts to follow in the footsteps of the ancient builders of the famous landmark at Salisbury Plain have been dogged by bad luck.

The plan had been to recreate the historic journey the builders made 4,000 years ago.

They transported the three-tonne stone 240 miles by land and sea in order to build the monument's inner circle.

Stonehenge
Stonehenge - the journey will end here
But the 21st century re-run has been less successful.

Backed by Millennium Commission funding, the project set off in April 2000.

First a lack of volunteers delayed plans to drag the stone overland on a wooden sledge.

Then, as the giant boulder was being rowed across the Bristol Channel on two replica ancient boats, it slipped into the sea off the west Wales coast.

Bad weather then prevented divers from searching for it.

Abruptly halted

It was eventually found lying 16.5 metres underwater near the mouth of the Milford Haven estuary, and hauled out with the help of volunteers.

But efforts to relaunch the operation - which was due to finish in September 2000 - were abruptly halted when it was discovered the stone would not fit into a newly-adapted boat.

Since then, the stone has been kept in a secure place at Milford Haven docks and a team of oarsmen are due to renew their efforts to row it to Bristol in May 2001.

But the Bluestone Project Committee has now said it is not certain where the stone will be placed when it finally arrives in Stonehenge in September.

A spokesman for the committee said It would be "sacrilege" to place it among the other stones at Stonehenge, and no decision had been taken about its final resting place.

Journey graphic
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13 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
Facing up to the Stone Age
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