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 Saturday, 28 December, 2002, 13:49 GMT
Home found for ill-fated Bluestone
Bluestone
The project ended when the stone sank
The stone at the centre of a failed project to replicate the journey made by the creators of Stonehenge has been given a permanent home at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Carmarthenshire.

The three-tonne bluestone had been used in an ambitious attempt in April 2000 to take a rock from the Preseli mountains in Pembrokeshire to the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire by land and sea.

Stonehenge
Stonehenge: the stone's proposed destination

But the Millennium Bluestone Project ended in disaster when the stone sank off the Welsh coast just 17 miles into the 240 mile journey.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, which helped to fund the project, has now agreed to allow the gardens to permanently feature the stone as part of an exhibition.

A Currach - one of the coracle-based boats used in its transportation will also be featured.

The stone is expected to be taken to the gardens in January.

The eight-feet tall stone has been lying on the quayside in Milford Haven since being retrieved by Navy divers.

The epic adventure had to be abandoned when insurance cover could not be found for a repeat seaward journey.

We are delighted to be able to provide a fitting final resting place for this magnificent stone

Owen Jenkins, National Botanic Gardens of Wales

A number of requests were made by different organisations to house the stone including one from Mynachlogddu Community Council to return it to its starting place in the Preseli mountains.

Designers at the gardens are now preparing a special site for the stone to be kept and it will form part of the Rock of Ages exhibition.

Owen Jenkins, spokesman for the gardens said: "We are delighted to be able to provide a fitting final resting place for this magnificent stone.

"We are aware that had it been successful on its journey to Stonehenge it was to have been erected in a place accessible to people.

"We want as many people as possible from all over the world to see the stone and to be able to touch it as well because it is reputed to have mystical properties.

"It will certainly compliment our exhibition, which displays the rocks of Wales through the ages and the Currach will be moored on one of our lakes," he added.

Stonehenge's creators are thought to have transported the bluestones from Preseli 240-miles by land and sea in order to build the monument's inner circle.


More from south west Wales
See also:

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