Summer solstice 2013 at Stonehenge, Wiltshire

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“It probably wasn’t what the druids who built Stonehenge had in mind.

But as the summer solstice sun rose over Britain’s most mystical site it was greeted by a barrage of 21st century camera phones eager to capture the moment.

More than 20,000 people gathered at the stone circle in Wiltshire for the pagan ceremony which greets the arrival of the longest day.

The ceremony also marked the opening up of the site, which, until recently, was locked down by police because of clashes with new Age travellers.

Now the neighbouring road has been grassed over as part of a £27 million transformation of the site.

The existing visitor centre and car park have also been grassed over while the amenities have been moved more than a mile away.

The changes mean visitors can now walk between the stone circle and the prehistoric avenue from which people would have once approached the monument.

Loraine Knowles, Stonehenge director at English Heritage, said the closure of the road was “a real milestone in terms of the history of the site”.

She said: “It really is a historic moment.

“When you are in Stonehenge in the future, when grass is established, you will be able to make the link between the monument and the rest of the heritage landscape to the north, accessing the avenue, the route by which the monument was approached when it was used as a place of great ceremony.

The site gets more than one million visitors a year.”
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