Megaliths in Popular Culture

I know this sounds like the subject for a feeble PhD. thesis, but just for a bit of fun I thought I would try and put together a page featuring some snippets of music, TV, films, radio etc. that feature megaliths. If you are allergic to clichés I suggest you return to the more serious stuff now...

The most obvious connections involve Stonehenge, as you might imagine:

Spinal Tap

I think my favourite reference is in the classic heavy metal piss-take film Spinal Tap, about an over the top (but completely believable) heavy rock band. In one hilarious scene the band decide to sack their manager (to be replaced by one of their girlfriends) following a misunderstanding over the size of a "giant" trilithon arch to accompany their song Stonehenge. Here's a short extract from the soundtrack, in RealAudio:|
Audio clip contains strong language which may offend

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As parodied by the above, still my favourite band from the 70's, and going strong on their umpteenth lineup. Played at the Stonehenge hippy festival countless times before it was banned, to be replaced by the Midsummer "Ring of Steel". Their set from the 1984 festival was released as the live album This is Stonehenge - Do not Panic. They have a track called Stonehenge Decoded which is a bit long and noodly. Instead here's a sound clip of one of their best songs from that album - Psi Power.
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Other Rock Music

John Attwood writes: The obvious one is Julian Cope (ex-Teardrop Explodes) post 1990. A favourite in the Attwood household (except with Tammi the 12 year old:) is STONE CIRCLES 'N' YOU from 20 Mothers.

Other goodies include the unforgettable WAYLAND'S SMITHY HAS WINGS (from Skellington pt2) and PARANORMAL IN THE WEST COUNTRY (Autogeddon) part of which was recorded in West Kennet Long Barrow.

I'm pretty certain that there is a line in a Monster Magnet song which refers to Standing Stones on Mars (but that might have been wishful thinking)

On a less memorable note was a song called ROLLRIGHT STONES by Steve Winwood (apologies to any fans)

Clannad did a song called Newgrange - I think it mentions something about Druids, but that's all I can remember of it

Dr Who - The Stones of Blood

by David Fisher (4 episodes), directed by Darrol Blake
A daft adventure involving standing stones that move and attack people (yes, really). Filmed at the Rollright Stones, the best bit by far is a rather good explanation of stone circles by the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) to the first Romana (Mary Tamm). Here it is, in RealAudio:

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Here's the sensible description:

The Doctor and Romana arrive at a circle of standing stones in the English countryside. They meet an elderly lady professor and her companion who are involved in a study of the stones. However when two campers and the local Druid priest are all killed by one of the stones, the Doctor suspects all is not as it seems, but can he warn Romana in time?

The stone circle on Earth contains the secret of the third segment of the Key, a secret that a millennia old criminal has learned to tap to maintain her freedom.

Taken from and with thanks.

BBC1 Logo

Recently the BBC have re-branded themselves with a very boring black and white BBC logo. Part of this is new channel ID inserts between the programmes on BBC1 TV. These involve a huge red and yellow inflatable globe shown floating incongrously but majestically over British landscapes. One of these is a Stone Circle (not Stonehenge for a change, which is good to see.) It's only on screen for about a second so it's difficult to identify. Keep a look out for it and let me know if you think you know where it was filmed, I think it might be Castlerigg.

Last of the Summer Wine

Long-running BBC TV sitcom (begun in 1973 and still going strong in 1997), written by Roy Clarke, who has been characterised as "the master of the inconsequential conversation" (Peter Waymark, in the Times 2.i.88). Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold (in Bring Me Laughter: Four Decades of TV Comedy, 1987) write: "Perhaps best described as typically English whimsy . . . the show was [sic] slight on action and jokes but built its characters carefully. Rather than raising laughter, it encouraged its audience to smile appreciatively." It might be fairer to say that the comic element in this series mostly arises gradually out of the dialogue, depending upon a cumulation of wry observations and amusing character portrayals.

10. "Welcome to Earth". Mon. 27.xii.93, 8.35-9.05pm

Extraterrestrial encounters for the irrepressible trio, and a reported sighting of John Cleese. The old codgers amble into a circle of standing stones, only to be welcomed by a member of the Heckmondwike Extra-terrestrial Club, who has calculated that visitors from outer-space are expected at any moment. Foggy is worried that the aliens will consider them a 'sloppy mob' of yokels. Meanwhile Howard and Marina have taken up wild-flower collecting so that they can be alone at last. {Jane Freeman, Kathy Staff, Thora Hird, Robert Fyfe, Jean Fergusson, Juliette Kaplan, Sarah Thomas, Gordon Wharmby, Paul Bown (Stranger), Robin Banks (Mr Heptinstall)} Taken from

Children of the Stones

John Gosling writes: I remember when I was about ten years old seeing this series (which makes it about 20 years old). It scared me witless. It was about a village enclosed in a stone circle, time warps and supernovas. Lots of weird stuff, but I recall it was very very good. It appears it was filmed at Avebury. I remember the village was "ruled" over it that's the right work by a lord of the manor type, who had a telescope set up in his house and was waiting for a supernova that was to be centered on the stone circle.


On my Avebury page I said how we used to like Stones Vegetarian Restaurant there. They used to serve food like this - the main dish was called Megaliths:

It tasted delicious, like a cross between meatloaf and nut roast (only nicer). Sadly they don't now do hot main meals which is a bit of a let-down.

The organic beer pictured is nice too.



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Site authored by: Andy Burnham