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Oct. 2, 2017

KENTUCKY STONEHENGE

One would have to travel thousands of miles from Hardin County to encounter the mysterious Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England, but a brief drive to Hart County can yield a similar sight.

KY. StonehengeKY. Stonehenge

Right off South Dixie Highway in Munfordville, a unique attraction known as Kentucky Stonehenge offers a homemade replica of the iconic landmark, along with several other rock formations.

Though ancient historians debate the origin of the actual Stonehenge, there’s no doubt Kentucky’s Stonehenge was built by Munfordville resident Chester Fryer. In fact, the replica is in his yard.

The attraction stands on private property, yet Fryer allows visitors to view his creations and take pictures for free from dawn until dusk, on the condition visitors do not climb rocks or vandalize.

“If I opened it to the public, I couldn’t afford the insurance,” Fryer said. “But you can go look or drive by.”

Working with and collecting rocks is a passion for Fryer. In addition to the Stonehenge replica, his property also contains several other rock displays such as The Garden of Gethsemane, Earth Mysteries, Rock Gardens, Rock Park and Twisted Rock.

In Fryer’s yard passersby will find an array of rock creations including a fountain, large cross, chair and several others. He also owns a large collection of smaller rocks in his home, including fossils and arrowheads.

Before retiring, Fryer work­ed in real estate and owned several different businesses. He also served on Mu­nford­ville City Council and as the city’s mayor. As he had more free time in retirement, Fryer began decorating his yard with various rock projects before undergoing his Stone­henge project.

“As long as you believe you can do something, you can do it,” Fryer said. “I don’t care what it is. If you believe you can’t then you can’t.”

Fryer said he began work on the Stonehenge replica around the turn of the millennium after researching the monument on his computer. He paid for and mostly built the attraction himself. He said he searched extensively around the Cave City area for large rocks to transport to his home.

“I hunted every rock I could find,” Fryer said. “At that time I could build it, today I couldn’t build it for $2 million dollars. I couldn’t find the rocks.”

The project includes several large sandstone rocks that form a circle. In the middle of the circle stands five rocks creations that include two vertical rocks with a horizontal rock on top.

Fryer said the replica doesn’t strictly follow the speci­fications of the original monument, saying it’s instead designed to replicate points on a compass rose. On days such as the summer solstice, the sun shines through the middle of the monument, casting precise shadows.

“It’s in line with all the planets,” Fryer said.

Coni Shepperd, executive director of Munfordville Tourism, said Kentucky’s Stone­­henge has become a major tourist draw for the town.

“We have calls about every week from people wanting to come here to visit Stonehenge,” Shepperd said. “It has become very popular.”

Fryer said he’s met visitors from all over the world on his property.

“There are probably 20 to 25 people that come here every day,” he said.

Shepperd said the attraction brings uniqueness to the Munfordville area.

“I think it is a great addition to the town,” Sheppard said. “When you tell people about it they can’t believe we have something like that in town.”

By Andrew Critchelow
The News-Enterprise

 

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