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Essentially British?: Stonehenge, Panorama of the Ancient Druidical Remains (1900)

Material to accompany the BFI Mediatheque 'Essentially British' DVD.

Main image of Essentially British?: Stonehenge, Panorama of the Ancient Druidical Remains (1900)
35mm, black and white, 49 feet
Production CompanyWarwick Trading Company
Focus Questions
In the Classroom

An early panorama of one of Britain's most well-known prehistoric monuments.

Hundreds of panoramas were made in the early days of film. Views of tourist attractions such as Stonehenge became increasingly prolific across several media as leisure time increased throughout the Victorian era. In this view, a policeman and a lady stand next to the ancient stones as the camera pans past to give an impression of scale. Panoramas such as this would be shown at variety of locations such as local fairs and music halls, as part of a longer programme of entertainment.

This short film offers a good starting point for thinking about the meanings we can attach to historical monuments, the significance they hold in the public imagination and how this intersects with our understanding of what constitutes 'British' history. The film also provides a glimpse into the interests of cinema goers at the turn of the century and can act as the starting point for a comparison of the role of film in the past and present.

Follow the link to In The Classroom at the top of this page for teaching suggestions linked to History and Citizenship. In Focus Questions you'll find suggestions for questions to focus students' attention while watching the film. These will also help to develop their understanding of film language.

Video Clips
Complete film (0:46)
Downloadable Teaching Resources

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