Oldest family photo ever taken at Stonehenge found in Brian May’s collection


The ‘fantastic’ image was found in Brian May’s (left) collection (Picture: PA)

The oldest family photograph ever taken at Stonehenge has been dated back to the mid 1800s – after being found in a rock star’s collection.

Queen guitarist Brian May branded the image ‘fantastic’ ahead of it being displayed at a new exhibition for the Wiltshire landmark.

The 3D stereoview shot was taken by photographer Henry Brooks during the 1860s and shows his family enjoying a day out at the historic landmark, according to English Heritage.

The grainy black and white picture appears to show a women and a girl sat on a rock, with two men standing with their backs to the camera in the background, in front of the iconic stones.

There is also a shot of Mr May standing in the same spot years later.

The first image will be displayed at the neolithic monument to the soundtrack of Mr May playing Queen song Who Wants To Live Forever on the piano.

The guitarist said: ‘I’ve been fascinated by stereo cards since I was a boy and got one in a cereal packet!

A woman and a girl in Mr May’s family can be seen in the 1860 image (Picture: PA)

‘This is a fantastic early example and exciting because it’s one of the oldest family snaps taken at Stonehenge.

‘It feels even more evocative when set to music – a bit like a silent movie and we thought it would be great fun to recreate the image as a stereo view at Stonehenge and breathe new life into an old photo.’

English Heritage said there was a long tradition of family photos being taken at the site but this image had a ‘further dimension’ than many similar shots.

Susan Greaney, a historian for the organisation, explained: ‘We’re so excited to have Brian May involved with our exhibition at Stonehenge.

A similar black and white image of Mr May shows him at the same spot (Picture: PA)

‘The stones play such an important role in our collective memory and this can be seen so clearly in the long tradition of family and group photos taken at the stones and on display in the Your Stonehenge exhibition.

‘These sorts of Victorian 3D images have a real vividness and depth in themselves, and this one provides a further dimension still because we know who took it.’

Mr May’s photo will be displayed as part of the Your Stonehenge exhibition which will run until August 31, 2022.

It comes after Mr May declared himself ‘furious’ that his belongings had been destroyed in flash flooding in London.

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