Some of the larger stones were locally sounrced. It's thought that these stones, some weighing and incredible 50 tonnes, would have taken 500 men to pull them using leather leather ropes. The holes used to locate the stones were dug using antlers and bones and experts believe that more than thirty million hours of labour would have been required to complete the site.
At last you've made it to probably the most important and well known prehistoric monument in Britain, Stonehenge, which dates back to 3000 BC. The monument consists of three concentric circles, aligned with the rising sun at the solstice and was constructed over time in three distinct stages. Some of the stones, weighing nearly 4 tonnes each, were transported over 240 miles from the Welsh mountains where they were mined. Exactly how these massive stones were moved is not fully known and is still under investigation by leading archaeologists. One theory states they were transported using giant rollers, raft, and no doubt, with a lot of elbow grease.
Standing in front of this staggering structure, it's hard not to ask yourself: why? Many people think the stones are part of a huge astronomical calendar, that can be used to calculate the rising and setting of the moon, and predict eclipses. Certainly, every year, on Midsummer's Day, a person can stand in the exact centre of the circle and know that the rising sun will shine directly on him through a line of stone pillars. Some think it was built as an ancient temple for sun worshipping. Another popular theory is that the Druids, the high priests of the Celts, constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies. Others have speculated that the stones were put there by the Devil, or aliens.
Ultimately, it remains one of the biggest mysteries in the Universe...
Address: Stonehenge, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE
Contact details for English Heritage:
Telephone: 0370 333 1181
Website: English Heritage - Stonehenge
Directions from A303: Two miles west of Amesbury and clearly signposted from the A303, off the A360. Postcode for sat nav: SP4 7DE
Admission times: Mon - Sun 9.30-7, last entry at 5
Admission charge: See website as charges vary. English Heritage and National Trust England members are admitted free.
Parking: Parking is available on site. During peak periods, there is a parking charge to non-members and those who have not prebooked tickets which is fully refundable on purchase of a ticket to Stonehenge. There are dedicated parking spaces for motorhomes.
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