Stonehenge is a circle of huge and heavy stones weighing from 40 to 25 tons. These stones are standing vertically, and their height is around 13 feet. The most interesting topic of discussion about this place is that these stones and erection process goes back to 3000 BC. Which makes everyone including the modern-day scientist and archeologists wonder about how did it happen?
How these heavy stones came to this place and formed a shape of a circle? Did Neolithic builders have those kinds of resources to carry them, uplift them and erect them in a circular shape? Some of these stones have been traced back to quarries 25 miles from Salisbury Plain but some of them are traced back to Preseli Hills in Wales which is 200 miles away from Stonehenge. How did they manage to bring all those here from such a long distance? And most of all What was the purpose of creating a ring of these massive stones?
Stonehenge is in Wiltshire, England which is 3 kms from west of Amesbury, inviting more than a million visitors every year. The visitors come to experience what it is like to see fairy tales live because there are so many theories about this place and not even one is 100% approved by all. Sir Cecil Herbert Edward Chubb was the last private owner of this magnificent monument. Stonehenge is now owned by the British Crown and the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust. The site and surroundings are included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
There are 100s of tour buses and packages that take you to this amazing site. Summer is the best time to visit Stonehenge specially if you want to enjoy the Summer Solstice. In summer the beauty of this ancient monument reaches to its peak because of the surrounding green fields. If you are visiting with family or friends, I would recommend spending a full day here. Many people come here for half day or for 2 to 3 hours and then regret later of spending less time at this place.
The best way to explore is to go by walk from the parking area to the monument. The area is so clean, and the air is so fresh with beautiful views of the meadows. You will not see the pollution of cities here which makes it a very exciting hiking journey. Kids and teenagers run around in the pathways between the green fields. This is an ideal place for photoshoots, wedding shoots, photography and selfies.
Stonehenge Summer Solstice
The best experience of visiting Stonehenge is during Summer Solstice. Thousands of people gather at this pre-historic monument to greet the start of the first day/ longest day of the summer. The monument aligns with the Sunrise and creates a wonderful enchanting image. On this day the Sun rises from behind the Heel Stone, which is the ancient entry to this circle of stones. The rays of sun are then channeled into the center of the structure. Many people also believe it was built for the same purpose to harness the energy from the sun for meditation or treatment of disabilities. Being a myth, Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments of the world.
Archeologists confirm that Stonehenge was built in several stages that may have took almost 1600 years to form this shape. The monument dates back to 5000 years ago but a few stones date back to 8500 BC. Which is amazing. Archeologist believe that the circular ditch would have been the first construction of the site that dates back to 3000 BC and then the Heel Stone and North Barrow could have been the earliest components of the monument.
Sarsen Stones are the sandstones which are found in large quantity in Salisbury Plain in United Kingdom. Large Sarsen stones were erected at the monument in a concentric arrangement which forms an inner horseshoe shape and an outer circle. There are smaller blue stones which are setup between the Sarsens to form a double arc.
There are 5 replica Neolithic houses near the Stonehenge to describe the possible lifestyle of the people who used to live here. These houses are furnished with replica of pre-historic axes, pottery and artefacts. There are volunteers who happily demonstrate the daily activities of the prehistoric ancestors.
Purpose of Stonehenge
There are several theories which are generated to solve the mystery of this pre-historic site and yet there are still confusions.
One of the famous theories is that Stonehenge was built for Burial purpose. British Scientists have found more than 50,000 cremated bone fragments that indicate that this site was used for the burial ceremonies. There is also a counter theory that these people may have died while building the monument or were the residents nearby.
Another theory as we have discussed above is that the place was used for healing purposes. Most of the skeletons found near the area showed signs of illness or injury.
Some theorists suggest that the place was built as a cathedral or a concert hall because of the Stonehenge has amazing acoustics.
As both summer and winter solstices are celebrated today at the Stonehenge, theorists also suggest that the site was built for the same purpose in pre-history. What do you think? Did they really brought the stones from 200 miles and did so much effort to party and celebrate?
Some theorists suggest that the Stonehenge was created to bring unity among the residents and tribes. The number of people and amount of hard work must have brought a lot of men together for a similar purpose. They might have created it as a symbol of unity.
Some people will also tell you the stories of aliens who built this site, but I wonder why they never came back. Some people say the site was built by a wizard.