A true British cultural icon attracting thousands of visitos from around the world each year. Nearly 4600 years after construction began, Stonehenge continues to inspire awe and fascination.
The megalithic cirlce, located on Salisbury Plain, is believed to have been built in 6 stages ranging from 3100 BC to 1520 BC. The name of the monument probably derives from the Saxon stan-hengen, meaning “stone hanging”.
Stonehenge was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Speculation has surrounded Stonehenge for centuries. Many have proposed that it was the work of aliens, Merlin or even Giants, but is believed today to have been some kind of burial ground.
The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.
The stones that form the iconic monument are actually from Wales. British geologist Herbert Henry Thomas linked the bluestones (the smaller ones) to those in Wales in 1923. That is nearly 225 km away and with each stone weighing in the region of 4 tons, this is truly a magnificent feat!
The larger stones, known as sarsens, weighed around 25 tons and are believed to have come from Marlborough Downs, 32km away!
Many believe it is simply not possible to transport such heavy stones without any modern tools.
Geoffrey of Monmouth who lived in the 12th century wrote in his chronicle, The History of the Kings of Britain, that Merlin moved the stones from Ireland to England as a memorial for 300 slain nobleman.
17th century antiquary, John Aubrey, believed that Stonehenge was a druid temple.
The stones are aligned towards the sunrise during the Summer Solstice and the Sunset during the Winter Solstice and astronomer Gerald Hawkins believed they were designed in this specific way in order to predict a variety of astronomical events.
Televangelist Jim Bakker on the other hand, believes that the site was an ancient Satanic structure built by demonic giants.
In 2017, a geophysical survey bu the University of Birmingham revealed underground cabins and a vast complex of wooden buildings surrounding the henge suggesting there was major human habitation around the henge.
The exact technique used by the Britons to build Stonehenge remain a mystery just like the Pyramids in Egypt and Machu Picchu.
As technology develops, we are getting closer and closer to the secrets of Stonehenge, but we wonder whether we will ever have all the answers. Despite this, there’s one thing that we can all agree on and that is that Stonehenge is a magnificent site that should treasured by all. A gateway to our past, this monument proves that our ancestors were truly capable of great things. Check out this cool video down below: