Stonehenge has always been an interesting subject of multiple theories about its origin. There are explanations from the academic worlds of archaeology as well as from mythology and paranormal. Many historians were even known to be influenced by popular supernatural folks of the place while delivering their explanations.
Some legends believed that Merlin was the one who made giants build this structure for him, or that he was who transported it magically from Mount Killaraus. Some legends even held that the Devil was responsible for making this structure.
Nevertheless, the first academic effort to understand the construction and purpose of the monument was made in 1640. John Aubrey, an English antiquary, declared that Stonehenge was a work of Druids. William Stukeley later popularized this view. Aubrey even developed the first measured drawing of the monument, which helped in analyzing the form and significance of the site.
Today, plenty of visitors from around the world come to visit this site every year. It is indeed interesting and if you are too planning a trip to Wiltshire to visit Stonehenge, it is best if you book your tickets from StonehengeVisit.co.uk. Also, you can learn a lot about the site and the available Stonehenge tours.
Facts concerning the fascinating site of Stonehenge
Name and Style
Stonehenge is an archeological site that appeared during the Neolithic era. It is located near Amesbury in Wiltshire and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The site has a collection of huge vertical rectangular rocks, named megaliths. Some megaliths even carry a horizontal rock on the top.
The name suggests the basic construction of the site – ‘henge’ derives from ‘hang’, so Stonehenge means – ‘hanging rocks’. However, in the ancient language, the region was called ‘cromlech’ or ‘circle of rocks’.
Location of the site
Historians believed that Stonehenge was the result of multiple episodes of construction and destruction, and the last one happened during the 1900s, which is pretty recently.
During the 19th century, many stones were straightened to restore and maintain the original structure and beauty of the site. However, with time, a certain number of rocks went missing, and thus some holes are empty and a few geometrical proportions are not proper. This is the reason why the exact map of the site is not clear.
When we discuss the central cluster of Stonehenge, 3 stones date back to 2500 BCE and have two varieties – sarsens (larger and arranged in 2 concentric forms) and bluestones (typically blueish).
Alignment of Stonehenge
The main circle of stones is aligned with the solstitial axis. On 21st June, the sun rises over the Heel Stone, while on 22nd Dec, the sets between the 2 tallest trilithons. This alignment proves that the stone arrangement at the site was significant for people who built the place.
Today, along with regular tourists, followers of the Celtic Religion visit the site and consider it a place of pilgrimage. Some of these religious visitors try to recreate the magical atmosphere at the site, they believed once was there.
Surely, these exciting facts must have tempted you to visit Stonehenge on your next UK vacation. So, make your reservations in advance, and even check out other attractions of Wiltshire while your visit.