Welcome to my blog which explores my two passions : French and travel. Do you love history? Well, travel with me to a wondrous site that existed thousands of years ago: Stonehenge, which has been classified as a World Heritage Site.
Stonehenge is a very impressive ruin which is a wonder of ancient achievement and a symbol of mystery. Stonehenge has inspired people to interpret it for centuries. Who built it and why? Archaeology provides the best hope for answering questions about its mysterious origins. Some suggested that it was created by magic, some guessed (wrongly I learnt) that the Druids had built it.
The word ‘henge’ in Stonehenge refers to a prehistoric monument consisting of a circle of stone. The most visible elements of Stonehenge are the stones themselves. They vary in size and those in the central cluster are arranged in a series of circular structures. The stones in this central cluster were brought to the site in about 2500B.C. There are very large stones that support the lintels. Others are much smaller. The stones vary both in their size and in the raw material from which they were formed.
The largest stones are known as sarsens and can weigh over 35 tonnes. The smaller stones are known as bluestones collectively although they include a variety of different types of rock. The outermost setting would have been a circle of 30 upright shaped sarsens. Only 17 of these still stand while only 6 of the lintels are still in place. Inside and concentric with the sarsens was a circle of 60 small upright bluestones. Moving inwards, you will find a horseshoe of 5 massive sarsen trilithons. Three of these still stand. Stonehenge is situated on an axis and is aligned with both the midwinter and the midsummer solstice.
Stonehenge nowadays is a very different place for tourists A new visitor has been built and you can take a shuttle to the monument. Cars are no longer allowed to drive close to it. There an interesting exhibition at the visitor centre with many finds that were excavated as well as huts that the people would have lived in. Of course, there’s the usual gift shop. And a cafeteria.
We were lucky to go on a beautiful day – the first time we went it was -11°C but this time it was great. We hired audio guides and meandered along from spot to spot learning about Stonehenge and its history. Well worth a visit but book online to get slightly ahead of the queues.
Here are some useful links to do with travel: