Monday, February 4, 2013


Another place in my travels that has intrigued me is Stonehenge in England.  The first time I visited the site, I was so amazed that these stones were just "out there" on a gently rolling hillside.  Furthermore, at the time, visitors were able to walk right amongst the stones.  It was fantastic!  No so anymore.  All visitors are kept well behind a fence.  Can you believe it's been a tourist attraction for at least two thousand years?  Because the people who built this (from the Neolithic and Bronze Age) did not write, we'll never know all the secrets as to why Stonehenge was built.  But, of course, there are many theories, and  new discoveries hint at what happened many centuries ago.

An interesting fact is that just under the grass, one finds chalk, a soft white rock which was formed under the sea. Stonehenge is built on one of these chalk hills, as it is porous, drains easily, is good for farming, and the early travelers found it easier to hike along these areas, as opposed to the heavy clay land that lies below.

The first monument, simply made of chalk rubble and a circular ditch, was made in about 2,700 B.C.  It wasn't until about 500 years later that new inhabitants, known as the Beaker people,  began the new construction, adding to Stonehenge. These people were the first in Britain to own gold and copper objects and traveled in search of these metals.

The Bluestones (weighing up to 7 tons) were brought to the site from South Wales, 130 miles away. It's very interesting to read about how these stones must have been transported and erected. Later, the Sarsen stones were erected.  They are much larger boulders, averaging about 26 tons, and they were found and transported from an area just 25 miles to the north.  It is so fascinating to consider how these stones were set and what an engineering feat in must have been!!

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating!

    It would be wonderful to know the significance of Stonehenge. Since the stones were transported such a distance, it makes me wonder even more.