Stonehenge is located around 2 miles to the west of Amesbury and is 8 miles to the north of Salisbury. One of the most popular sites of the world, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument which is actually the remains or ruins of a ring of standing stones that were set with earthworks. It is known far and wide for its 900 stone ring monuments.
Stonehenge is located just in the midst of Bronze age monuments and a dense complex of Neolithic monuments in England. There are hundreds of burial mounds in the area. The standing stones of this monument are huge blocks which are up to 9 metres tall and each of which have a weight of 25 tons. These are set strategically – and are vertical into the earth. Blue stones which are well crafted sit horizontally on the standing stones. Plenty of cremated human remains have been discovered around the site and it was found that there are several burial mounds in the area. Just leading away from these Stones is the way to the burial mounds. There is an avenue which ends in a big rock slab which is often referred to as the ‘Slaughter Stone’.
As per historians and archaeologists, this monument must have been built between 3000-2000 BC. It is believed that the first stones of this monument were raised between 2400-2200 BC. The ditch and circular earth bank which surround the monument and are believed to have been in the earliest construction phase of this monument were built in 3100 BC.
- More than 1500 years were taken to build this monument and were the result of 300 million labor hours.
- Very little is known about why this monument was built and the purpose still continues to be an unsolved mystery. Many accounts suggest it was built for several rural activities while others say it was built to work as an observatory.
- This monument was built at least 300 years before the Pyramids were built in Egypt.
- There are several people who believe that this monument is actually a giant clock because of its perfect settings.
- People involved in the construction of Stonehenge were extremely sophisticated in geometry and mathematics, as it is revealed from the architecture. It was strategically aligned with midsummer sunset and midwinter sunset. Not just this, it was also well aligned with the best northerly setting and southerly rising of the moon. Such alignment needs meticulous planning and lots of calculation to achieve perfection.
- Two different types of stones were used in the construction of Stonehenge. Sarsen stones had a weight of 25 tons and stood 18 feet tall.
- Bluestones were also used which were transported to this site from around 240 miles. Bluestones are a volcanic rock and quite rare.
This monument and its surroundings were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in the year 1986. This is now a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Crown owns Stonehenge and is managed by English Heritage and its surroundings are owned by National Trust.