Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Stonehenge

On the Monday of my trip I popped down to Stonehenge before I went off on my next leg. I had seen Stonehenge before, briefly out of a car window on the way past but had never been. It's not on a bus route and in order to get their you need your own transport or be willing to fork out for a bus tour. On the forking out front, I did rather well as my Historic Scotland membership covers this as well.

As far as I can sift from the great piles of writings about the circle, work on the circle started about 3100 BC with the circular banks and ditches and a circle of wooden posts. In about 2600 BC the first of the standing stones appear to have been brought to the circle. Over the course of the next thousand years the arrangement of these stones were changed and added to. Much speculation has been made as to how the site was made and how the stones were moved but your guess is probably as good as mine or anything else you might read anywhere else. What does seem quite certain is that some of these stones (the ones refered to as the blue stones) were brought from as far as Wales - I saw a program on the box a couple of years ago stating that they think they have found the exact quarry where the stones originated. It's worth noting that underneath the carpark, 4 postholes have been found and dated to 8000 BC which is considerably older than any of the local ancient monuments.

There is a lot said about not being allowed in amongst the stones and I'm not going to chuck my penny's worth in because after visiting it, I'm not sure what is right. I would have loved to have wandered amongst the stones but if I was allowed, then so would a couple of hundred others that you see some of in the picture below - this was at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning so I dread to think how busy this is on a Weekend afternoon. Perhaps after all, my best view was from the low barrier just outside the circle.










15 comments:

DaveOnFidalgo said...

"Popped down to Stonehenge," how I envy you. Have they figured out yet who the people were that first built on the site? I understand it was not the Celts, but some earlier people. Hard to imagine 8,000 BC.

Shundo said...

Those words 'underneath the carpark' sound so dispiriting...it reminds me of when they uncovered the remains of the Rose Theatre by Blackfriars Bridge in London twenty or so years ago, and promptly carried on building an office block over the top of it.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I have mixed feelings about barricading off points of interest that long ago one could mosey around in. Trying to see the bright side in such actions, at least this provides you a good photo without people mucking up the picture. I suppose in the long run it is for the best that chain link fencing and razor wire is strung up. It does somewhat deter the vandals which we seem to have way too many of these days. At least us oldsters have memories of when we could walk in and touch and feel whatever we are now forced to enjoy from a distance.

Vicus Scurra said...

Just a pile of oversized bricks really.

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

Oversized bricks...Sssshhhyaaa.
Excellent pictures Sandy! I'm happy that you travel, cause I don't, and in a place so rich with history...thanks for sharing, as always.

Sandy's witterings said...

Dave, Indeed popped down to Stonehenge applies to that day as I was only camped half an hour away - most of the time it's about 400 miles away from me.

You're right, the Celts were far from the first people of Briton - generally though over the last 4 or 5 thousand years the people of Briton have been given such an almighty stir it's difficult to say who we are.

An interesting diagram on the Celts wikipedia page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts - show the spread of the celt. The yellow area, confined to central Europe, is as far as they'd got by the 6th century BC, long after Avebury and Stonehenge. Now who went before them - that is a question that I don't know the answer to.

Sandy's witterings said...

Shundo, indeed it is dispiriting. Quite often you hear of archaeological discoveies during demolition and the archaeologist have to rush in and discover what they can in some small window of time granted to them.

I'm sure Sinbad could get himself under the barrier - I can just see him lounging on the stones in his ever so comfortable fashion. Actually the barrier to keep you foo the stones is ever so british - it's just one of those chords swung between post of the kind use in stately homes to keep you away from the furniture - it says, "Would you be so good as not to go beyond me, if you really don't mind."

Sandy's witterings said...

Visus Scurra - Now I'm regreting abandoning my last book, "A history of the House Brick fom 4000BC to present Day" - I had the first 4 volumes almost finished :(

Thank you Janet - It's a fairly history dense little country which makes it easy to see a lot of things in one outing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh its years since I've been to Stonehenge. It's amazing and the sheer size of the stones there are awe-inspiring.

Shundo said...

Sandy, you're on cracking form with these responses.

Sandy's witterings said...

Juliet, they're certainly amazing - I think the fact we don't really know how it was done is what inspires the awe.

Thanks Shundo - I do try.

celestial elf said...

Great Pictures, thanks for sharing :D
Thought you might like my King Arthur's Summer Solstice at Stonehenge machinima film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wuNE5M01ME Bright Blessings, elf ~

The Glebe Blog said...

Hi Sandy,there are those that believe the top stones and in fact the whole structure was erected using space ships.I can just about believe that's possible after a wee tot or two of the usquebaugh.
Very interesting post

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Awe inspiring place,the stones are magnificent! But it does seem sad no-one can get close enough now to wander and feel and sense the mystery of the 'Henge....

Sandy's witterings said...

Welcome Celestial Elf

Jim I suspect something a little more chemical than usquebaugh to come up with that idea.

That Wolfie is where Avebury scores better.