The Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. This monument is consists of a ring of standing stones. Each standing stone around 13 feet tall and 7 feet wide and weighs at around 25 tons.
Stonehenge is one of the most famous landmark of the United Kingdom, in fact it is regarded as a British cultural icon and is legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882.
Below are some of the facts about the Stonehenge:
- The huge stone circle is believed to have its origin from the Neolithic age about 500 years ago.
- It took around 1000 years to build in in four stages and it was completed around 1500 B.C. during the early bronze age.
- There are 83 stones found in total. For construction two main type of stones are used that includes the smaller bluestones and the larger sarsens.
- The weight of the stones used during those days mesmerizes everybody. The smaller bluestones weighs around 3600 kg that is equal to weight of two cars. The bigger ones that is the sarsens weighs around 22 tonnes it can be equal to weight of four big African elephant.
- Historians and archeologists still questions on how these stones were brought from the place of their origin to the place of construction.
- Different theories are related to the reason for which the Stonehenge was used. One theory states that it must have been used for measuring the calendar. This belief is grown as on the longest day of the year that is 21 June the Sun rises straight over the Heel stone. On the shortest day the Sun sets over the heel stone
- The stones used at Stonehenge were dressed up using some sophisticated techniques that were not found among other pre historic monuments. Like, they were erected using interlocking joints.
- At time of various excavations at the Stonehenge, roman pottery, metal items, stone and coins are found. It shows that the site was occasionally in use during the mediaeval periods.
- The Stonehenge was also used as cemetery where more than 200 people are buried. Others believe that it was a religious site where people gathered for worshipping and for healing.
- There are two main entrance to the enclosure. One is at the north east, which is the wider one. The smaller one is on the southern side.
- There is a circle of 56 pits inside the enclosure. These holes are known as Aubrey holes after John Aubrey who holds the credit of discovering them.
- The first mention about the study of this historic sites dates back to 1130 AD in the Archaeological study of Henry of Huntingdon. It was mentioned as ‘Staneges’ there.
- There are many theories related to the creation of this monument. Some of them are quite fascinating and among them is the one where it is believed that Merlin the Wizard must have completed it. Actually, it is not yet clear about how these stones were brought from lands far away?
- Stonehenge is not the only stone circle in the British Isles. There are about 900 more, but none of them are as famous as Stonehenge.
- It is one of the UNESCO World heritage sites and this site is maintained by English Heritage.