If you are planning a trip to England, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Stonehenge, which offers a breathtaking experience. The iconic ring of standing stones in Wiltshire, England, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been a magnet for tourists for centuries, and it's not hard to see why.
What is Stonehenge?
A henge is a prehistoric monument consisting of a circular ditch, bank, and one or more standing stones. Stonehenge is the most famous example of a henge. It consists of a ring of standing stones weighing several tons, surrounded by a circular ditch and bank.
Where is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. The massive henge is surrounded by an ancient landscape spanning thousands of years. The immediate surrounding area includes Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments and a site complex.
Who Built Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is believed to have been built by a group of people known as the Beaker culture around 2500 BC to 3000 BC. However, the exact purpose and construction methods of Stonehenge are still a mystery to archaeologists and historians. Despite the many conspiracies, the truth remains elusive, adding to the site's allure.
How was Stonehenge built?
Taking in the grandeur of Stonehenge, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the sheer size and scale of the massive stones that surround you. Some of the henge's stones weigh as much as 50 tons, leaving you questioning how they were transported and erected in the first place. Theories abound, from the belief that ancient giants or otherworldly beings were responsible for their movement to more practical explanations involving ropes, pulleys, and human labor. Regardless of the true story behind the stones, the mystery and majesty of Stonehenge continue to captivate visitors from around the world.
Notable Features of Stonehenge and Nearby Locations
Avenue and Stone Circle of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a circular arrangement of large standing stones, some topped with lintels. There is also an "Avenue," a processional pathway leading away from Stonehenge, marked by parallel banks and ditches.
Cursus Barrows North of Stonehenge
To the north of Stonehenge, there are several burial mounds or barrows. These are believed to be associated with the ritual and ceremonial activities in the vicinity.
Stonehenge Visitor Center
The Stonehenge Visitor Centre officially opened on December 18, 2013. The construction of the visitor center was part of a larger project aimed at improving the overall visitor experience at Stonehenge. The center provides educational resources, exhibitions, and amenities for visitors, offering information about the history, archaeology, and significance of Stonehenge. It also includes a transit system that transports visitors to and from the monument, helping to manage the impact of tourism on the site. The opening of the visitor center marked a significant enhancement to the facilities available for those exploring Stonehenge and its surroundings.
Durrington Walls Near Stonehenge
Located about 2 miles northeast of Stonehenge, Durrington Walls is a large henge enclosure surrounded by a ditch and bank. It is associated with the people who built and used Stonehenge and may have served as a settlement or ceremonial site.
The Cursus North of Stonehenge
To the north of Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, there is a long, straight ditch known as the Cursus. It is a sizeable Neolithic enclosure, and its exact purpose remains an archaeological debate.
Barrows and Tumuli Around Stonehenge
The landscape around Stonehenge is dotted with various burial mounds, barrows, and tumuli dating from different periods, indicating a long history of human activity in the area.
Whether you're a history buff, a curious traveler, or just looking for a unique experience, Stonehenge is a must-visit destination. So, if you're planning a trip to England, add it to your itinerary and get ready to be transported back in time to one of the world's most fascinating and mysterious sites.