Stonehenge

Stonehenge Facts

Know More About This 5000-year Old Monument
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About Stonehenge

Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is arguably the most important Neolithic monument in the world. This 5,000-year-old site in its entirety is a famous stone circle that has remained a mystery for thousands of years despite its fame. The construction of Stonehenge spanned thousands of years with some parts of the famous Neolithic site being older than the rest. The 'henge' that surrounds the stones was built around 3,100 BCE, for example but the first stones, on the other hand, were erected between 2,400 and 2,200 BC, years later.

Visiting Stonehenge is truly an awe-inspiring experience as you are able to walk among these ancient sarsens for 45 minutes. Here you will be learning about all of their fascinating features, which is an incredible testament to human ingenuity. Stonehenge is 1.5 miles from an exhibition and visitor centre that houses five Neolithic dwellings and gives visitors a glimpse into life 4,500 years ago. Many of the massive stones from Stonehenge's original construction are still visible, arranged in a circular pattern. Archaeological studies reveal that the structure of this magnificent monument has undergone numerous reconstructions over the centuries as it was constructed and reconstructed by different ancient cultures.

Stonehenge Facts

One of the greatest mysteries in history is Stonehenge's existence. As one of the most well-known landmarks in Britain, the Wiltshire stone circle continues to baffle visitors and historians alike with its mysterious origins. The site, as seen, consists of a jumble of stone posts, some of which are capped with slabs, enclosed by a low, spiral earthwork. There are no regular opening hours for Stone Circle, so most visitors can only see it from a distance, which is mysterious, mesmerising, and out of everyone's reach.

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Stonehenge
As of 1978, visitors to the Stone Circle had a new way to enter

In order to safeguard the valuable and fragile artefacts and stones, a decision was made to remove them. In the past, the area had been covered in gravel, which was absurd and damaged the stones. Monumental grounds have been meticulously maintained in recent years. One of the most notable facts about the Stonehenge is that getting inside the circle is still possible, as limited-number Stone Circle visits take place outside of regular visiting hours and can be scheduled online.

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Stonehenge
Women and Children resided at Stonehenge

Remains of 50,000 bones belonging to 63 men, women, and children were unearthed at the site by archaeologists in 2013. It is possible some of these bones date back to 3000 BC, while others are only from the 2500 BC time period. However, it's not clear if Stonehenge's primary purpose was to serve as a burial ground at the beginning of its existence, and that is one of the most interesting facts about Stonehenge. Also, as per some Stonehenge facts, several high-status women were buried in round barrows, close to Stonehenge. One woman was admired because she was buried with valuables that included a cup. This small cup may have formerly housed a light and was used in the funeral rites.

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Stonehenge
They're called "Ringing Rocks" for a reason

The stones’ clunking sound is one of the most intriguing facts about the Stonehenge because of the stones’ unusual acoustic properties, which helps explain why anyone would bother transporting them such a long distance. These rocks are revered for their supposed healing properties in some ancient cultures.

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Stonehenge
It extends underground

Stonehenge's stones may appear large, and thus one of the significant facts about the Stonehenge is that they are big but a quarter of their weight is buried underground to provide stability. To put it another way, Stone 56, which stands 6.58 metres above the ground, has a total height of 8.71 metres.

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Stonehenge
Stonehenge is much more than a simple Stone Circle

One of the facts about the Stonehenge is that over 700 archaeological features are included in the World Heritage Site of ‘Stonehenge Half’, including the find spots. They consist of henges, timber structures and enclosures as well as numerous burial mounds. There are over 180 of these scheduled monuments and there is a lot to learn about Stonehenge's history from an interactive landscape map.

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Stonehenge
It is anything but a Henge!

It is not one of the many henges in Great Britain, and that is one of the strangest facts about Stonehenge. That is not a true henge because its ditch is outside the earthwork itself, which means it isn't one. The most famous actual henge is Avebury, located a few miles to the north.

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Stonehenge
It contains two different kinds of Stone

Large sarsens and smaller bluestones are used in the construction of Stonehenge, and that is one of the unknown facts about Stonehenge. Archaeologists believe that the sarsens came from Marlborough Downs, while the bluestones came from Preseli Hills in south-west Wales. We don't know how the stones got to their final destination, but it's likely that they were carried or pulled across the land there by water channels.

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Stonehenge
Arthurian Folklore

One of the peculiar facts about Stonehenge was that Merlin took Stonehenge from Ireland, where it was rebuilt in Wiltshire in honour of the 3,000 nobles who died fighting the Saxons.

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The Stones came from approximately 200 miles away

One of the alleged facts about Stonehenge was that the stones here were quarried near Maenclochog in Wales and shifted to Wiltshire – a major technical feat at the time.

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Stonehenge was constructed in phases

Stonehenge began as a simple earthwork enclosure for prehistoric people to bury their cremated dead around 5,000 years ago. One of the facts about the Stonehenge establishes that it was built around 2500 BC, and the stone circle in the monument's centre is late Neolithic.

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It caused a fight in 1985

The Battle of the Beanfield was fought on June 1, 1985 between a convoy of 600 New Age travellers and 1,300 police. The fight broke out when the travellers were stopped by a police roadblock seven miles from Stonehenge to set up the Stonehenge Free Festival.

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The Stonehenge World Heritage Site is enormous

Arable fields and Chalk downland occupy 2,600 hectares (6,500 acres) of the World Heritage Site's Stonehenge portion. Compared to New York City’s Central Park, this is a seven-and-a-half-times larger area. Over 10,000 square metres of land is surrounded by the Stonehenge circular bank and ditch.

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In 1915, Stonehenge was purchased at auction

Local businessman Cecil Chubb bought it for £6,600 at an auction for dining chairs. Chubb donated the memorial to the nation three years later, to the then Ministry of Works. Major excavations and restorations were performed between 1919 and 1929, and again between 1958 and 1964. Stonehenge now lies inside a reconstructed environment, giving a sense of its original surroundings.

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Around 1500 Roman artefacts were found in Stonehenge

Coins, jewellery, and pins, as well as ceramic fragments, were among the items discovered here. Rather than being the work of Roman tourists, these are assumed to be the work of pilgrims who came to Stonehenge to worship. Large trenches were dug inside the monument around this time as well.

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Stonehenge currently has 154 volunteers

Over 1.3 million people visit the site each year thanks to the efforts of these 154 people. They're a vital part of the Stonehenge team, from welcoming visitors to describing life in the Neolithic houses and conducting educational sessions.

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Stonehenge Facts FAQs

Why is Stonehenge so special?

Stonehenge is special because mystery surrounds it to this day. For starters there are no written records of its creation, and it dates back to the 3100 BC era, making it extremely old. It is also considered special as the monument's stones are known as "ringing rocks" because of their unusual acoustic properties, where they produce a loud tinkling sound when struck. Many visitors to Stonehenge claim to feel a 'connection' to the ancient site because of the reverence that Druids have for nature, ritual, and ceremony.

How was Stonehenge Built?

Stonehenge was built by shaping the boulders and this step was the first one. Archaeologists believe ancient Britons hammered wood wedges into stone cracks. As water soaked wood expanded and split the stone they shaped them with chisels and hammers, and later to build on them, they were transported. They were probably dragged overland by men and oxen teams on rafts down rivers. It is thought the stones were rolled along the ground on giant wooden sledges. The builders dug deep stone ditches, then raised them with ropes and filled the ditches with rocks to hold them in place.

Why are you not allowed to touch Stonehenge?

For safety reasons, visitors are prohibited from touching any of the stones at Stonehenge. Doing so could damage the ancient henges that connect them, which could then lead to stones falling and injuring those who step on them. Also, visitors caused damage and erosion to the rock surfaces and rock art that have been preserved. Graffiti on the stones and other forms of vandalism were among the many forms of damage done to the monument before 1978.

How did Stonehenge get its name?

The Saxon word "stan-hengen," which means "stone hanging" or "gallows," is most likely the source of the monument's name. Even though Stonehenge has been referred to since 1136, it wasn't until 1610 that the correct spelling was established. It was known as 'Stanhenge', 'Stonhenge', and 'Stonheng' in the 1200s.

Why was Stonehenge built in the shape of a circle?

Stonehenge was built in a shape of circle probably because Stonehenge was used to denote certain rituals centred on the sun and stars, and a round form is more appropriate for such rituals.

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