Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury. No one knows the true meaning of Stonehenge although there are a number of different theories. Theories include a healing centre, a temple for sun worship, a burial site or perhaps a huge calendar? Stonehenge’s ring of standing stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.
The Mystery of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is an ancient, awe-inspiring creation which never fails to impress. Operated by English Heritage the ancient site is surrounded by mystery. One of the most frequently asked questions is how did our ancestors manage to carry the mighty stones from so far away and then, using only the most primitive of tools, build this amazing structure?
Stone Circle Experience
In an ideal world, everyone visiting Stonehenge would like to walk among the stones at Stonehenge. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and if you visit during public opening hours the stones are roped off in order to help preserve this historic monument.
The good news is that English Heritage, who run Stonehenge, allow you beyond these ropes at special sessions outside normal public opening hours. A Stone Circle Experience at Stonehenge gives you a unique opportunity to be up close to this world-famous monument.
The Stone Circle Experience takes place outside of our normal general admission opening hours and are subject to very limited availability.
Taking place either early in the morning or late in the evening, each visit lasts for one hour, with a maximum of 30 people within the stones per session.
Stonehenge – A Great Family day out
If you are visiting the attraction as a family then your children can play by the most famous stones in the world. What better way for kids to step into England’s story than exploring a World Heritage Site and its prehistoric monuments? The exhibition and visitor centre will entertain the most inquisitive of minds and there is plenty of outdoor space to work off extra energy and enjoy a picnic lunch.
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English Heritage – Membership
English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites. Through these, they bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.
In 1882 legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain and Stonehenge has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument ever since. In 1986 the site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
It has been estimated that Stonehenge was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.
The Aubrey Holes
Another mystery at Stonehenge is The Aubrey Holes, a series of chalk pits that circle the inner bank of Stonehenge. They are named after John Aubrey, the seventeenth-century biographer and philosopher who first observed and noted them. The purpose of these pits is still a mystery, with a common theory being that they were used to support stones or posts. Later, they appear to have been used to bury cremated remains.
Stonehenge Jewellery At English Heritage Shop
English Heritage Shop offers a range of Stonehenge jewellery in collaboration with Tatty Devine. This unique jewellery range, much of which is exclusive to English Heritage is very reasonably priced.
Other Local Attractions
Whilst in the area why not visit the nearby town of Salisbury with its attractive cathedral. Known as ‘the city in the countryside’, Salisbury is surrounded by a landscape so quintessentially English it’s almost too good to be true. Pause on the edge of the water-meadows to take in the awesome sight of the Cathedral rising up from these lush green fields. The High Street offers a selection of independent shops offering a tempting selection of local produce.
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