Saturday, March 27, 2021

Stonehenge

 

Today I'd like to share one the most unique places, if there is one, that we visited on our Golden Anniversary trip to Great Britain.  


We have booked a room in Salisbury at the Legacy Rose & Crown Hotel.  It is located in a beautiful spot overlooking the river and has a gorgeous view of the Salisbury Cathedral. 





The Legacy Rose and Crown Hotel is housed in a 13th century building!  The old coaching inn is close to the sights that surround this unique area of Salisbury, Wiltshire. 


Our room has the original oak beams and paneling that has been restored.  





Grayden and I were fascinated by the original construction.  To think this building was constructed in the 13th century is mind boggling.  Along the wall there were windows showing what is under the old plaster.

After having a lovely lunch by the river we decided since the weather was so nice we would travel to see Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain.  I must admit I didn't expect to be so surprised at what we viewed!  A site much older than the hotel we were staying awaited our discovery.



Stonehenge is taken care of by English Heritage and owned by the Crown.  As I've mentioned here before, we joined the English Heritage before traveling to Great Britain.  I recommend doing so if you are interested in visiting more than two of their sites.  It will benefit your wallet if you do so.  The same is true of the National Trust as well.  In the United States you can join the Royal Oak Foundation and visit all of the National Trust sites you wish.  The National Trust takes care of the fields surrounding Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is a very popular site for tourists.  This afternoon, the traffic is quite light as we check in with our English Heritage passes.



 According to the English Heritage pamphlet --Stonehenge is an ancient temple aligned on the movements of the sun.  The stones were raised 4500 years ago by sophisticated prehistoric people.
English Heritage's project to transform the setting of Stonehenge returns a sense of context and dignity to this marvel of human endeavor, leaving Stonehenge surrounded by grass and reunited with its ancient approach, the Avenue.


After receiving headphones we boarded a trolley that took us to the path to the giant stones.




It is quite obvious this area is full of ancient history that is far older than Stonehenge!

No one is allowed to walk among the stones for fear of vandalism.  We are allowed to walk around the stones and ponder their purpose and how they came to be here!



The use of headphones keeps this spot more peaceful and informative to the visitor.


The large Sarsen Stones of the outer ring with the horizontal lentils on top are enormous!  Each one is approximately 13 feet high and 7 feet wide.  They each weigh about 25 tons! 


 There is a ring of smaller bluestones inside the larger ring.  Inside of them are free standing trilithons.  Stonehenge is oriented to the sunrise on the summer solstice.  The stones sit on earthworks in the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England.  The area also includes several hundred burial grounds.


 

We are in awe as we view this ancient monument.  The smaller Bluestones were quarried from Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, nearly 180 miles away!



There are many thoughts as to how these stones found their way to Salisbury Plain.  No matter how, these megaliths certainly presented an enormous issue for their move no matter how far!


Sometimes when you take a photo a surprise greets you.  Here was mine as we looked back at Stonehenge!


There
is a large museum that we visited after walking around Stonehenge.  It is full of interesting facts about the area's role in the life of the ancient monument and its people.


A Neolithic village portrays what life must have been for the ancient people.  


As we were leaving the museum, we both pondered its meaning of this sacred ground and I still do!  I must say we were both glad to have visited this ancient site.  I'm so full of admiration for those that came before us!



Stonehenge is certainly a feat of engineering for folks that lived so long ago with only simple tools!  
















 

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful images of Stonehenge! I've always been fascinated by it and envy your getting to visit it. It's sad you can't walk among the stones now. Have a great Sunday! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Teresa, even though we were not allowed to walk among the stones, the experience was surprising to us. Because Stonehenge is so popular I'm sure they must care for the safety of visitors. Enjoy your Sunday as well!

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  2. How amazing! This is in my bucket list of places to visit.

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    1. It is an amazing spot. I do hope you are able to visit one day. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I think my first comment got lost, here goes again. Stonehenge is fascinating. Until recently, it was documented that the famous bluestones originated near where I live, the Preseli Hills. However, the precise quarry site was a mystery, but recent excavations have not only found the exact site, even more exciting is the amazing discovery that parts of the main circle were part of an earlier circle, right here in Pembrokeshire, and were dismantled and taken from west Wales to Wiltshire where they were rebuilt as the henge we know today as Stonehenge. It is unbelievably exciting news and I eagerly anticipate to hear more.

    Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. Deb, I am so glad to hear your update on Stonehenge. Isn't it wonderful what archeologists can date and discover? It really makes one ponder how in the world these enormous stones were moved 180 miles from Wales! Possibly floated? Still an enormous amount of work for thousands of ancient people using simple tools. xoxo

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    2. As I understand it, the original theory of floating the stones down the Cleddau and across the Bristol Channel has now been discounted. So much is emerging in the last two years.

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    3. We'll all stay tuned to see what the current thinking is, Deb. I imagine they will have to change a lot of information that we viewed in the museum as updates are discovered! Our trip was in 2017, so everything has changed regarding a lot of the information there.

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  4. Always have been fascinated by Stonehenge. Amazing. If only walls could talk, wow, staying in a room where the building was built in the 13th century. Buildings today can't stand after heavy winds. Gorgeous pictures and hearing the history of your trips to these historic sites are much appreciated. Happy Sunday, Betsy

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    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying our trip, Betsy. You are so right about home construction these days! The fact that 13th century buildings still exist is amazing. Stonehenge will always be a very fond memory of our Golden Anniversary trip. It really took me by surprise! Happy Sunday to you as well!

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  5. So glad you enjoyed this amazing place, indeed the reason why it is there and its purpose will be forever lost to us but it is nice to ponder. What an amazing tour you took.

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    1. Loraine, Stonehenge was quite an interesting spot on our tour. It is a place I will never forget!

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  6. This is just the best post! And you've changed my mind -- I never really thought I'd want to go to Stonehenge -- I don't know why. Just hadn't had it high on the list. But now, I'd reconsider. I like the audio tour and I thought it would be so fenced off you wouldn't be able to get anywhere close and you did. (And not many people -- good timing!). I would have loved the museum there, too, to see how they lived then.

    But the real star here is that hotel! I need to remember that in case we ever add Salisbury to the itinerary (right now the itinerary is about six months long; the designated time no more than a month!) This post is a gem, Martha Ellen. Thanks for it!

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    1. Jeanie, Stonehenge was never on my radar as well, but I am so glad stopping in Salisbury gave us a chance to view this feat of engineering and ponder its meaning. I will always remember how it felt being there!
      Salisbury is a wonderful town. I hope to share more about it soon. The Legacy Rose was a great central point for our visit. Wouldn't it be nice to spend a whole year touring? I can only dream!

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  7. I always enjoy your posts on what you saw and enjoyed while in Great Britain. That room you had in the Inn was really nice. I'm glad you got to experience Stonehenge, too. When we were there in the early 70's you could still walk amongst the stones.

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    1. Ellen, I was reading recently that there are certain times when they still allow folks to walk among the stones. That's so neat you did!

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  8. What an amazing site! You know how to plan a good trip!

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  9. So interesting... It is surprising to read that they still haven't figured out what the purpose of this place is. I had always believed that it was for sacrifice. Now where did I get that idea.

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    1. Many ideas have bounced around about Stonehenge. Many of them quite bizarre, but I don't think it will ever be known, Vee.

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  10. An interesting story about the stones, Martha Ellen. The hotel you stayed at is such an old building! I like the oak beams. I'm glad that you had a nice visit here and you got to see the museum and the village of these ancient people.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, thank you for coming by for a visit today. Stonehenge is quite unique!

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  11. Always fascinating Martha Ellen. Oh my goodness, I would have loved to have stayed in the Rose and Crown. I'm going to have to add that to our list!!! I have only ever seen Stonehenge from the road when traveling down to Devon. That's another place on our list. Thank you so much! Great post as always!!!

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    1. Denise, I'm pretty sure you would enjoy an up close and personal visit to Stonehenge! The museum alone is worth the visit. With so many new theories about its origin, I imagine the museum will stay up to date. Salisbury is a spot we would love to visit again! Thank you for your lovely visit.

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