Visit to Mysterious Stonehenge

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Over the half-term holiday, my daughter and I decided to visit Stonehenge. Although I have seen it a number of times from the (now re-routed) road, this was the first time I had actually visited the stones, so we were both eager to see them close up.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It’s ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

For centuries, people have speculated as to purpose of Stonehenge, proposing everything from prehistoric solar clock, to ancient healing center to ceremonial burial ground. That’s excluding the more fantastical theories of having been built by the devil or aliens. Many believe it to be a temple of some kind, mainly due to the fact that it appears unsuitabe for living in or defending, but no one can say for sure who built it and whom it might be dedicated to.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

Built in several stages, Stonehenge began about 5,000 years ago as a simple earthwork enclosure where prehistoric people buried their cremated dead. It is thought that after this initial stage little changed for almost 1000 years until the stone circle, in two phases, was erected in the centre of the monument, in the late Neolithic period, around 2000 BC. It has been estimated that the three phases of the construction required more than thirty million hours of labour.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

Two types of stone are used at Stonehenge: the larger sarsens, and the smaller bluestones. Although the smaller of the two, it is the bluestones which baffle Archaeologists the most, as it is believed by many that they originated in the Preseli mountains, south-west Wales, some 240 miles (when you take into account the route they might have taken)  from their final resting place. Although we may never know what method our Neolithic Ancestors used to transport these 82 stones, it seems likely that move them they did, suggesting a civilisation capable of complex project planning and implementation over considerable timescales.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

 The new visitor centre at Stonehenge opened in December 2013. Although some people have voiced concerns over access being limited to the stones, and the cost to visit, we thought it was fabulous. (I should also say that English Heritage and National Trust members get in free). Being able to book online for a specific time slot, when traveling a distance with kids, suited us, as did the great parking, toilets and cafe. We were also very pleased to make use of the shuttle bus to and from the stones (about 1.5miles away) as it was a bitterly cold day. The exhibition centre houses nearly 300 archaeological treasures found buried at the site – from jewellery to pottery to human remains, and outside there is a Neolithic Village reconstruction where we saw demonstrations on rope making with plant fibres, and examples of flint knapping and early tools.

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

We are still fascinated by our early man ancestors and their history, and have just purchased a couple of prehistoric cookbooks, so expect some prehistoric cooking adventures soon!

 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England. It's ring of world famous standing stones are set within a complex of earthworks, including several hundred burial mounds. Recent discoveries in the surrounding area through the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, now indicate that Stonehenge was only one part of a thriving Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, where recent archaeological evidence suggests even larger stone monuments may have existed.

 

There are lots of wonderful Neolithic sites that you can visit in the West of England, Hetty Pegler’s Tump (Uley Long Barrow) is a Long Barrow in Gloucestershire that you can visit and enter for free. And if you fancy learning some of the skills that ancient man used to survive check out the amazing Wilderness Gathering that takes place each year in Wiltshire.

 

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42 comments

Jenny - Monkey and Mouse March 3, 2016 - 11:32 pm

I love standing stones and stone circles, Stonehenge has been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time (although I have visited similar in Orkney and Lewis). It’s amazing to think that they moved stone so far in that time and the level of organisation that must have taken! My favourite parts of history are definitely those from iron age and back in time from there. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather, looking forward to the prehistoric recipes! 🙂 xx

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Sarah - Craft Invaders March 6, 2016 - 11:36 am

It really is a fascinating time in history – and they clearly were far more sophisticated than many give them credit for. Cant wait to try out some of my prehistoric recipes – the kids are in for a shock!

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Sonia Constant March 1, 2016 - 2:14 pm

It looks like a magical place to go! Great photos.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders March 2, 2016 - 2:30 pm

It really is a wonderful site, we’ll definitely be going back in the summer 🙂

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Chloe February 28, 2016 - 9:09 pm

I really want to go to Stonehenge. I always used to drive past here, on my way to and from Uni and it was always so busy. It is on my bucket list of places to visit. I’ll definitely be wrapping up warm though! Hopefully we’ll see it by the end of the year. Thank you so much for linking to #whatevertheweather x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders March 2, 2016 - 2:47 pm

Thanks for having us Chloe, I hope you make it to Stonehenge soon, it really is fascinating and I am sure you will love it x

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Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One February 27, 2016 - 6:12 pm

We were really impressed with the visitor centre on our last visit, my son loved it. The stones themselves seem so tiny compared to my childhood memories though. In those days we could walk right up to them too #CountryKids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders March 2, 2016 - 2:53 pm

I liked the visitor centre too – funnily enough the stones were bigger than I expected – think because I had only seen them from the road, in the past 🙂

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Mama Herself February 27, 2016 - 10:20 am

I have never quite understood why people are baffled by the engineering and logistical savvy of ancient civilizations. I mean, do they genuinely think that we are more clever than our ancestors (rather than more experienced)? I dunno. Seems arrogant. I am glad things like Stonehenge are around to remind us differently.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:17 pm

I agree it is arrogant – we have this idea that if we haven’t discovered evidence of something it, then it cant have existed. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment 🙂

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Sherry February 27, 2016 - 9:27 am

We have just purchased national trust memberships and I’ve always wanted to go there, it’s not far from us so definitely on the list for this year. Great photos #CountryKids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:21 pm

NT Membership is such a great way to visit things – think it takes the pressure off seeing everything in one day if you have smaller kids, as you know you can always return at a later date. Its a fab place to visit, but it is exposed to the elements so wrap up warm if its a chilly day!

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Coombe Mill February 27, 2016 - 8:57 am

It’s great that you managed to visit Stonehenge with your daughter, it really is magical to see up close in real life. I remember when you could go right up to the stones and do rubbing with crayon, it’s a shame you couldn’t get up close and see them like that. They’ve definitely expanded though and it’s great that there’s so much to see and do at the visitor centre, the neolithic village sounds like a great experience learning about how they used to do things. I look forward to the neolithic cooking! Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:28 pm

Cant wait to try some Neolithic cooking – have picked out a couple of recipes to start with – the kids aren’t going to know whats hit them lol. Thanks for having us Fiona x

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Emma February 27, 2016 - 8:17 am

wow what a stunning visit. When we used to live in England it was somewhere that we often drove past but never visited. Really wishing we had made the time now as it looks fascinating 🙂 #countrykids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:30 pm

It really is fascinating, there is so much evidence of the prehistoric landscape here in the UK which we pass without it even registering most of the time, My daughter and I are really enjoying founding out more about it 🙂

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Let kids be kids February 27, 2016 - 7:04 am

My son is going there in April with the school. I remember visiting as a child, I’m sure he will love it, it is a fascinating place.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:31 pm

I bet he will, its such an interesting topic for kids to learn about 🙂

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Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) February 27, 2016 - 12:08 am

How fascinating to read more about the history behind Stonehenge – I have visited there before but not for a long time and it was before the visitor centre was built. I found the skeleton of the man especially interesting – how amazing that so much information can be drawn from analysing a skeleton! Sounds like it was a fascinating day out. #CountryKids

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:34 pm

Isn’t it fascinating what they can tell from bones now. A lot of the skeletons found in the burial mounds at Stonehenge are people who appear to have traveled there from other locations, and also show signs of long-standing injury or disease, which is why they think it may have been a centre for healing.x

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Agent Spitback February 26, 2016 - 11:37 am

Stonehenge is definitely on my bucket list. What an amazing piece of historical significance! Thanks for sharing the photos and information! #abitofeverything

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 27, 2016 - 3:53 pm

It is a fabulous place, hope you make it there soon – Thanks for having us x

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Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum February 25, 2016 - 3:49 pm

I visited Stonehenge a few years ago but I’d definitely like to go again, especially as my hubby has never been. I find the mystery surrounding Stonehenge really fascinating! It looks like you and your daughter had a lovely day together #whatevertheweather x

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 26, 2016 - 11:27 am

It is fascinating, and we did have a lovely day. Although we have lots of days out, it was really nice to spend time with one of the kids on their own for a change 🙂

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Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) February 25, 2016 - 11:42 am

Looks like you had a great time, it’s a fab place isn’t it? We went last year for the first time but you definitely got nicer weather, even though we went in July we had downpours that led to a power cut in the visitors centre! Glad your visit was less eventful 🙂 xx

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 26, 2016 - 11:32 am

It is fab, but glad we had power! Suppose the fact it’s such a bleak spot adds to the atmosphere x

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Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar February 25, 2016 - 3:06 am

Wow, wow, wow! I am so totally and thoroughly jealous! I am in love with your visit to Stonehenge. Just. Wow. What an awesome place to not only visit but to take the kids. So much to see and learn! #WhatevertheWeather

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 26, 2016 - 11:33 am

It is such an amazing historical spot – perhaps you’ll get a chance to visit one day 🙂

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Idaintyit February 23, 2016 - 3:21 pm

I went here on a school trip as a kid but only remember bits. Would ove to go back again with my son

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 24, 2016 - 9:52 pm

It was the first time I had visited, my daughter loved it as she has been studying early man at school 🙂

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ana February 23, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Sound like an exciting adventure. I haven’t visited Stonehenge for a long time now. I bet its better coming during the summer.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 24, 2016 - 9:53 pm

I think we will go back in the summer (when its warmer and my son is with us) I took out an English Heritage membership, so we can return for free as often as we want 🙂

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Emma T February 22, 2016 - 10:42 pm

I’ve not been to Stonehenge since I was 3, so I’m due another visit. They’re quite spectacular. Near us, we’ve got the Rollright Stones – a much smaller version.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 24, 2016 - 9:56 pm

Oh just googled them and have been reading the legends that surround them – they sound fab 🙂

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VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood February 22, 2016 - 8:41 pm

This is on my bucket list. I find the idea of these massive stones and the movement of the sun extremely fascinating.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 22, 2016 - 9:31 pm

Personally I think it blows the image of prehistoric people being primitive right out of the water. I would love to go back in time and see what it was really like back then 🙂

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Laura February 22, 2016 - 4:52 pm

I am so jealous of your trip! This is definitely one on my bucket list – think it’s fascinating and think you’ve done a great job describing it all.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 22, 2016 - 9:33 pm

Thanks Laura, it is a fascinating place. I believe there’s some amazing prehistoric archaeology up your way too 🙂

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Candace February 22, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Love Stonehenge. It was suck a cold day when we went and the wind was just bitter

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 22, 2016 - 9:40 pm

It was freezing when we were there too – it’s such an exposed site. I cant imagine people lived up there on the plain (unless the climate was much warmer back then), so I tend to believe the ceremonial/spiritual theories for its purpose x

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Michelle February 22, 2016 - 12:56 pm

Amazing! I didn’t know they turned it into a tourist attraction but that’s to be expected I guess since it is a really big historical mystery. I find the Stonehenge absolutely fascinating but of course, I’m a history buff so I would, lol! I do hope to see it someday! Popping over from #bloggerclubuk Facebook.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders February 22, 2016 - 9:43 pm

It is a fascinating place, and some of the other areas near by that they are starting to discover sound like they could be even more amazing 🙂

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