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Visit to Mysterious Stonehenge

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.

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42 Comments

  • Reply Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    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
    Jenny – Monkey and Mouse recently posted…#OurFamilyPhoto Project – FebruaryMy Profile

    March 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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!

      March 6, 2016 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Sonia Constant

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

    March 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      March 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    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
    Chloe recently posted…CURIOUS LITTLE EXPLORERS #6My Profile

    February 28, 2016 at 9:09 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      March 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One

    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
    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One recently posted…Animal tracks trail at Stowe Landscape GardensMy Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      March 2, 2016 at 2:53 pm
  • Reply Mama Herself

    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.
    Mama Herself recently posted…The Historical and Ethnographic Theatre, MoscowMy Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 10:20 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 27, 2016 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Sherry

    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
    Sherry recently posted…A Yellow Scarf and a Hilly Walk {Ordinary Moments Week 8 – 21/02/16}My Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 9:27 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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!

      February 27, 2016 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Coombe Mill

    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
    Coombe Mill recently posted…Strong boys on and off the pitchMy Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 8:57 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      February 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm
  • Reply Emma

    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

    February 27, 2016 at 8:17 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Let kids be kids

    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.
    Let kids be kids recently posted…Decoupage giftsMy Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 7:04 am
  • Reply Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    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
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…A walk in Langley ParkMy Profile

    February 27, 2016 at 12:08 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      February 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Agent Spitback

    Stonehenge is definitely on my bucket list. What an amazing piece of historical significance! Thanks for sharing the photos and information! #abitofeverything
    Agent Spitback recently posted…Cinder-Frecker : A Fairy Tale for The Modern Feminist and Her ShoesMy Profile

    February 26, 2016 at 11:37 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum

    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
    Hannah G, The ‘Ordinary’ Mum recently posted…A Winters Day at Wembury BeachMy Profile

    February 25, 2016 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 26, 2016 at 11:27 am
  • Reply Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    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
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…The Stick Man trail at Fineshade WoodsMy Profile

    February 25, 2016 at 11:42 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 26, 2016 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar

    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
    Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar recently posted…An Afternoon at Garrard Landing ParkMy Profile

    February 25, 2016 at 3:06 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 26, 2016 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Idaintyit

    I went here on a school trip as a kid but only remember bits. Would ove to go back again with my son
    Idaintyit recently posted…The Sorcery Code by Dima ZalesMy Profile

    February 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm
  • Reply ana

    Sound like an exciting adventure. I haven’t visited Stonehenge for a long time now. I bet its better coming during the summer.
    ana recently posted…HEADS UP AND UPDATEMy Profile

    February 23, 2016 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm
  • Reply Emma T

    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.

    February 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm
  • Reply VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood

    This is on my bucket list. I find the idea of these massive stones and the movement of the sun extremely fascinating.
    VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood recently posted…The Emperor’s New Clothes at The WatersideMy Profile

    February 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 22, 2016 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Laura

    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.

    February 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

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

      February 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm
  • Reply Candace

    Love Stonehenge. It was suck a cold day when we went and the wind was just bitter
    Candace recently posted…Benefit Brow Shaping KitMy Profile

    February 22, 2016 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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

      February 22, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    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.

    February 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      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 🙂

      February 22, 2016 at 9:43 pm

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