STONEHENGE. The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world.

Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. It is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. ~ HOME

Across the British Isles can be found prehistoric remains which date from the period 3,000 BC to 1,500 BC, and take the form of a number of stones standing in a circle. The reason for their construction, and the role they played in the society of the time are now unknown. The most famous stone circle is Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, but in all there are almost 1,000 other stone circles.

PLANS for the new £27.5million visitor centre and facilities at Stonehenge have been given the go ahead by Wiltshire Council. More.......

The Blue Stones were from the Prescelly Mountains, located roughly 240 miles away, at the southwestern tip of Wales. More......

Many early historians were influenced by supernatural folktales in their explanations. Some legends held that Merlin the wizard had a giant build the structure for him or that he had magically transported it from Mount Killaraus in Ireland, while others held the Devil responsible. Henry of Huntingdon was the first to write of the monument around 1130 soon followed by Geoffrey of Monmouth who was the first to record fanciful associations with King Arthur which led the monument to be incorporated into the wider cycle of European medieval romance.
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The Avenue
Neolithic Processional Track
Northeast of Stonehenge, Wiltshire  OS Map Ref SU125424
OS Maps - Landranger 184 (Salisbury & The Plain), Explorer 130 (Salisbury & Stonehenge)

The Avenue is now very faint, but can be see as the two parallel lines running from the centre to the bottom right of the picture

The Avenue is now very faint, but can be see as the two parallel lines running from the centre to the bottom right of the picture

Like many other monuments in this area, the Avenue was first recorded by William Stukeley who published his research in 1740. There have been several theories about the date of its construction and also an idea has been put forward that it may have been built in two separate stages - it is now believed to have been built in a single stage sometime late in the Neolithic and to be contemporary with the second phase of Stonehenge.
Starting somewhere beside the banks of the River Avon it consists of a pair of parallel banks about 34 metres apart with outer ditches and runs north-north west for about 1 km where it then swings round to the west and passes through the Old and New King Barrows. Because of the geology of the land it is only at this point that Stonehenge becomes visible. Taking a sharp turn to the south west at the 'Elbow' in Stonehenge Bottom the Avenue now runs to the north east entrance of Stonehenge. By this time it has narrowed to around 21 metres for it's final 500 metre approach to the stones.
It is still unknown why it was built but it would seem probable that it formed a processional path and may have been built to commemorate the path the bluestones took from the banks of the Avon on their journey to the fledgeling Stonehenge. Because of farming in the area over the centuries the early parts of the Avenue are almost invisible on the ground and now only the final section is visible. It is best seen from Stonehenge as a faint pair of parallel ditches emerging from either side the Heel Stone and running north east across the grassland.

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Stonehenge gift shop souvenirs


English Heritage provides Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice and works closely with the many agencies, and people from all sectors of the community, in order to create a peaceful occasion - ensuring an event that can be safely enjoyed by all and protects Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments. Further details on the entry conditions are available from English Heritage. Each year on the 21 June visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to mark the summer solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. At dawn the central Altar stone aligns with the Slaughter stone, Heel stone and the rising sun to the northeast. Stonehenge is definitely one of England's greatest icons. Its original purpose is still somewhat unclear, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for worship of ancient earth deities. It has also been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the ancient prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site created by Merlin and King Arthur for the burial of high-ranking citizens from societies of long ago. Falling on June 21st or 22nd, the Summer Solstice is a time of light and of fire. It is a time to reflect upon the growth of the season: the seeds that were planted in the earth and the seeds planted in our souls. It is a time of cleansing and renewal. It is a time of love and growth as well.


Stonehenge. Mystery surrounds this 5,000 year old monument in the centre of the World Heritage Site. Visit this prehistoric South West site and decide for yourself whether Stonehenge was a place of sun worship, a healing sanctuary, a sacred burial site, or something different altogether!