STONEHENGE FACTS



DID YOU KNOW?

+ Each year, around 20,000 people gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky all year. It makes for a spectacular sunrise!

+ The average Stonehenge sarsen weighs 25 tons. The largest stone, the Heel Stone, weighs about 30 tons.

+ As it turns out, the monument might be one of the best places to hold a concert. The stones possess their own distinct acoustic properties. When they are hit, they emit a loud sound that resembles a big ring.

+ There are about 115 prehistoric axe-head carvings on the stones. They date from around 1800–1700 BC, but until 2011 (when the first complete 3D laser scan of the stones was done) we only knew about 44 of them.

+ The bluestones travelled 240km to Wiltshire from South Wales.  They were brought from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales, probably largely by boat.

+ Archeologists believe that Stonehenge was built in four stages, beginning in the late Neolithic period. The finishing stage took place in the early Bronze Age, around 1,500 B.C.

+ Work started on this super stone circle around 5,000 years ago in the late Neolithic Age – but it took over 1,000 years to build, in four long stages! Archaeologists believe the final changes were made around 1,500BC, in the early Bronze Age.

+ The Stonehenge half of the World Heritage Site includes over 700 known archaeological features, including find spots. These include over 180 scheduled monuments – henges, timber structures, enclosures and many burial mounds.

+ It is possible to visit Stonehenge when it is officially closed to the public. This Stonehenge Special Access experience offers something different, giving you privileged access, behind the ropes within the Stone Circle itself, walking among the stones.

+ Recent analysis of the cremations buried at Stonehenge has found that men, women and children were buried here in the late Neolithic period, between about 3000 and 2500 BC.

+ In 1740, antiquarian William Stukeley published his history of Stonehenge, subtitled ‘A temple restored to the British druids’. Stukeley suggested that the circle had been built by a pre-Roman Celtic priesthood of Sun-worshippers.

+ In 2013, a team of archaeologists excavated the cremated remains of 50,000 bones at the site, belonging to 63 men, women and children. These bones date back as early as 3000 BC.

+ The monument’s stones possess unusual acoustic properties – when struck they produce a loud clanging sound – which likely explains why someone bothered to transport them over such a long distance.

+ It attracts more than a million visitors a year.  The enduring myths surrounding Stonehenge make the UNESCO World Heritage Site hugely popular.  

+ Stonehenge was bought at an auction in 1915.  It was purchased for £6,600 by local business man Cecil Chubb, who (reportedly) came to the auction to buy some dining chairs.

+ Much of the facts surrounding Stonehenge remain a mystery. As it stands, nobody in the modern world knows for sure exactly how the stones came to take their current position.



Stonehenge Summer Solstice Open Access Tour