For centuries, historians and archaeologists have puzzled over the mystery of Stonehenge. Who built it, what’s it for? According to 12th-century scholar Geoffrey of Monmouth Stonehenge was the work of the wizard Merlin who, in the fifth century created a mass burial ground for Saxons who were slaughtered on Salisbury Plain. Modern scholars now agree that Stonehenge was once a burial ground but it is still unclear for who or in fact if anyone is buried there at all.
Archaeologists believe England’s most iconic ruin was built in several stages, with construction starting some 5,000 years ago. The Neolithic monument took its masons an estimated 1,500 years to bring the 100 massive stones into their instantly recognisable circular layout.
What is less obvious today are deep pits located within the circle that may have once held a ring of timber posts. This deepens the mystery of what Stonehenge’s purpose was.
Its construction still baffles experts. The sandstone slabs are likely from local quarries, a hard enough task in a time without the wheel or transportation, but scientists have traced its inner ring bluestones to the Preseli Hills in Wales, over 200 miles from Stonehenge.
Nearly 1 million people visit Stonehenge annually and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.
A visit to the Stonehenge visitors centre is itself an interesting visit. View over 250 archaeological objects discovered in the local landscape. The exhibits include neolithic jewellery, pottery and tools as well as ancient human remains.
Journey through 5000 years in the incredible audio-visual 360 degree cinema, walk amongst a recreation of a Neolithic village and imagine how people lived 4,500 years ago.
There is also a cafe serving local delicacies and gift shop on site.