Friday Flashback #3

Here’s a post I wrote on 15 January 2015 shortly before the birth of my youngest granddaughter.  Sadly I have not yet been able to visit to meet her brother who was born in August 2020.

A quick weekend visit to Wiltshire to visit family gave me the opportunity to finally revisit Stonehenge after many, many years. I was one of the fortunate people who was able to run around the stones back in the 1960s. Since 1978 the stones have been fenced off and the experience of viewing them through wire did not appeal to me, even though I have passed the site often on my way to the South-West.

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The whole site has been much improved by the removal of the old A344, a major road that ran up the north edge of the stones. You now approach from the west, either on foot or using the shuttle bus, and make your way clockwise around the monument which allows you to see all the stones above ground.

north view

What you see probably originates from around 2500 BC and took 800 years to build. Obviously the site has changed over the centuries, but it seems that the larger sarsen stones were constructed then and do not appear to have been moved, whereas the smaller bluestones may have been rearranged several times.

west view 2

Stonehenge has an ‘axis’ – an alignment that runs north-east to south-west up the final straight line of the Avenue. This alignment works for the summer and winter solstices and there is growing evidence that the winter solstice was the most important.

west view

It was a cold, raw windy winter’s day, but at least the sun shone casting black shadows over the bright-green grass and providing a striking contrast to the darkening clouds forming overhead.

west view 3

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves and if you are ever in the area I do recommend a visit to this extraordinary site. Barrows and monuments in the landscape can be explored on foot over the uneven grass.

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This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

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Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

32 thoughts on “Friday Flashback #3”

  1. Like you, I first visited the site when people could touch the stones. I think it was a good thing that they stopped that. Your photo selection shows it off very well, Jude. One day, I may go and visit the new centre, and see the improvements.
    People may not know that the impressive Avebury Stone Circle is not too far (24 miles) from Stonehenge, and it’s worth combing the two into one day trip.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Yes, Avebury is a lovely site, we have visited that one too, but not for many years. And that one you can still walk around the stones.

  2. Lucky you indeed to have visited Stonehenge before it got fenced off. Though that’s the most famous such site, Britain and Ireland are swarming with others, and archaeologists keep turning up new structures and new insights into those ancient cultures.

  3. Some great images, Jude! I was there in the second half of the 60s as a little girl touching the stones, but never realised the stones were fenced off not long after that

  4. I only saw Stonehenge when I was a teenager, so like you, I remember just ambling round the site as I wished. Still, a bit of interpretation wouldn’t have gone amiss. Time for a re-visit. And I’m still waiting to see if 15th January is a memorable date, producing a grandchild for the family. My daughter’s three days overdue, so it’s not particularly likely yet. But I’m wedded to my phone.

    1. Oh, exciting and anxious time, waiting for the grandchild. My last one was a week late and I have yet to see him in the flesh.

  5. We saw Stonehenge when driving back to London from Cornwall. For some reason when we were planning our drive, we thought it was quite a ways from our route and so, decided against making the stop. Then we passed it while on the highway.😂😂😂. Lovely photos Jude!

  6. Oh, thanks for this, Jude. I too was fortunate enough to be there when you could still walk everywhere and when I visited many years later with our younger daughter, I was sad to see that we couldn’t do the same. I understand it, but it’s a shame. Still an imposing, fascinating place, though.

    janet

  7. A beautiful place. I was there in 1977, but don’t remember if it was fenced… I do remember Hardy’s Tess and how much I cried reading it. Chosing Stone Henge for her made the story even more sad and ominous. I’d love to visit once more.

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