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.

P1200019

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. Continue reading Friday Flashback #3

Just Back From…Stonehenge

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.

P1200019

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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Travel Theme: Ancient

Ailsa of “Where’s My Backpack?” wants us to show her our most decrepit, worn and torn, antediluvian shots this week. If you would like to join in with her challenge then please do. Everyone is welcome.

avebury 2

One of England’s oldest sites is the Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire. Believed to have been started around 3000 BC it was probably used as a religious and ceremonial centre, but no-one knows by whom. The nice thing about Avebury is that you are allowed to wander freely on the site and get close up to the standing stones.

avebury

The main circle covers approximately 28 acres with two smaller circles inside. The henge is also split by the village of Avebury and a road. There is an avenue of stones leading away from the circle towards Overton Hill a mile and a half away, and it has been speculated by some archaeologists that the avenue was constructed to form the body of a snake, with the circle as the snake’s head.

A steep bank and ditch surrounds the circle, together they form a 60 foot barrier.

avebury 4

Just a few miles away is the strange conical mound of Silbury Hill, across the road from West Kennet Long Barrow. In the other direction is Windmill Hill causeway camp, the finest hilltop camp in England.

The Enigma
The Enigma