Stonehenge: A Monumental Mesmerizer
Modern humans have only been around for about 200,000 years. The earliest achievements of modern day humans could be assumingly insignificant as they lacked the cooperation and tools to do much. But then we discover big old structures like Stonehenge and our assumptions of our ancestors meager abilities crumble. Stonehenge, is one of the oldest and most epic monuments ever built. And now, more than 5,100 years later, it still manages to mesmerize us. Why did our ancestors build such a monument and how did they achieve this undertaking? Oh, and how does one go from thinking about it, to experiencing it first-hand?
Ylvis, the Norwegian comedians behind the song The Fox, said it best in their other satirical hit Stonehenge with the humorously emotional chorus, “What’s the meaning of Stonehenge?”
There are clues as to how it was built but it’s hard to confirm exactly how a group of people with archaic tools were able to shape 9 meter segments and then move the 25 ton blocks from a distant quarry to the site. Based on similar finds in other countries, researchers are able to determine that a set of logs were used to roll the blocks from a quarry that was 20 miles away. Other theories propose that the blocks were also set afloat through a river nearby before being rolled.
Stonehenge Mystery Said To Be Related To The Sun
As for Stonehenge’s true purpose or meaning, we may never know for sure. However, there are quite a few interesting guesses that don’t involve aliens or magic. One of the most prominent “guesses” is that the monument has some astronomical significance, at least as far as the Sun is concerned. Other guesses say that Stonehenge was a cremation site. While, wilder yet evidently sound propositions say that the site made for a ‘healing ground’ to the people who built them as the color and acoustic nature of the rocks would’ve made them quite captivating to pre-historic beings. Or, judging by the scale of the structure for its time, the monument was a sign of goodwill among neighboring peoples who wished for peaceful coexistence. This last theory would solve the mystery of manpower required to carry out such a feat. It also wouldn’t be far off to conclude that maybe Stonehenge’s purpose was a combination of all of these things at once.
Unlike the Pyramids of Giza or the Inca Ruins, the people who put up Stonehenge didn’t leave any written records behind, leaving researchers to their own devices and imaginations to deduce the purpose and reason to putting up a set of huge, heavy stone slabs in the middle of a field. It’s the frustrating inability to confirm many of the educated speculations that make Stonehenge such a persistent mystery.
London to Stonehenge
Londoners should consider themselves lucky to have such monumental history just 2.5 hours away. To get to Stonehenge from London, one must get on Waterloo Station (Platform 6), ride the SW Train towards Exeter St. Davis, and get off at Salisbury. There should be shuttle busses from here that head to Stonehenge.
Where to Stay in Amesbury
One of the recommended stays in Amesbury would be the Holiday Inn, which is a 4-star rated hotel on Trip Advisor, and is just 5 km away from Stonehenge. Offering a greatly recommended Sunday Roast, and a favorite among regular visitors for its proximity to the site.
A more modest option would be the Antrobus Hotel, which is much closer to Stonehenge at just 3 km and is a definite ‘bang for your buck’, or Pound in this instance. The hotel’s rated at 3.5 stars on Trip Advisor and visitors attest to its authentic Thai cuisine offerings.
Stonehenge and Around
The entry fee at Stonehenge starts from 9.30 Pounds for kids from 5 – 15 years of age, to 13.90 Pounds for Students and senior citizens, and has a regular adult price of 15.5 Pounds. There are also Family Packages offered for a family with up to three children at 40.30 Pounds.
Other than a first-hand experience of the site itself, there are also other interesting activities to immerse yourself in. The Salisbury and Wiltshire Museums, for starters, each help to make the monumental experience more complete with their delicately detailed exhibitions of Neolithic peoples, their tools, and their way of life.
More commercial engagements to soothe the mind, after a long day of absorbing history, can be found at the local Cafes and shops which offer signature local favorites like Stonehenge Rock Cakes and Marshfield Farm Ice-Cream.