STONEHENGE

It's impressive, to put it mildly. The stones are so big. And they came from such a distance, with not even medieval technology to help get them from one place to another. And all done by prehistoric people. It's not as big as the Avebury Henge, or as massive as Silbury Hill, but there's no getting around its captivating and mysterious qualities.

We met Vaughn and Bonnie Franks and Bill Gavitt, Sr. at the Salisbury train station. From there we went straight to Stonehenge and did the walk-around. As part of the admission fee (free if you belong to the National Trust or English Heritage), you are given an audio guide. Lots of good information from those little things and it even tells you when to move from one place to another.

You can't get close to the stones --- too many people like to draw on them and take souvenirs, so the public is kept at a distance. There is a circular walk completely around the stones, though, and that is what you'll see here. We walked in a counter-clockwise direction, so there is a slow progression in the pictures. There are a lot of web sites about Stonehenge, and they can explain much better than I can, so the captions are minimal.

After our Stonehenge visit, we drove a bit down the road and visited Old Sarum. That's on another page. Hope you enjoy both.

Approaching Stonehenge from the parking lot.

This is the really impressive part---how they got these stones fitted on the tops. Most likely it was accomplished by a series of scaffolds, with the stones raised bit by bit with long levers.

At one time there was a complete ring of stones like this, all capped.

Notice the stone peg at the top, to hold the capstone in place.

Enlarge this picture, and look to the right of center, between two tall stones you'll see a small stone in the distance, the Heel Stone. It marks the spot when the sun rises at the summer solstice. (It's not really small, as you will see.)

National Trust is working to have this busy highway (A303) put underground in a three mile tunnel.

This is the Heel Stone, marking the spot of sunrise on the summer solstice.

Face to face with the Heel Stone.

And looking from the Heel Stone toward Stonehenge.

And just to show you that we were really there and didn't cop these pictures off postcards.

Those bumps on the tops of the hills are prehistoric barrows, burial sites which were the first sacred use of the land in this area.

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