The majesty, myths and mysteries of Stonehenge

With a history that spans over 5000 years, Stonehenge is, perhaps, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. A place that we love to explore on our tours, there continue to be many myths and mysteries surrounding this iconic site.

Read on to learn more about one of our favourite sites

Built in several stages, the first monument was created around 5000 years ago, before the stone circle was built in the late Neolithic Age, at around 2500 BC. Changes continued to be made to the site over many hundreds of years, before the last took place in the early Bronze Age at around 1500 BC.

A masterpiece of engineering, it would have taken the effort of hundreds of people to do the building work, using only simple tools and technologies to erect the famous stones – a feat that it is truly impressive.

Built in several stages, the first monument was created around 5000 years ago, before the stone circle was built in the late Neolithic Age, at around 2500 BC. Changes continued to be made to the site over many hundreds of years, before the last took place in the early Bronze Age at around 1500 BC.

A masterpiece of engineering, it would have taken the effort of hundreds of people to do the building work, using only simple tools and technologies to erect the famous stones - a feat that it is truly impressive.

When it comes to identifying the uses of Stonehenge, there are many schools of thought on the subject. Some believe it was a place of healing, whilst some experts think it was used for funerals - with the dead being carried along the River Avon before being walked up in a large procession to Stonehenge. Others speculate it was used to study the movements of the sun and the moon.

Today still sees thousands of people – many of whom are members of England’s new age tribes, including Druids and Pagans - flock to this historic monument on both the summer and winter solstices to celebrate at sunrise. 

One of the most important features of Stonehenge is its alignment with the sun. As the sun rises on the summer solstice and sets on the winter solstice, the layout of the ancient stones appears to align, with the sun rising to the north-east, close to the heel stone in summer and setting to the south-west, between the two upright stones of the great trilithon, in winter.

Photo from Ann Wuyts

Today still sees thousands of people – many of whom are members of England’s new age tribes, including Druids and Pagans - flock to this historic monument on both the summer and winter solstices to celebrate at sunrise. 

One of the most important features of Stonehenge is its alignment with the sun. As the sun rises on the summer solstice and sets on the winter solstice, the layout of the ancient stones appears to align, with the sun rising to the north-east, close to the heel stone in summer and setting to the south-west, between the two upright stones of the great trilithon, in winter.

Photo from Ann Wuyts

Many archaeological experts suggest that the winter solstice was the more significant of the two – with evidence found suggesting that large celebrations and feasts would have taken place here at that time of year.

Other myths that have grown from the site range from the idea that the wizard Merlin was responsible for its construction, to the suggestion that Stonehenge was a spacecraft-landing pad.

Whatever the true purpose of this historic structure, it remains a hugely important site and one that continues to draw crowds from all over the world. If you’re interested in the idea of a visit to Stonehenge, why not take a look at our Bath, Stonehenge and Secret Place Tour or Winter Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge Tour? Setting off from London, you’ll travel in a luxury mini-coach to Stonehenge where our expert tour guides will be able to fill you in on the history and some of the different theories behind this intriguing site.

Whatever the true purpose of this historic structure, it remains a hugely important site and one that continues to draw crowds from all over the world. If you’re interested in the idea of a visit to Stonehenge, why not take a look at our Bath, Stonehenge and Secret Place Tour or Winter Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge Tour? Setting off from London, you’ll travel in a luxury mini-coach to Stonehenge where our expert tour guides will be able to fill you in on the history and some of the different theories behind this intriguing site.

Book now and learn more about Stonehenge in person