18. Why was Stonehenge constructed?
Perhaps one of the most famous landmarks of the South of England, Stonehenge stands proudly on Salisbury Plain. It’s also one of the most talked about megaliths and is shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
How did these gigantic stones get to where they are, and why? The largest stones, called sarsens, are 9 metres tall and weigh 25 tonnes. It’s thought they came from Marlborough Downs, 20 miles away. Even the smaller stones weigh around 4 tonnes, relatively ‘light’, but they’re thought to have come from Wales, 140 miles away.
It’s thought the entire site evolved over a period of 10,000 years and was much, much bigger. The area we call Stonehenge was built around 5,000 years ago. Dozens of burial sites and shrines have also been found in this sacred area.
As many of us learned in school too, the stones are aligned perfectly with the sunrise and sunset of the summer solstice.
Because of its beauty and quite frankly, astonishing architectural prowess, perhaps it’s more romantic that we never quite know who put Stonehenge there and why? Maybe some things are just better left unexplained…