In a recent poll it was revealed that the construction of Stonehenge (almost 5, 000 years ago) was the number one historical event Britons would have liked to have witnessed.
As there has always been mystery surrounding Stonehenge, in terms of how the stones got there and what the purpose of the monument was, it definitely would have been interesting to witness it being built first hand.
Some theories suggest it was a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities while others suggest it was a burial ground for high-ranking citizens. There is also support for the idea that it was an astronomical observatory with relation to the prehistoric calendar.
Whatever the reason, it would have been interesting to witness how these people transported 50 ton stones -from roughly 20 miles away- without any modern equipment.
My Trip to Stonehenge
I was lucky to have visited Stonehenge a few years ago when I was living in London. It ended up being quite the journey, but after driving through hail storms and crawling through traffic we finally made it.
My American friend Wayne drove us there from Loughborough (about two and a half hours away). He had just gotten his UK license and recently learned how to drive manual- so driving through stormy weather conditions was not the ideal situation.. but luckily we made it.
We drove for a few hours and then stopped to get lunch in Salisbury. The city, from what we saw, was really beautiful ( and old!) and I would have loved to have spend more time there. After half an hour of looking for parking we stopped at the ‘Haunch of Venison’ pub. This place is an old pub, dating back to the 1320’s and was used by the craftsmen who were working on the cathedral spire at the time. It truly felt as if we had gone back a few hundred years as we walked up the creaky wooden staircase to the upper dining area.
While eating lunch we learned that Stonehenge was closing at 4pm that day. As it was already 3 o’clock we had limited time left, so we hurried to finish our meals and then made our way back on to the road.
As we got closer to Stonehenge we found ourselves stuck in traffic. The rain had cleared though and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. We could see the monument from a distance, yet with 10 minutes left until closing we feared we would not make it in time.
Finally we reached the parking lot. We jumped out of the car and ran to the entrance (by now it was 2 minutes to 4). Luckily for us we were allowed through – with half an hour of exploring time.
After a day of non-stop rain and hail it was nice to have the sun finally shine through- just in time for our viewing pleasure.
The stones were closed off by a rope so we were not able to touch or get close to them.
* For the summer solstice they make the site open to the public (an event that gathers thousands of people to watch the rising of the sun on the longest day of the year).
Although many of the stones have been tampered with or have been replaced over time, it was still interesting to see this famous monument in real life. To think that these stones had seen thousands of years of history was quite fascinating.
After exploring Stonehenge we got back into the car and made our way home. Overall it was a good day, despite the weather and traffic.
Although some people might argue that Stonehenge is just a pile of rocks, for a history buff like me it was well worth the trip.
To learn more about Stonehenge: