Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England
The last of my photos from my trip in May of 2011, to Ireland and England. Quite happy that I finally finished but quite sad ... I was enjoying reliving all of the sites and things I have seen.
Seeing Stonehenge was truly an experience, to learn how it was, to try to imagine how in the world those stones were moved from possibly as far as the coast.
The ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is unique; an expectional survival from a prehistoric culture now lost to us. The monument evolved between 3000 BC and 1600 BC. It is aligned with the mid summer sunrise and midwinter sunset, but its exact purpose remains a mystery. Today, this World Heritage Site is a source of inspiration and fascination and for many, a place of worship and celebration.
1 = The Altar Stone, a six ton monolith of green micaceous sandstone from Wales
2 = barrow without a burial
3 = "barrows" (without burials)
4 = the fallen Slaughter Stone, 4.9 metres long
5 = the Heel Stone
6 = two of originally four Station Stones
7 = ditch
8 = inner bank
9 = outer bank
10 = The Avenue, a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading 3 km to the River Avon
11 = ring of 30 pits called the Y Holes
12 = ring of 29 pits called the Z Holes
13 = circle of 56 pits, known as the Aubrey holes
14 = smaller southern entrance
Cute story that I found regarding Heel Stone, Number 5:
The Heel Stone lies just outside the main entrance to the henge, next to the present A344 road. It is a rough stone, 16 feet (4.9 m) above ground, leaning inwards towards the stone circle. It has been known by many names in the past, including "Friar's Heel" and "Sun-stone". Today it is uniformly referred to as the Heel Stone or Heelstone. When one stands within Stonehenge, facing north-east through the entrance towards the heel stone, one sees the sun rise above the stone at summer solstice.
A folk tale, which cannot be dated earlier than the seventeenth century, relates the origin of the Friar's Heel reference.
- The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, "No-one will ever find out how these stones came here!" A friar replied, "That’s what you think!," whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there.
A simpler explanation for the name might be that the stone heels, or leans.
The name is not unique; there was a monolith with the same name recorded in the 19th century by antiquarian Charles Warne at Long Bredy in Dorset.
And you can't leave with out getting a photo of the green landscape and the white sheep!!!