preview

Stonehendge

Satisfactory Essays
Stonehendge

When you think of Stonehenge, you think of the Ancient Druid Civilization that supposedly built it, this is in fact not true. In this essay, I will show you the building of one of the most amazing art forms in history, as well as give some insight on legend.

Certainly the best known of all megalithic sites, Stonehenge stands in isolation on the undulating chalk of Salisbury Plain, west of Amesbury, between the busy A303 and A344 roads. At first sight, this unique and enigmatic site appears smaller than imagined, but the tallest upright stone is 6.7m (22ft) high, with another 2.4m (8ft) below ground.

The outermost element of the site is the Avenue that runs straight down a gentle slope for 530m (560yds) into Stonehenge Bottom. The Avenue consists of twin banks about 12m (40ft) apart with internal ditches, and it begins at the entrance to the earthwork enclosure. Here is the Heel Stone, a large upright unworked sarsen (hard sandstone) that lies immediately adjacent to the A344 road. It is worth noting that the nearest source of stones of the size represented by the large sarsens at Stonehenge is on the Marlborough Downs, about 30km (18mi) to the NE. One may only imagine how these stones had been moved; it only seems logical that these stones (the heaviest of which weighs about 45 tons) were transported on some type of sledge.

Moving inwards from the Heel Stone is an earthwork enclosure that consists of a ditch and an interior bank, the height of which was calculated by Professor Atkinson as being about 1.8m (6ft). It is known that there were at least two entrances, the one now visible (facing NE) and one to the south. Lying within the entrance is an unworked and now recumbent sarsen stone, stained a rusty red caused by rainwater acting on iron, and known as the Slaughter Stone. Arranged around the inner edge of the earthwork bank were originally four small uprights: the Station Stones, of which two are still visible. Immediately adjacent to the bank is a ring of 56 pits, known as the Aubrey Holes, marked by circular concrete spots. The area between the inner edge of the bank and the outermost stone settings includes at least two further settings of pits: the Y and Z holes.

On the central area of the site, there are the stone settings, the sophisticated arrangements that set Stonehenge apart from any other prehistoric monument in Europe.
Get Access