17 Photos of Stonehenge That Will Have You Booking a Plane Ticket to England
The entire site is made up of 100 upright stones all arranged in a circle. Scientists and researchers have not decided on one specific use for this site (enter: the mystery!), but many think it served as some sort of burial ground.
All in all, archeologists have estimated that the construction of this site took around 1,500 years to complete and was carried out by a number of people. Those people, according to The Bradshaw Foundation — an organization specializing in historic rock art and cave paintings — were the Windmill Hill people, who originated in the area where you can now find Stonehenge; the Beaker people, hailing from what is now Spain; and the Wessex people, a nomadic group known as the most advanced culture located outside of the Mediterranean region during the Bronze Age.
The origin of the stones is also a bit of a mystery. According to the Bradshaw Foundation, some of the first stones were tracked back to the Preseli Mountains in Southwest Wales. This would have been quite a move given the transportation of these stones was completed in a time when the modern wheel had not yet been introduced.
Another note about the construction of the stones: All of the rock formations are perfectly horizontal to the ground, despite a slight slope, displaying an impressive knowledge of carpentry without a selection of tools. The top stones — called lintels — were lifted and carefully placed atop pairs of stones that are anchored in the ground. This surely required a creative placement method. To ensure that the lintels stayed in place for centuries to come, small “mortises,” or tabs, were added to the anchored stones and placed in a carved hole in each lintel.
And it seems that Stonehenge isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the local government attempted to receive a green light for building a tunnel underneath Stonehenge to help create a better environment for visitors (less honking cars, more meditative views). The verdict is still out on that — researchers and archaeologists are worried about damaging the surrounding area — but here’s hoping this world wonder has a long lifetime of visitors ahead.
This should add a little more reference (and fuel) to your Stonehenge wanderlust. But if you’re looking for more, read on for some stunning photos of Stonehenge.
A field of flowers in bloom during the Summer solstice celebrations.
Visitors watch the midsummer sun as it rises over the megalithic monument of Stonehenge.
An aerial photo taken of the monument, which sits eight miles north of Salisbury.
Sunset at Stonehenge
A dramatic sunset acts as a backdrop to Stonehenge in England.
A camera's double exposure of sunset at Stonehenge.
Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Salisbury, United Kingdom.
An Aerial View
An aerial view of visitors at Stonehenge.
Thousands of revelers gather at the 5,000-year-old stone circle in Wiltshire to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
Google Street View
Google launched the Street Trike with VisitBritain at Stonehenge in July 2009. The British public voted for the top six tourist attractions they wished to be photographed by the Street View Trike.
The Archives: 1970
Visitors walk past the Stonehenge monument in 1970.
The Archives: 1958 Restoration
Restoration work on Stonehenge, in 1958.
A photo taken just after sunrise on a snowy winter solstice in December.
The moon illuminates the UNESCO World Heritage site.
A landscape image of the Milky Way galaxy at night over Stonehenge.
Stonehenge looks even more majestic blanketed in winter snow.
A view of clear skies at Salisbury Plain.
Visitors revel at the sunrise during Summer solstice celebrations.