As you’ll have probably gathered, Stonehenge is about much, much more than just a day out, it’s one of the nation’s most important and most loved sites. In fact, it not only attracts visitors from all over the world throughout the year but it also plays a key role in the celebrations of every summer and winter solstice. So what makes this sacred Salisbury landmark so special?
It connects us with our past
First thing’s first…Stonehenge and Avebury are the proud holders of World Heritage Site status, and as they date back a mind-boggling 5000 years, it’s easy to see why. Stonehenge may remain a bit of a mystery to us in some ways, but it’s the best example of a stone circle in the world, and a visit gives the kind of insight into the lives and values of Neolithic man that you just couldn’t get anywhere else.
Imagine if there was no Stonehenge, painstakingly constructed so as to be perfectly aligned with the sun every summer solstice…would we have any idea just how sophisticated our distant ancestors were in their understanding of astronomy and construction? Perhaps not.
It’s a testament to determination
If you’re trying to get your kids to see just how much we can achieve when we put our minds to it, then there’s no better way to show them that anything’s possible than to stand them in front of the Stone Circle. Even bigger once you’re close to it than it appears in photos and video, the monument never fails to impress, and it’s even more remarkable if you take a moment to think about the obstacles Neolithic man overcame to create what we see today. When you consider that some of the stones were transported all the way from Wales to Salisbury where they stand today, the monument becomes even more incredible.
To be honest, we’ll probably never know for sure why Stonehenge was created, but the sheer scale of the project and the fact that it happened is enough to tell us how much it meant to how many…if only they’d known it would still standing 5000 years after their handiwork took place!
We’re still learning about it
No matter how many of the world’s finest archaeologists visit Stonehenge and do their stuff, the sacred site never quite gives up its secrets, and that means that during a visit we get to listen to the theories, ponder the facts and then reach our own conclusions as we wander the plain, and what can be more fun than that on a family day out? Of course you dont need to see in isolation, you can combine it on one of the regular day tours to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath!
Not only that, but the questions that remain unanswered only make the facts that we are sure of all the more interesting, and every now and then – even today – there’s a breakthrough. The jury may still be out as to its exact purpose, but we do know that the landscape was a sacred burial site, as it’s home to 350 burial mounds.