all know what Stonehenge is, but what is a “henge,” specifically?
According to Wikipedia, a henge is defined as prehistoric
architectural structure that is a
nearly circular or oval-shaped flat area over 20 meters (65 feet)in diameter
that is enclosed by a boundary earthwork that usually comprises a ditch
with an external bank. Having visited Stonehenge in England, myself; I
read that definition and thought, “Hmm, I guess that’s pretty much EXACTLY what
Stonehenge is!” The real question, of course, is “What was it used
for?” Thousands of scientists, mystics, clerics, archeologists,
astrophysicists, housewives, laymen, mathematicians, and school children have
weighed in and I will now summarize what we, modern mankind, know about what
Stonehenge was to the people who built it, ready? Here it is: “They
have no idea!” Nobody even knows exactly how the ancient people who
partied inside of it, moved and stacked the enormous stones together.
you’re traveling to London, I highly recommend the side trip to
Stonehenge. Its roughly an 88 mile trip from the heart of London,
westward to reach the site. If you have your own transportation, you could
make it out to Stonehenge, walk through the whole tour, and drive back in 4 – 6
hours time. Most people bundle several sites together and make a full day
out of it. We chose to see Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the Roman City
of Bath in one long bus tour and we were gone for about 14 hours. The
drive out to Stonehenge is actually quite nice. Once you leave the city
of London, you’ll cruise through some gorgeous rolling farmland with centuries
old stone fences, grazing sheep, green rolling hills, and beautiful landscape
as far as you can see, all the way to the edge of the horizon. Just when
you’ve been lolled into another sense of time and place, you’ll crest a hill
and you’ll see it. Great spires of rock rise out of the ground like a
great stone cathedral, circling another inner stone cathedral and the first
thing you wonder is, “Didn’t all the local farmers and sheep ranchers run into
this long before modern archeologists started fawning over it?” The
answer is, “yes!” Local farmers regarded it as a large “stone supply”
depot and they actually raided it for stones to use as “fillers” or “driveways”
over muddy ditches, etc. How sad is that?
parking, you can pick up an auditory tour device and head out to the
stones. They have a perimeter marked off so you can’t get closer than
about 25 yards to the stones themselves. It was awesome to walk around,
reflect on who built it, why they built it. Were those crazy birds
nesting up in the stones then, as they do now? How many people are buried
in the ditch that surrounds it? Do I have to be a professed New Age
cleric to get access to the inner circle?
can’t answer most of those questions, but I can answer the last one. You
do NOT have to be a mystic, cleric, or scientist to get access to the inner
circles of Stonehenge. If you want to touch the stones, witness the
solstice as the sun rises, or to have a few beers and watch the crazy “witches”
and self titled “warlocks” dance and chant the night away after sunset on the
grounds of what might be the oldest calendar on the planet, you can! Two
times every year (summer and winter solstice), they open Stonehenge to the
public, for overnight celebration! You can take a bus to the site, spend
the night, attend the most unique party/worship/celebration you’ve ever seen,
and take a bus back to London in the morning. This year, the English
Heritage, custodians of Stonehenge, have just published the sunset and sunrise
times – for this year’s Summer Solstice on June 20 and 21:
- When: Sunday evening,
June 20 to Monday morning, June 21
- Parking is
- The parking lot
opens at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. Cars will not be admitted before then.
- Last admission
is 6 a.m. Monday morning, June 21.
- The car park
must be vacated by noon on June 21.
- Access to the monument: 7:00 p.m.
Sunday evening to 8 a.m. Monday morning.
- The shortest night: Sunset on
Sunday 20th June 2010 is at 9:26p.m. Sunrise occurs at 4:52 a.m. on Monday
21st June 2009.
- Read the conditions of entry.
- Visit the Website
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
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