24 May 2016
Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today. It is a wonder of the world, a spiritual place and a source of inspiration. With a history of over 4,000 years to me it signifies how sophisticated people were during the Neolithic. The Stone Circle is a masterpiece of engineering, and building it would have taken huge effort from hundreds of well-organised people using only simple tools and technologies.
English Heritage have done a great job in making it into a tourist experience for those who aren't die hard stone lovers. The have invested a lot on money in making an attractive visitor centre with museum, gift shop and café (serving excellent ciders) and creating the route to the stones as accessible as possible. The buses made me laugh out loud because one of mine and the best fours catchphrases is 'to the bar'.
Stonehenge is just a small part of a wider extraordinary archaeological landscape so rich and varied that it was designated a World Heritage Site in 1986. The World Heritage Site Management Plan summarises the significance, or outstanding universal value, of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site as follows:
I would recommend to anyone to go and visit this site but only as part of a visit to explore the wider prehistoric landscape in Wilshire. Even though the stone circle at Avebury isn’t as intact it is the largest in the world and sits in close proximity to Silbury Hill (the largest man made mound in the UK) and West Kennet Long Barrow one the largest and most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain.
|Windmill Hill, Neolithic causewayed enclosure|
|West Kennet, long barrow|
|Avebury Stone circle|