Stonehenge is a famous stone monument situated in Wiltshire, England. This ancient monument has been under the spotlight for hundreds of years and it’s one of the most visited places in the world. It was built during the late Neolithic period (4000-2500 BC) or early Bronze Age. The builders were the ancestors of the modern day Celts who inhabited much of Europe at the time. These people believed that this area was sacred and they used to sacrifice animals there. Know further about this on stonehengevisit.co.uk/tours.
In 2001, some archaeologists discovered that this site had been excavated by the Romans as well. In fact, the stones of the monument have been moved several times to different locations over the centuries. There are also theories going around about how these stones were transported all the way from Wales. They are estimated to be around 4500 years old. Some historians think that the original monument was built somewhere else before being relocated to its current location. There are also some questions surrounding the exact purpose of the monument; however, many believe that it served as a sacrificial altar for religious rituals.
The first evidence of human presence near the Stonehenge is dated back to around 2200 BC when the first settlers arrived. Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an Iron age settlement which included a number of wooden buildings. A second group of settlers came to this region during the Roman era when the town of Salisbury was established. They also found traces of a Roman road system near the site. However, the town was destroyed by the Danes around 885 AD.
Later on, the Normans conquered the area and renamed it “Salisbury”. At that point, the church decided to take control of the entire territory. During the Middle Ages, the monastery expanded and became one of the largest religious institutions in Britain. This is where the name “Stonehenge” originated. The locals called the place “Stonehenge” because of the huge rocks that can still be seen standing near the main entrance.
Today, Stonehenge is home to both tourists and researchers alike. It is open to the public throughout the year and visitors can freely explore the grounds. The closest city to Stonehenge is Amesbury which is located 7 miles away. If you want to see the monument in its best conditions, you should come here between April through October. Because the weather changes quite drastically, most of the tourists prefer to visit the monument during the spring and summer months.
A large number of visitors come to Stonehenge every year to enjoy the natural beauty and historical significance of this famous monument. But the truth is that there are plenty of other attractions in the region and not just Stonehenge. The best thing about visiting this area is that you get to experience so many amazing things. Here are some great tourist attractions near Stonehenge:
- Avebury Henge
This is another important archaeological site which is located only 9 miles away from Stonehenge. However, unlike Stonehenge, Avebury Henge was built sometime around 500BC. It is a very impressive sight with thousands of chalk pillars arranged in an elliptical pattern. You will find both manmade and natural elements inside the ring. Among the manmade elements, you will find a stone circle which is thought to be the remains of an earlier structure.
- Silbury Hill and Old Sarum House
These two sites lie within the same grounds as Stonehenge. Located 15 miles away from each other, they are separated by the River Avon. Although they are not that famous, they may interest some visitors during their visit to the area. Old Sarum house is actually the oldest building in Britain. Built in 1208, it survived a major fire only three decades later. The building was also used as a hospital during World War II because it was close to the coast. Today, it serves as a museum and is open to the public.
Silbury Hill was originally constructed in the 14th century. It looks like a hill but it was built using large blocks of chalk instead of earth. It is estimated that it took 100 men around 10 years to construct this massive structure. Visitors can walk around the whole thing but since it is quite big, you should bring your walking shoes.
- Glastonbury Abbey
This abbey is located in the nearby town of Glastonbury. It dates back to the 11th century and the ruins of it can still be seen today. It is said that William of Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, founded this abbey during his reign from 1086 until his death in 1106. Many pilgrims from all over the country came to visit the abbey before and after he was buried there.
- Montacute House
Montacute house is a beautiful Tudor mansion which is located 6 miles away from Stonehenge. It is one of the finest examples of English architecture. This house is currently owned by the National Trust and is open to the public free of charge.
- Lacock Abbey
Lacock Abbey is a Benedictine monastery which was founded by King Henry de Blois in 1158. It still stands today and is considered one of the best surviving medieval monasteries in England. It is said that the monks at this monastery have preserved the manuscripts of Chaucer and Gower.
To sum up, if you love history, culture, and nature, then you should definitely consider visiting this part of the world. And if you are planning on going out, you can always book a day trip to Stonehenge.