Although most people around the world have heard about Stonehenge, there are few that know the history behind the monument and people often wonder, what is Stonehenge?
Here are some key facts about Stonehenge:
- Stonehenge is believed to have been built between 2,000 BC and 3,000 BC.
- Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments and has been protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882, and was given World Heritage status in 1986.
- Stonehenge is an early Neolithic monument complex with the remains of various stone structures and earthworks.
- Nobody really knows what Stonehenge was used for but there are many theories including those to do with burial, astronomy and pilgrimage. More recently the monument has been used for Pagan ceremonies.
- Stonehenge consists of both Bluestones and Sarsen Stones (sandstone blocks).
- The 82 stones, known as ‘bluestones’, are from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales over 150 miles away and weigh 2-5 tonnes each. Archaeologists are yet to resolve how these ‘bluestones’ were transported this far.
- The Sarsen Stones weigh 25 tonnes on average and are believed to have been brought from the Marlborough Downs - about 25 miles away.
Located just 5 miles west of the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge, this is a must see for everyone.
Stonehenge Visitor Centre
December 2013 saw the opening of a brand new visitors centre at Stonehenge which was part of a £27m project to transform the area. Roads were re-routed and the new visitor centre now hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions including some 300 archaeological finds from the area. A shuttle bus runs the 1.5 miles from the centre to the stones which can now be viewed in their unspoilt setting. The bus stops half way if you wish to walk the last stretch. The centre includes a viewing gallery, a gift shop and a counter service café serving hot and cold food.
Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage. Please visit their website for up-to-date prices, opening times and how to plan your visit. Tickets are managed on a timed basis so we recommend you buy these in advance.
Where is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire which is a large chalky plateau. In early southern England this would have been a naturally open and grassy area as opposed to woodland, and as such would have been a natural gathering point in the Mesolithic and Neolithic times.
Where to Stay
If you are looking for somewhere to stay after you visit Stonehenge, we offer great rates and comfortable accommodation here at the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge. Our restaurant The the Solstice Bar & Grill is also the perfect place to unwind after a long and active day exploring Stonehenge and the surrounding area.
Enjoy our Stonehenge offer which includes a full English breakfast, a three-course meal in the restaurant and two tickets to visit Stonehenge!