Was Stonehenge built by seafarers? Prehistoric sailors may have been responsible for many of the megalithic monuments.

16 02 2019

Stonehenge is one of many megalithic monuments from prehistory dotted around Europe and scientists have now discovered the art form of giant rocks was a popular trend that started 6,500 years ago in France.

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  • The first monument was erected in northwest France in 4,500 BC, study finds 
  • Then the tradition, practice and popularity for similar monuments spread 
  • Monuments appeared at coastal regions on Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts
  • Sailors are thought to have taken the trend around Europe over 2,000 years as they used their budding sea routes  

The knowledge and expertise to create these monuments was then spread around Europe by sailors over the following millennia.

Similar monuments to the original appeared in coastal regions around the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts via sailors on large ships using emerging sea routes.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, theorizes that these megalith structures have been around for nearly 7,000 years and may have originated in northwestern France.

Relevant Stonehenge News links:
Was Stonehenge built by seafarers? Daily Mail
Stonehenge, other ancient rock structures may trace their origins to monuments like this.  Science Mag
Prehistoric sailors may be responsible for Stonehenge.  New York Post 
Stonehenge mystery solved? Fox News

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2019 Stonehenge Opening Hours, Entry Prices and Tickets.

2 01 2019

Stonehenge Opening Times and Entrance Prices.
English Heritage advise to expect a visit to last around two hours. Please see the table below for opening times for 2019, with some seasonal variability, and entrance prices for adults, children, families, seniors and groups.

visitor-centre2

The English Heriatge Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitor Centre

The English Heritage Visitor Centre at Stonehenge is located 2 kilometers from the monument. This is your entry point to Stonehenge and the place where you pick up your tickets, souvenir guides and optional audio guides. The new Visitor Centre also offers a modern exhibition with prehistoric objects on display, and a spacious café and gift shop. A Stonehenge shuttle transports you between the Visitor Centre and Stonehenge (included in your ticket price).

If you come by car you will park in the car park outside the visitor centre. It is free for people purchasing tickets to enter Stonehenge, there is a charge if you are not. Tour buses have their own separate coach park.

All Members of English Heritage or National Trust must show a valid membership card on arrival to be granted free parking and site access.

To enter the Stonehenge Exhibition at the Visitor Centre you need a full ticket to Stonehenge, anyone can access the café, gift shop and toilets though, for free.

Very Important!  Book Your Stonehenge Tickets in Advance 
To be assured of entering Stonehenge the best way is to reserve timed tickets in advance on the English Heritage web site or if you need more flexibility and without the time constraint you can purchase discount advance Stonehenge tickets here

Tickets to Stonehenge are booked by half hour time slot, the website showing you how many tickets are still available for your chosen date and time.

Note: you cannot reserve tickets on-line on the day of your visit, you must reserve before midnight latest on the day before. Only a very small number of tickets are held back each day for walk-up visitors.

Note: the last admission time is two hours before closing time of Stonehenge. Closing times are variable according to month of the year (see below)

Stonehenge Admission & Opening From 1st January 2019 – October 2019

Admission

Opening Times

Adult

£17.50

16 Mar – 31 May

09.30 – 19:00

Child (5-15)

£10.50

1 Jun – 31 Aug

09.00 – 20:00

Students/Seniors *

£15.80

1 Sep – 15 Oct

09.30 – 19:00

Family Ticket †

£45.40

16 Oct – 15 Mar

09.30 – 17:00

Last entry 2 hours before closing
Members of the National Trust & English Heritage enter free
Prices are valid until 31st March 2019* 16-18 yr olds + seniors 60+† 2 Adults and 3

2019 STONEHENGE OPENING TIMES (Last entry 2 hours before closing)

1st JANUARY 2019 – 31st MARCH 2020

Monday 9:30 – 17:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 17:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 17:00
Thursday 9:30 – 17:00
Friday 9:30 – 17:00
Saturday 9:30 – 17:00
Sunday 9:30 – 17:00

1st APRIL 2019 – 31st MAY 2019

Monday 9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 19:00
Thursday 9:30 – 19:00
Friday 9:30 – 19:00
Saturday 9:30 – 19:00
Sunday 9:30 – 19:00

1st JUNE 2019 – 31st AUGUST 2019

Monday 9:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 9:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 9:00 – 20:00
Thursday 9:00 – 20:00
Friday 9:00 – 20:00
Saturday 9:00 – 20:00
Sunday 9:00 – 20:00

1st SEPTEMBER 2019 – 15th OCTOBER 2019

Monday 9:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 9:30 – 19:00
Wednesday 9:30 – 19:00
Thursday 9:30 – 19:00
Friday 9:30 – 19:00
Saturday 9:30 – 19:00
Sunday 9:30 – 19:00

16th OCTOBER 2019 ONWARDS
Opening times will be available nearer the time

For more information please visit the official English Heritage website.  If you are looking to book a tour of Stonehenge, we recommend using Stonehenge Guided Tours

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Stonehenge Full Moon Dates 2019

1 01 2019

Was it a Neolithic calendar? A solar temple? A lunar observatory? A calculating device forpredicting eclipses?
Or perhaps a combination of more than one of these? In recent years Stonehenge has become the very icon of ancient astronomy, featuring in nearly every discussion on the subject. And yet there are those who persist in believing that it actually had little or no connection with astronomy at all.

IMG_4552-eclipse

Stonehenge is one of the most impressive and best known prehistoric stone monuments
in the world. Ever since antiquarians’ accounts began to bring the site to wider attention
in the 17th century, there has been endless speculation about its likely purpose and meaning, and a recurring theme has been its possible connections with astronomy and the skies.

FULL MOON 2019

January 21st  2019 Monday

February 19th 2019 Tuesday
March 21st 2019 Thursday
April 19th 2019 Friday
May 18th 2019 Saturday
June 17th 2019 Monday
July 16th 2019 Tuesday
August 15th 2019 Tuesday
September 14th 2019 Saturday
October 13th 2019 Sunday
November 12th  2019 Tuesday
December 12th 2019 Thursday
January 10th 2020 Friday

Related links:
2019 Lunar Phases
Astro Moon Calendar shows phases of the Moon each day, astronomical events and astrological forecast for the year.
Stonehenge and other stone monuments were probably used for special moonlit ceremonies.
Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy. Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site
Stonehenge Full Moon Guided Walking Tours.  Explore the landscape with a local historian and astronomer.

The Stonehenge News Blog
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily Stonehenge Sunset / Sunrise / Moonrise / Moonset times.

 





5000 people came to celebrate the winter solstice at Stonehenge this year.

23 12 2018

The winter solstice occurs each year when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the sun, resulting in the fewest hours of sunlight, and the shortest day of the year.

SUNRISE: Hundreds gathered at Stonehenge today to mark winter solstice

SUNRISE: Hundreds gathered at Stonehenge today to mark winter solstice

Crowds of people played music and danced at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, where monuments are believed to be aligned to the movements of the sun.

The traditional event attracted hundreds of people to the monument, particularly from the Pagan community.

Kate Davies, of English Heritage, said: “It was fantastic to welcome approximately 5000 people to Stonehenge this morning to celebrate winter solstice.

“It was an enjoyable and peaceful celebration despite the damp and cloudy weather and it was great to see so many families enjoying themselves around the monument.”

Revellers in vibrant costumes gathered to mark the Winter Solstice and to witness the sunrise after the longest night of the year.

Striking photographs show choirs singing, a couple embracing, and many taking a moment of peace by the ancient stones.

The traditional event attracted hundreds of people to the monument, particularly from the Pagan community.

Stonehenge has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Winter Solstice for thousands of years.

English Heritage has “managed open access”, meaning the public can stand among the stones on these days. Anyone can turn up on the day to get close to the stones, but people are asked not to touch or climb on them.

Stonehenge Winter Solstice 2018 Links:

Stonehenge Winter Solstice striking moments as costumed revellers sing and dance  – The Mirror

2018 winter solstice celebrations at Stonehenge – Salisbury Journal

Thousands mark Winter Solstice at Stonehenge – Spire FM

Pagans and druids including ‘real’ KING ARTHUR descend on Stonehenge for winter solstice – The Dail Star

Stonehnege winter solstice video clips onPericsope 

Stonehenge winter solstice: Parking row mars event – BBC NEWS

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Did Neolithic cows moooove Stonehenge’s bluestones?

14 12 2018

A new study suggests Neolithic farmers had mastered animal traction

The mystery of how Stonehenge’s bluestones were transported 160 miles from Wales to Wiltshire has puzzled archaeologists for generations.  Some experts say glaciers picked up and deposited the huge rocks in the last ice age, while others have suggested the stones were dragged on rollers or sleds by manpower.

Stonehenge

The bluestones of Stonehenge may have been dragged by animals

Stonehenge may have been built with the assistance of cows who helped carry the enormous rocks across the British Isles.

It could help explain how the fabled bluestones managed to complete the journey from Wales to Wiltshire, where Stonehenge still sits today.

Previous research has claimed the movement of glaciers deposited the huge slabs of rock 160 miles away from their original location.

New research has found evidence of cattle being used by humans to pull and carry heavy loads for 8,000 years.

Archaeologists at University College London discovered that the bones in the feet of Neolithic cattle demonstrated distinctive wear patterns, indicative of exploitation as ‘animal engines’.

Neolithic cattle in the Balkans were therefore being used for our purposes two millennia earlier than previously thought

Watch the video and read the full story on the Daily Mail website and the Daily Telegraph website 

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Stonehenge Winter Solstice Open Access Arrangements 2018

1 12 2018

English Heritage will once again welcome people to Stonehenge to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Sunrise is just after 8am on Friday 22nd December and visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely. Please read the information below before planning your visit and visit the English Heritage website.  There will be a rare Full Moon on the Winter Solstice this year, the next occurrence will be in 2094

pendragon

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge. The winter solstice is considered more important than its summer counterpart as it marks the ‘re-birth’ of the sun

Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice is free and is subject to the Conditions of Entry. Please read these before deciding whether to attend.  Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet.  Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew and there may also be frost. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential. Please note, parking charges apply.

DATE AND TIMES

Saturday 22nd December 2018

6am: Limited car parking opens

7.45am (approximately depending on light levels): Monument field opens

8.09am: Sunrise

10am: Monument field closes

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site which has been a place of worship and celebration at the time of Winter Solstice for thousands of years and is seen by many as a sacred site.

English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Winter Solstice and ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read these Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come.

Admission to the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.

Please help us to create a peaceful occasion by taking personal responsibility and following the Conditions of Entry and guidelines.  We have a duty of care to ensure public safety and are responsible for the protection of Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments.  If we are to ensure that future access is sustainable, it is essential that everyone observes and abides by these Conditions of Entry.

These Conditions of Entry are written to ensure enjoyment and public safety for everyone.  Contravention of any of these conditions may result in entry being refused or your removal from Stonehenge.  English Heritage reserves the right to refuse entry.

  • Stonehenge is a world renowned historic Monument and part of a World Heritage Site. It is seen by many who attend as a sacred place.  Please respect it and please respect each other.
  • Amplified Music is inappropriate and will not be permitted.
  • Drunken, disorderly, and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated; ejection, by security staff and/or Police, without return, will be the outcome.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Illegal drugs are still illegal at Stonehenge as they are anywhere else.  The police will be on site during the access period and will take immediate action against anyone breaking the law.
  • Glass is not allowed at the Monument as many people walk barefoot and, in addition, livestock and wildlife also graze in the area.  If you bring any glass items with you, they will be confiscated.
  • Do not climb or stand on any of the stones – this includes the stones that have fallen.  This is in the interest of personal safety, the protection of this special site and respect for those attending.  As well as putting the stones themselves at risk, climbing on them can damage the delicate lichens.
  • To help us reduce the amount of litter on site, leafleting or flyering is not allowed.
  • Camping, fires, Chinese lanterns, Fireworks, Candles, Tea-Lights or BBQs are NOT permitted at Stonehenge, in the parking areas, or anywhere in the surrounding National Trust land.
  • Do not bring drones or any type of remote-controlled aircraft to Stonehenge.  There is a No Fly Zone in place over Stonehenge during Winter Solstice which makes it a criminal offense to attempt to fly anything over the stones below a certain height. The No Fly Zone includes drones. If you attempt to fly a drone from anywhere on site, including the Solstice Car Park, you will be stopped and asked to leave.

For further information about Managed Open Access for Winter Solstice at Stonehenge, please call English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Hotline on 0370 333 1181.

PLANNING YOUR JOURNEY

Parking for Winter Solstice is very limited and we cannot guarantee that there will be space in the two Winter Solstice car parks. We strongly recommend car sharing or using public transport.

  • Travel by Bus – Salisbury Reds buses will be running from 6am from Salisbury via Amesbury.

    Organised Tours – If you are considering visiting Stonehenge for the Solstice celebrations you can join an organised tour.  Use a reputable tour operator who respect the conditions.  Stonehenge Guided Tours are the longest established company and offer guided tours and transport from London. Solstice Events offer small group Winter  Solstice Tours from Bath using local expert guides.

PARKING AND PARKING CHARGES

Limited parking is available in the Winter Solstice car parks, which will open at 6am on the 22 December.

Signs will direct you to the Solstice car parks – please ensure that you follow these.  If directed to parking away from the Stonehenge Visitor Centre, motorists will have access to Park & Ride transport to the Visitor Centre included in their parking charge.

We cannot guarantee entry to the car parks and recommend car sharing or coming by public transport as cars will be turned away when the car parks are full. Last year this happened at around 7am.  Please do not arrive early as there is no waiting on the roads in the area and you will be moved on.

  • £5 – General parking for cars, vans and live in vehicles
  • £2 – Motorbikes
  • £50 – Commercial minibuses (up to and including 16 seats)
  • £250 – Commercial coaches (17 seats and over). Commercial vehicles must pre-book via BookStonehenge@english-heritage.org.uk and terms and conditions apply.

Please note, car parking charges apply to all users of the Winter Solstice car parks, including Blue Badge holders, and members of English Heritage and National Trust.

The parking charge helps the charity cover the costs of providing additional staffing and lighting in the car parks and is designed to encourage people to car share or travel by bus.

Blue Badge parking

Parking for Blue Badge holders is available at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre Car Park. No pre-booking is required.  Visitors are asked to highlight their Blue Badge to stewards on arrival so that they can be directed to an appropriate parking space.

A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will have priority.

COME PREPARED

  • Stonehenge is in a field on Salisbury Plain and the weather in December will be cold and wet. Even if it isn’t raining, the ground will be wet from the dew. There may also be frost. Sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing is essential.
  • There is at least a 30 minute walk in low light or darkness, from the Visitor Centre to Stonehenge itself.  You are strongly advised to wear strong, waterproof footwear, and to bring a torch with you.  A shuttle will run from the Visitor Centre to the Monument and visitors with accessibility requirements will hve priority.  All other visitors should be prepared to walk.
  • There are no catering facilities in the monument field; however the café at the visitor centre will be open for hot drinks and breakfast rolls from 6am.

Please visit the official English Heritage website for full details.

Relevant links:

Respecting the Stones.  Managed Open Access

Solstice at Stonehenge. From Past to Present.

English Heritage Conditions of Entry

The Salisbury Reds special solstice shuttle service

For traffic, weather and other updates on the morning of the winter solstice, Follow @St0nehenge @EH_Stonehenge @VisitStonehenge @HighwaysEngland @VisitWiltshire @DruidKingArthur @Wiltshirepolice for #WinterSolstice2018

If you are unable to visit Stonehenge on the Solstice you can watch our LIVE PERISCOPE STONEHENGE BROADCAST

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English Heritage is hosting a Gun Salute at Stonehenge on 11th November to mark 100 years since the signing of the Armistice. #RemembranceDay2018

9 11 2018

Sunday 11th November 2018 will mark 100 years since the signing of the Armistice and will bring to a close a series of 100 year anniversaries of the major events of World War One. To commemorate this historic event, English Heritage is hosting a Gun Salute at Stonehenge.

1st-stone

The guns will fall silent before the 11th hour and a bugler will sound The Last Post, a two-minute silence will be observed and The Final Retreat played.

Stonehenge stood at the heart of the world’s largest military training camp during the First World War, with 180,000 men stationed there at any one time, coming from across the Commonwealth to prepare for battle.

Remembrance holds a central place in the UK’s annual calendar of events and offers the opportunity for the nation to offer its respect for the sacrifice made by its Armed Forces over the years.

1000hrs           The saluting troop form up

1049hrs           Guns fire

1059hrs           The Last Post

1100hrs           Two-minute silence

1102hrs           The Final Retreat

Visit the English Heritage website for full details

Links:
Find out more about Stonehenge and the Great War at our centenary lecture by Martyn Barber
How Stonehenge site became the world’s largest military training camp – click here

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