Travelers throughout the world travel to Stonehenge, located in England, each year hoping to catch a glimpse of what many believe to be the work of early Druids. This belief is not substantiated, however, and Stonehenge is surrounded by controversy. It is known that Stonehenge is thousands of years old, and much of the Stonehenge mystery centers on how the gigantic stones were moved. Mainstream archeology continues to be fascinated and baffled by the purpose of Stonehenge, and the site remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United Kingdom and throughout the world.
There are conflicting theories on Stonehenge history. Until the late 19th century, it was widely believed that Stonehenges circular arrangement was the work of ancient Druids. Earlier beliefs were usually influenced heavily by myths and legends passed down through the ages. One story in the 12th century detailed Merlin the wizard constructing Stonehenge by magically transporting the enormous rocks, while still other accounts associated Stonehenge mystery with the medieval court of King Arthur.
The first academic study of Stonehenge England took place in 1740. John Aubrey was the first historian to take measurements of the structure, allowing for greater analysis of the form itself. Though Aubrey also declared Stonehenge England to be the work of the Druids, he was able to demonstrate the possible astronomical role suggested by the placement of the stones themselves. Years later, bronze fragments were found near the site, giving creed to the idea that the site was constructed during the Bronze Age.
One other piece of the Stonehenge mystery puzzle is the Bluestones. The Bluestones are incongruously worked stones that seem to have been added the monument after its original construction. Theories as to the arrival of the Bluestones include ideas that there was some kind of alliance between groups signified by the merging of two cultural pieces, or that possibly the arrival of the Bluestones was meant to signify the dominance of one group over another. However, the Bluestones did in fact arrive and there is no doubt that Stonehenge mystery is only enhanced by this curious addition.
If you would like view this ancient site on your vacation to England, Stonehenge tours are reasonably priced and widely available. Tourists will find that a fence meant to keep out vandalizing travelers today surrounds Stonehenge, and ticket for Stonehenge tours will allow you to enter this area. Though the actual structure is roped off, travelers can make a full revolution around the circular structure. It is often noted that Stonehenge tours are best conducted at sunrise or sunset. Due to the structure and placement of the stones, the site is most impressive with the sun peeking out from between the rocks. Tickets for a tour can be purchased online in advance, or in person, and range in price from $5 for children to $30 for a family. Stonehenge England is open for tours daily throughout the year, with shortened hours (closing at sunset) during the winter.
Although pictures of Stonehenge are widely available, nothing compares to experiencing this ancient structure in person. Be sure to add this popular attraction to your United Kingdom itinerary.