Over the ages Stonehenge has inspired many stories, books, songs, movies, and legends; and to this day it remains one of the greatest mysteries of Britain. There are endless theories about why it was built or who built it, but how much do we really know about Stonehenge?
It was sold at auction for £6,600
Prior to 1918 Stonehenge didn’t actually belong to the British government. The structure was a very desirable asset and for a long time, it was private property. At one point it was used as grazing land where animals could be penned, later on, it was used as a source of stone, and eventually, it was owned by a man who charged admission to visitors. All the while the British government tried unsuccessfully to convince owners to donate the land as a heritage site. Finally, it was sold at auction as a gift but luckily the person who received it decided it would be better in the hands of the people and the land was handed over to the government in 1918.
It’s a massive burial site
Archeologists discovered the remains of over 100 Neolithic and Copper-Age skeletons buried underneath Stonehenge. The skeletons included both men and woman and they were buried with gold and trinkets showing historians that only the elite were buried there. The most amazing thing is that the scientists who examined the bones discovered that the people buried there came from all over the world!
Medieval People thought Merlin built Stonehenge
Although we may know better today, in Medieval times people thought that Merlin had built Stonehenge from magical healing stones he had brought from Ireland. According to a story written by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Merlin removed the stones from a monument called “The Giant’s Ring” and then erected the stones in Britain. As this was the first depiction of Stonehenge in literature, many people in medieval times then thought it must be true.
The Stones Came from 150 miles away
Stonehenge is made up of two different kinds of stones, the larger grey stones, and the smaller and heavier blue stones. While the grey stones are common to the area the blue stones origins are more of a mystery because they come from a quarry over 150 miles away. In the past, scientists argued that the stones had been moved by glacial forces.
More recently, however, it was discovered that the stones had been cut and quarried by Neolithic stone masons after glacial rock formation was possible. It is more likely that the stones were moved by boat from their original location. However, we still don’t know how they were moved from the sea to the site of the monument.