Question: which description best describes Stonehenge?
a. A prehistoric monument of huge historic significance
b. A mystical former temple for worshipping the sun and moon
c. Rocks in a field
d. The dullest attraction in all of England.
Answer: umm, all of the above?
Entry to the English county of Wiltshire’s most famous field costs £7.80 for adults – but if you’re really cheap you can view it from the road and not miss out on anything besides an audio tour that raises more questions that it does answers.
After all, nobody knows for sure who or why the famous stones of Stonehenge were dragged across the Salisbury plain and placed in a circle. One of the best guesses is it acted as a sort of ancient astronomical calendar – but it could’ve just as well been done for a laugh.
You can imagine a bunch of druids, drunk on mead or whatever they drank back then, saying to themselves “now this will really screw with people’s heads in a couple of millennia”.
In all seriousness, though – that is the frustrating thing about Stonehenge. It is remarkable and you know it must be significant – why else would anyone bother to lug those gigantic stones? – but it leaves you guessing.
Why was it built? Why is it so popular with hippies and alien fanatics? Why did I just travel up to see it when I had so many other London day trips to choose from?
Furthermore, incessant conspiracy theories that the site was rebuilt rob Stonehenge of some of its splendour, as preposterous as those theories might be.
Still, you simply have to visit Stonehenge when you’re in the United Kingdom. It may well be a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, not to mention the dullest British tourist attraction this side Keswick’s pencil museum – but it sure is photogenic.
Have you visited Stonehenge? What did you think of it – amazing feat of prehistoric engineering or simply a few large rocks in a field?