December is always an important time of the year for Wiltshire’s Neolithic gem. Stonehenge is a popular destination all year round, but the impending winter solstice and new discoveries are providing an added layer of excitement for visitors.
In the hours around dawn on 22 December, with the sunrise scheduled for 8:04 am, the site will welcome history enthusiasts and Pagan worshippers to celebrate the arrival of the winter solstice. The solstice is a celebration by New Age tribes such as the Neo-Druids, Pagans, and Wiccans. There will also be plenty of families and tourists enjoying a winter cottage holiday in Wiltshire.
For more information on the events being hosted at the site for the solstice, please visit the Stonehenge website for details.
New discoveries at Stonehenge
With important scientific discoveries being made recently, everyone is talking about the strange rock formations on Salisbury Plain. Just this week, researchers say they have uncovered evidence the site might have been constructed in Wales, before being transported nearly 140 miles to Wiltshire. This news is added to the discovery of hundreds of other stones that have been found nearby – just buried under the surface.
The most recent discovery was made after the connection between Welsh bluestone and the ones at Stonehenge were investigated further. It was discovered many years ago that the stones in the inner horseshoe at the Wiltshire site came from Pembrokeshire.
There is now evidence that the stones were part of an earlier or “temporary” site somewhere in Wales before they were moved to Wiltshire, according to Professor Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project from University College London (UCL).
“We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” he said to The Guardian. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view. It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.”
In September, a research team from the University of Bradford announced they had found an even larger Neolithic site nearby – with hundreds of stones. The huge site is currently buried underground.
Image Credit: Vicky WJ (flickr.com)