“How grand, how wonderful..!” These are the words used to describe Stonehenge by local archaeologist and Stonehenge expert Sir Richard Hoare and the opening quote of the English Heritage’s guide to the ancient henge. At first sight, Stonehenge does appear somewhat baffling, not so much for its mystical past as for its stark and earthy rawness. It all looks so natural as if the stones had grown out of the landscape. Yet these immense stones were brought here from afar.
Each individual stone is immense, but the henge is perhaps smaller than you had imagined it would be, but also more expansive, grander as it were, when seen in the context of the open landscape and the ditch and bank that surround it. There is also the broad avenue leading up to the stones.
But why was it built exactly here, in the middle of the Salisbury Plain in South West England?