The Myths and Legend of Stonehenge

Even if you’ve never visited Stonehenge, the chances are you’ll have heard at least a few different theories about why it was created and exactly what it means. The World Heritage Site doesn’t only baffle its visitors with its sheer size, but it also sets fire to the imagination, and the fact that we can only get so close to the real truth only makes pondering why the hundreds of people who built it went to such lengths all the more fun.

We may be able to stand so close to the Stone Circle that we can feel ourselves shrinking as we gaze up at it, but certainty about its origins is always just out of reach, and that means that Stonehenge can mean something different to every one of us. General opinion these days has it that the site is a spectacular prehistoric temple, carefully (and cleverly, we might add) constructed to align with the sun’s movements, but the years have seen all kinds of weird and wonderful theories about the meaning behind the World Heritage Site.

Stonehenge Sunrise

Medieval Myths of Stonehenge

In medieval times, a storyteller named Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that the stones were delivered to England all the way from Ireland, transported from Africa by an army of giants and then over from Ireland by Merlin the wizard. It may sound a little on the far-fetched side these days, but his theory’s just one of countless attempts to make sense of the monument over the centuries.

Danish Kings built Stonehenge

Many others held the belief that the site was constructed by Danish kings, and that it had been created as an elaborate venue to host coronations. Or there’s the theory that the Stone Circle’s actually a kind of astronomical tool used to predict solar happenings and eclipses long before the days of technology.

How Did They Transport The Stones?

It isn’t only the ‘whys’ that keep our minds whirring when we think about Stonehenge either, it’s the ‘hows’ too. We know for a fact that some of the monument’s stones were taken from Wales, but quite how ancient man managed to go about transporting them to their Salisbury setting (or why), remains a great big mystery. And when you think about the unimaginable efforts those who had a hand in its creation would have gone to, the truth behind the many myths and legends that surround Stonehenge and how it came to be may well be just as impressive as some of the tales of gods and wizards.

Who Really Knows?

Whatever the exact meaning behind the site, one thing’s for sure, and that’s its importance as a sacred site as well as an ancient and archaeological one. Something about Stonehenge draws people in their thousands, and it’s pull becomes all the more poignant when the solstices of mid-summer and mid-winter roll around.  Visitors flock to the Stone Circle to celebrate in the mysterious setting of one of the ancient Wonders of the World, and no matter what they believe about the meaning behind it, they gather with one common aim – to celebrate.

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