Sunday, 12 September 2010

In Which I Visit Various Very Old Places

Saturday wasn't a good day: I got woken up at 1 a.m. by some very drunk, very raucous tenagers, and things didn't get much better. So I decided to stay home & read, on the basis that if one is having the kind of day when things get dropped, broken, and generally don't work, its probably best not to be driving, or cleaning  the crockery cupboards...

This morning, however, it seemed like a very nice morning, and I decided to go out to play.

I startd by heading to Woodhenge, because I've never been. This is a site where there are Neolithic Eathworks (Durrington Walls) and the remains of a wooden Henge- It was dscovered in 1925 when it was surveyed by air, and dates to about 2600BC - I have to admit, however, that it isn't overly impressive to the non-expert - cConcrete posts have been set into the ground to show where the post-holes from the original structure were found, but  I have to admit that to me it just looked like a lot of concrete posts in a field....

The earthworks are more noticable - there is a pretty impressive ditch & mound.

The site is about 2 miles from Stonehenge as the crow flies, and I was able to park in Larkhill and walk across to sStonehenge (much less thaan 2 miles -about 20 mins walk) across the 'Stonehenge Downs' and via the 'Cursus' - a set of barrows which have been dated to about 3600 BC (which makes it older than the Henge itself. They don;'t know what the Cursus/barrows were built for..

I then got to Stonehenge itself,. It's one of those places I drive past fairly regularly, and which I have of course visited before,  but not for a while.

Of course, on a beautiful, sunny, September  Sunday it was very busy, but  one of the advantages of the fact that you cannot go into the circle itself is that no-one else can either, so provided you're willing to wait for a break in the crowd you can get an uninterrupted view.

And, strangely (to me, anyway) a surprising number of people come, pay to get in, and  yet don't bother to walk the whole way around the henge, so around the far side it is less crowded.                            
And even with a crowd, it is a pretty impressive place, paticuarly when you think it was built at least 3,600 years ago by people for whom bronze tools were still and undiscovered technology...

When I left, it as still gloriously sunny, and I had half the day ahead of me, so ather than go home, I decided to do a little more in the way of Ancient Monument Inspection.
(to be continued...)


Phiala said...

Lovely. That's on my list of places to visit someday.

spacedlaw said...

I did not realize you could not actually get close to the stone at Stonehenge. It is probably best to avoid graffiti and such like depredations.