Eight miles north of Salisbury is a large circle of stones,which is called Stonehenge.Nobody knows why it was built or what it was used for.
Was it an ancient cementary?There are many graves around the monument.Was it a kind of observatory,where astronomers studied the stars a the planets?Was it a place where witches and magicians offered human sacrifices to the gods?Or was it a temple,where the ancients Britons worshipped the Sun?The monument faces the point on the horizon where the sun rises on Midsummer´s Day.We shall never know the real answer.
Work started on Stonehenge around 1800 BC,but the monument,whose ruins you can see today,was built four hundred years later,around 1400 BC.
The ruins stand in the centre of a huge circle 320ft (98 m) in diameter.The circle is formed by a bank and a ditch.The abnk is now only 2 ft (0.64 m) high,but it was probably much higher when it was built.the ditch is 7 ft (2.1 m) deep.There is a gap, 35 ft (10.7 m) wide,in the north-east side.
The ruins consist of two stone circles and two stone horseshoes.The stones in the outer circle are 16 ft (4.87 m) high and 6 ft (1.83 m) thick.
These stones were joinedby a continuous line of stones,which lay on the top of the uprights.But the most of these have fallen down.The stones in the inner circle are about 6 ft (1.83 m) high.
The outer horseshoe consists of five trilithons.(„Trilithon is a Greek word,which means three stones.“) The tallest of these trilithons is 28 ft (8.53 m) high.In the centre of the horseshoe there is a large stone,16 ft (4.88 m) long,called the Altar Stone.