Thursday, 19 November 2015

Winter and Summer Solstice Fast Facts

Here is a look at the solstice. The winter solstice will take place on December 22nd, 2015. (CNN)
Druid Winter Solstice celebrations
at Stonehenge
Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on December 21 or 22, when the sun appears at
its most southerly position, directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn (23 degrees 27 minutes south latitude). The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of winter. It is the exact opposite in the Southern Hemisphere.

Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21, or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer.
A solstice is different from an equinox, the two times each year when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator and day and night are of equal length. Equinoxes mark the beginning of spring (March) and fall (September).
Solstice loosely translated in Latin is "sun stands still". For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day
Historically, the solstice has been celebrated by numerous cultures around the world. Thousands of people annually celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.
At sunrise at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, the rising sun appears behind one of the main stones, creating the illusion that the sun is balancing on the stone.
The site was closed for 16 years after rioting broke out between police and revelers for several years at solstice gatherings. Stonehenge was re-opened to the public on solstice in 2000.
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Solstice Events U.K are offering their usual Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tours from London
Booking essential (click here to book direct)

Stonehenge Tourist Guide


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Stone age settlement unearthed near Stonehenge

Archaeologists have found evidence of a stone age settlement around Stonehenge. 
The discovery has revealed a Mesolithic home dating back to the 5th Century BC Credit: PA
The discovery has revealed a Mesolithic home, formed from the giant base of a large fallen tree used to make the wall and roof. It's thought to date back to the 5th century BC
Experts fear that further discoveries could be lost if the government goes ahead with plans to build a tunnel for the A303.

Original source: ITV NEWS

The Stonehenge Tourist Guide

Friday, 23 October 2015

A century on from Stonehenge sale. English Heritage welcome families to Stonehenge during half term.

ENGLISH Heritage is welcoming families to Stonehenge during the October half term next week to take part in an interactive, theatrical performance which will take families back one hundred years to the dramatic auction of 1915 where Stonehenge was put up for sale!

On September 21, 1915, the New Theatre in Salisbury’s Castle Street was packed out as London auctioneer, Sir Howard Frank, gazed down from his rostrum as he desperately tried to drum up interest among the assembled bidders for the country’s greatest prehistoric monument – with the ancient stones eventually being sold for just £6,000.

Last month English Heritage marked the 100th anniversary of Stonehenge – the most iconic prehistoric monument in Europe – being sold off one that historic auction to local Wiltshire man Cecil Chubb. The auction marked a turning point in the care of the ancient monument. A series of major restorations and excavations began a few years later and Stonehenge went from isolated ruin to national treasure. Today it is cared for by English Heritage, and thanks to extensive work now sits within a restored landscape that gives a sense of its original setting.
Now families are being invited to come and play their part and help bring the monumental historical moment to life in this centenary year, with this fun theatrical performance – specially developed for English Heritage by historical theatre company Time Will Tell who encourage audiences to learn about history by becoming active participants within their amusing and thought provoking theatre. The play is in two parts and is set to take place outside the visitor centre by the Neolithic Houses, every day of half term from Monday 26th October to Sunday 1st November, between 10am and 4pm.
As the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites throughout the country, English Heritage’s endeavours to bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year and it is hoped that the latest activities at Stonehenge next week will offer children a fun way of learning about one of the world’s most fascinating prehistoric monuments. 

The Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre will also be open to entertain the most inquisitive of minds and there is also the opportunity to pick up a family audio tour, explore our reconstructed Neolithic Houses and imagine what life would have been like for a Neolithic family four and a half thousand years ago!
For further information about the fun at Stonehenge and other events during the school half term and throughout autumn and winter visit the English Heritage website at
Jez Gale, Chief Archivist / / Heritage News
The Stonehenge Tourist Guide