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Stonehenge and Salisbury

Stonehenge at dawn, woodhenge, Avebury and then the Salisbury museum

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On Saturday we had to hop the train to Salisbury. Over one year ago we’d purchased tickets to spend sunrise inside the Stonehenge circle, and had arranged a private tour for all things Stonehenge for the day. This was rescheduled for Sunday. We had reservations to stay at the Chapter House, a 900-year-old building that we stayed in this past summer. Our tour guide would pick us up at the Chapter House and we’d just spend the day together.

We got to Salisbury and found a pub that served gluten free fish and chips. The batter on the fish was one of the best ever, light and crunchy. Not only was the food good pub food but it wasn’t very expensive either.

We woke up early as we had to be outside by 7:30 am when our tour driver would pick us up. The hotel kitchen wasn’t going so we had to forego breakfast, and we had to exit thru the small door in the wood wall.

Our driver was at the hotel when we went out and he was ready to get on the road. We’d purchased a ticket to the Stonehenge circle last year so that he could enter with us.

Our guide, Nicolas, knew his stuff! He gave us history on the way to Stonehenge and then in Stonehenge showed me some good spots for photos. We were inside the circle last July just after solstice but sunrise was not as specular as it was this time. The skies were heavy with dark clouds when the clouds parted and the sun came thru. The rocks turned golden. The sun reflected off of the pools of water in the fallen rocks.
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Nicolas told us what we’d heard before, that the winter solstice sunset was actually most important, that is what is now believed. He verified what we’d heard in the summer, that the Neolithic people walked down the boulevard and up the hill to Stonehenge at the time of sunset. I told him that I’d signed us up for a walking tour to do just that but didn’t know which tour company it was with. Later, I looked and saw that it was his tour company.

From Stonehenge we went on to woodhenge, known to the locals as concretehenge. But it was interesting to see where the wood posts had been and the different diameters of wood posts.
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We went on to Avebury, another site of stone circles. The circles are much larger here, some intersected by roads. The stones are much larger in some cases as well.

Nicolas had told us of these straight, intersecting lines throughout England and how the roads were built on these lines. He then told us how the Neolithic’s could have possibly found these straight lines to build roads, burial mounds etc. He first showed us then each of us take a turn to see for ourselves. This is called dowsing. Basically, one holds a wire loosely in each hand, the wires move towards each other or away from each other where the line is. Dale and I could swear that we were not moving the rods but science seems to disagree. No mater, it was strange.
When we got back to the hotel, we were hungry, having missed breakfast and lunch. Nicholas told us about a pub called The Haunch of Venison and as it was Sunday, we could probably get some good roast beef, the traditional Sunday dinner. We, of course, had to see the hand! You can read about the hand on the webpage below. It is worth noting that there is not a level place in the entire building. Floors, walls you name it.
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http://haunchpub.co.uk/site.aspx?IID=2844067&SECTIONID=2844056

We slept as late as we could on Monday am and after a good breakfast we walked across the street to the cathedral. We were on a mission to see the Magna Carta.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Magna-Carta

The Magna Carta was set down in 1215 and we can find some of our rights that are come from it today. The Magna Carta was not signed by King James as he could not write but he put his seal on them. 4 are in existence today, one at the Salisbury Cathedral and 1 is in the British Museum. We could not take a photo of the original as the light could cause damage so I just took a photo of the photo. I was surprised at how large it is, but also, the tiny print. It is written in Latin so impossible for me to read.
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From the Cathedral we walked across the yard to the Salisbury Museum. I especially wanted to see the Stonehenge archer and the Amesbury Archer. We saw so many relics from even before Stonehenge time and several archers. The Stonehenge archer was found with a broken arrow in his rib, the arrow is quite small but did enough damage to kill the guy.
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https://salisburymuseum.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/the-stonehenge-archer-by-volunteer-keith-rodger/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/archaeology/king_stonehenge_01.shtml

We stopped for some gf carrot cake and tea before going on upstairs to other displays. What a great museum!

Posted by Miss Chris 23:22 Archived in England Tagged salisbury train stonehenge international_travel haunch_of_venison dousing salisbury_archer salisbury_museum

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