A complete new history of the world's greatest stone circle
Britain's leading expert on stone circles turns his attention to the greatest example of them all - Stonehenge. Every aspect of Stonehenge is re-considered in Aubrey Burl's new analysis. He explains for the first time how the outlying Heel Stone long predates Stonehenge itself, serving as a trackway marker in the prehistoric Harroway. He uncovers new evidence that the Welsh bluestones were brought to Stonehenge by glaciation rather than by man. And he reveals just how far the design of Stonehenge was influenced by Breton styles and by Breton cults of the dead.
Meticulously research sets the record straight on the matter of Stonehenge's astronomical alignments. Although the existence of a sightline to the midsummer sunrise is well known, the alignment and the viewing-position are different from popular belief. And the existence of an earlier alignment to the moon and a later one to the midwinter sunset has been largely unrealized.
One almost unexplained puzzle remains. The site of Stonehenge lies at the heart of a vast six-mile wide graveyard, but before it was built there appears to have been a mysterious gap two miles across on that site. Burl argues that earlier totem-pole style constructions served a ceremonial purpose for the living - to celebrate success in the hunt.
Aubrey Burl has published books on prehistoric stone circles, a history of the Albigensian Crusade, and two biographies - of an 18th-century pirate, Bartholomew Roberts, and of the medieval French poet, Francois Villon.