Posted by: travelrat | January 24, 2014



One day, in 1926, Squadron Leader Charles Insall was flying his aeroplane over Salisbury Plain, when he noticed something strange below him. He saw an arrangement of darker circles in the grass, and, being a keen amateur archaelogist, guessed that it may have been the remnant of something very old.

Subsequent investigation proved that he was correct. Long ago, there had been circles of wooden posts. Over time, these had decayed, and enriched the soil in their immediate vicinity, thus causing lusher grass, which was best seen from the air in that exceptionally dry summer.

Woodhenge, as it was almost immediately christened, was probably, therefore, one of the first significant archaeological discoveries made from the air.

It’s been suggested that the wooden posts were brought a considerable distance, for, at the time it was built, it’s believed there were no substantial trees in the area. And, nobody knows its exact purpose, or even its form. Maybe it was just a formation of wooden uprights; maybe there were, like Stonehenge, triliths … or, if you want to show off your Greek, and be really pedantic, trixyles!

Early suggestions were that it was a kind of model for Stonehenge, but nowadays, it’s thought that the two structures are about the same age. The best suggestion is that Woodhenge, constructed from living wood, was a temple to the living, while Stonehenge was dedicated to the dead.

There’s not a great deal to be seen at Woodhenge; just a series of short concrete pillars, showing where the posts were. If it were not for nearby Stonehenge, few people would make a trip to visit it. But, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood visiting Stonehenge, a short time spent at Woodhenge would maybe add interest to your visit.


  1. Reblogged this on Escape Outdoors and commented:
    Interesting article. Maybe it was once as impressive as Stonehenge but you’ll have to use your imagination .

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