Posted by: travelrat | February 7, 2014

Sarsens

'Mock up' of a sarsen outside the Stonehenge Visitor Centre

‘Mock up’ of a sarsen outside the Stonehenge Visitor Centre

The bluestones were in position … although not their final position … at Stonehenge by about 2100 BC. Only about a century later, the sarsens started to arrive. These are massive blocks of sandstone, which form the massive trilithons at Stonehenge. This is believed to be the only monument at which trilithons were used; certainly, it’s the only surviving one.

Stonehenge is also the only known monument where the stone was dressed before being erected. The bluestones, and the stones elsewhere, were just put in the ground as is.

The nearest place sarsens are found is on the Downs near Marlborough, and these are believed to come from Lockeridge Down. They were probably man-hauled here; there are many plausible theories as to how. Some say that logs were placed under the stones to act as rollers, as demonstrated in the exhibit outside the new Visitor Centre.

Others claim that a wooden trackway was laid down, over which the load would slide while one school of thought thinks that a simple wooden sledge was used.

I wouldn’t discount any of these theories … indeed, it’s possible that all three methods were used, the choice being left up to the individual groups responsible for moving each stone.

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