Big Stones for Ailsa’s travel theme


This week, Ailsa’s Travel Theme is ‘Stones’, so I decided to show you a few of the impressive stones I saw in England during my August visit.

I’m pretty sure that the best known collection of stones in England, is Stonehenge in the county of Wiltshire. It is for many people, the one place that represents Britain’s prehistory. This massive stone circle stands on Salisbury Plain, and its lintel-topped Sarsen stones are thought to be over 5,000 years old. The tallest of these stones is 22 feet high, with another 8 feet lying underground. It was constructed over several hundred years, with stones being put up, taken down and moved around, until it finally became the shape that we see today. Its meaning and purpose are a source of great fascination, and this World Heritage site attracts over 900,000 visitors a year. It doesn’t look so big here, but just look at the midget people around it.

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Another mammoth stone on the same site, is this heel-stone, which weighs 35 tons. The nearest source for these stones is the Marlborough Downs which is about 30 kms away. Some of the biggest ones weigh up to 45 tons, and it has been surmised that they were probably transported on sledges, but it’s still mind-boggling to me to imagine the manpower required to shift and then erect these humongous lumps of stone. Well. anything the ancient Egyptians could do, I guess the Brits had already done. πŸ™‚

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As we entered Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, we saw this stone at the side of the road next toΒ Colliford Lake. It’s probably an ancient way-marker, or boundary stone.

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Another interesting collection of stones is the Neolithic Trethevy Quoit, in the middle of a field next to a small housing estate on the moor. It’s made up of large standing stones which support a heavy capstone. These quoits, as they are called in Cornwall, are thought to be ancient burial mounds.

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You can get more of an idea of its size when you compare it to the houses nearby.

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Bodmin Moor, is literally littered with stones, and The Hurlers, a unique Bronze Age monument, consists of a set of three standing stone circles. Local legend has it that some of the local men were on the Sabbath, playing a Cornish ball game known as hurling, and were turned into stone as a divine punishment, I suppose much the same as Lot’s wife in the Bible was turned into a pillar of salt. I looked to see if there was a stone ball lying around to confirm this legend, but couldn’t find one. We did notice that this is a favourite place for local dog walkers, so you really have to watch your step. πŸ™‚

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Here is part of an abandoned tin mine, also built of stone, and in the foreground are more of these ancient stones.

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Everywhere we went, we saw beautiful stone structures, and even though now in ruins, they’re still really impressive.

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The cliff path down to Wheal Cotes tin mine, which lies between Porthtowan and St Agnes, is supported with many stones tightlyΒ packed together.

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Here is some stone detail of the mine chimney,

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and here is the shaft pump-house, which is preserved and maintained in wonderful condition, by the National Trust.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the old stones which I saw in England. If you want to get even more stoned, just visit Ailsa’s post.

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92 comments on “Big Stones for Ailsa’s travel theme

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme – Stone | Isadora Art and Photography

  2. Stone Henge was my first destination outside of London. A fascinating collection of stones. To walk among and sit on the stones was a memory I will never forget….seems like yesterday. I believe there is a fence around the site now.

    • It’s a wonderful sight, but no longer can you get near enough to even touch the stones. You have to be content to view them from afar. I’m so glad I visited them a couple of times before they were deemed by the powers that be, to be ‘untouchable’.

  3. I remember the old mine with the para sail in the sky. I loved it. There is just something about that image and this one. I suppose the perspective or the fact that it is almost intact. I enjoyed seeing these stone images enlarged too. Great post, as usual, Sylvia!

    • Thanks so much, George. The Wheal Coates mine is really amazing to see, and the fact that it lies right next to the ocean, makes it so picturesque. πŸ™‚

  4. You’re shoot a beautiful collection of photos here! I have never made a visit to Stonehenge, but have been enriched by photos taken by others. I enjoyed yours, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Travel Theme – Stone | Endless Skys

  6. Wow you have a collection here AD πŸ™‚
    Love Stonehenge even though it’s so popular, I wonder what it will be like when that huge visitor center is open in December .
    I missed out on the Quoits and Wheal Coates .. next time for sure πŸ˜‰

  7. What a great collection, and you caught these ancient stones beautifully. The second one looks like a very grumpy character πŸ™‚
    I love the atmosphere and the sense of mysterious unknown around old stones, so visit whenever I can.

  8. Wonderful photos that make me want to visit all those places. πŸ™‚ I love how the big stones are just there…siting out, making us wonder about so much. I love Stonehenge, although these days you can’t get very close.

    janet

    • Thanks so much, and glad you enjoyed these stone pics. It’s a pity one can’t get close to Stonehenge these days. I remember as a child, being able to play hide and seek around them. πŸ™‚

  9. Wonderful photos! I watched a PBS program in which a uni professor demonstrated how stones, like those at Stone Henge, could have been moved into place using the most rudimentary of technologies. I was fascinated, just as I am when I look at your photo of the wall supporting the cliff path to Wheal Cotes tin mine. Unbelievable! Thanks for sharing them all with us.

    • Thanks, John. That programme must have been very interesting. I remember seeing one about how the Egyptians moved the huge blocks of stone that they used. So simple when you know how. πŸ™‚

  10. The circular stones of England fascinate me.. with all the theories of what their use was and why they were built, if those stones could only talk… lovely set of photos AD ..

  11. I’ve only visited Stonehenge once but it certainly was impactful… you don’t realize how big it is until you see it “in person.” It is especially impressive because it sits out in the fields with no buildings in sight…. thank heavens nobody has built condos next door…. yet!

  12. I am always intrigued by the ancient’s impossible as these. The Stonehenge is less clue for its purpose than the great pyramids in Egypt in my opinion. I completely agreed with you about the logistic to build such structure thousands of year ago is mind boggling.

    • Yes it seems very strange to me too, YC. They must have had a very good reason for all that hard work. I wish they’d written a book about it. πŸ™‚

  13. I liked the perspective you gave us for the pump-house. It explains why it hasn’t fallen down the hillside. Chilli’s shots never revealed that flat spot. πŸ˜€
    Great stones for the theme, Sylvia. You ROCK!!! πŸ˜€

  14. Amazing gallery – perfect story telling and photos for the post. UK have loads of old stones and they all have a remarkable story to tell.
    I love stones .. I think they are beautiful .. I often pick stones on beaches I walked along .. but I don’t think I would get much out visiting Stonehenge, but I love it’s history – been to Easter Island and the blow my socks off – those giant stones just standing there .. and there is no stone like it on the island and how could they raise them – they are solid blocks.

    • Thanks so much, Viveka. I’m so glad you enjoyed my pics and words. I would love to go to Easter Island one day. How marvelous that you beat me to it. πŸ˜€

  15. We do have a lot of stones in this country,,, Stonehenge has been having new road routed around it but they have messed it up so badly causing all sorts of chaos.. πŸ˜‰

  16. I’d certainly love to visit one day too Sylvia…..but I shall make sure I mind the doggy doo doos when I do!

  17. Top post for the challenge for a country mile! Brilliant choice of stones (Did anyone put forward The Rolling Stones?) (wish I’d thought of it, damn)

  18. the charm of one of the world’s most mysterious Stonehenge … I watched the summer solstice, there, with druidic magic rites that take place when the Sun arose seemed to dwell in another dimension, thrilling stuff
    other interesting shots
    sorry, avevo dimenticato la traduzione
    😦

    • Thanks so much, Ventis. I’m so glad that you’ve also been to Stonehenge. It must have been really awesome to be there for the summer solstice I would love that. πŸ™‚

  19. il fascino di uno dei luoghi piΓΉ misteriosi al mondo Stonehenge…ho assistito al solstizio d’estate, lΓ¬, con i riti magici druidici che vi si svolgono, quando Γ¨ sorto il sole sembrava di abitare in un altra dimensione, roba da brividi
    molto interessanti anche gli altri scatti
    un grande abbraccio Ven

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