Solving Stonehenge in the simplest way possible… Graphically.
THE "REAL" STONEHENGE
Breaking free of the horizon 40-degrees from north at Stonehenge;
this is the maximum area of sky that the moon ever gets to scan,
and does so for several months every 18.61 years.
This, the moon’s most northerly point of rising, is called the Major
Standstill. The next Major Standstill should occur in 2024/5, and if
cloud free, should be quite an occasion for photographers!
But look what happens when we place the sun-arc on top of the
moon-arc - the moon commands a small section of sky - about
10-degrees, that the sun never gets to visit! - Not ever!
Stonehenge started its life as a simple circularish bank and ditch.
Bank here is shown green; the ditch is shown chalk white. The
north-eastern causeway through the bank and ditch formed an
entrance passageway that completely spans and admits the 10-
degree portion of moon-arc right up to the time of the Major
Standstill. So the first Stonehenge was dedicated to the moon.
Let’s say that again...
The First Stonehenge was Dedicated to the Moon.
Fifty-six pits called Aubrey Holes, placed in a circle around the inside
of the bank, are thought to have once held Welsh bluestones. Those
stones later became earmarked for a different purpose and were
eventually removed to be replaced by dedicatory cremations. - So said
Hawley and Newall, the guys who excavated 32 of them. Society of
Antiquaries, London 1926.
For now, though, let’s introduce just two – pit number 56 and pit
number 28. The bluestones placed standing upright in these two pits
helped retain the solstice sun clockwise and clear of the moon-arc as
Shown on the left is the original henge-work as found by
partial excavation. Completing the full 56 Aubrey hole-
positions shows Stonehenge as it originally was; and how
it remained for the first 500 years of its life.
Mike Pitts, current editor of British Archaeology
Magazine, in an article, wrote...
If there is a full moon on the 21 June, the moon again will
be full on 21 June 19 years later, but at a different position
on the horizon. If the full moon starts over the Heelstone, for
example, it will slowly slip away each 19 year interval. On
the other hand, if you count 19, 18 and 19 years (a total of
56), it will stay completely on the stone throughout many
It would seem that the Stonehenger’s had knowledge of
both: there are 19 stones in the bluestone horseshoe and
there are 56 holes in the Aubrey circle. Pitts M.
That should have been it, Stonehenge completed, but it clearly wasn’t: for if the simple intention was to
bring the sun and moon together, it was, as a sort of folly, clearly doomed to failure. So, after 500 static
years when little of importance took place, some massive sarsen stones were collected (probably) from
the Marlborough Downs near Avebury, to be set up in the very centre of the earthwork.
Stonehenge 2450 BC and a change of heart. - The stone circle
erected in the centre of the earthen bank and ditch.
It's convenient at this point to imagine the sarsen circle as if it
stood alone, to demonstrate that there would be nothing to stop
solstice sunlight passing right through and out the back! If, that
is, the circle ever was complete!
To prevent sunlight from escaping, the
Grand Trilithon was offset by half-a-
megalithic-yard (0.415m) so Stone 55 of the
trilithon could block the rays of the sun
and prevent them from leaving.
This forced sunlight to bounce around
Stonehenge’s flattened and polished
interior faces like a modern-day laser.
But in order to believe this to be proven
fact, we will need to gather some extra
proofs of what others were doing
elsewhere at the time, and even many
years before. All these proofs will be given
in the fullness of time, some here having
been taken from my book: Stonehengeology
Meanwhile, please remember this:
The Stonehenge winter solstice alignment
is nothing more than an archaeological red
herring! At 1m thick and 2.5metres high,
Stone 67, when standing, easily blocked it.
Avebury’s Cove. The following describes how Avebury
began its life, and how we know for certain that
people of around 3600BC had used stones to gather
up sunlight and moonlight. People seen in this
photograph are identifying the Backstone of the Cove
by standing alongside it, but the surface that faces the
solstice and the Major Standstill, is on the other side.
We also know, thanks to the Ordinance Survey, that
the Cove once stood in the middle of a geometric
stone egg - and that egg was aligned both on the
Vernal equinox and Cherhill Hill.
Avebury's Cove: Summer Solstice 2007. >>>
The Cove originally consisted of three stones set
perfectly rectangular and at 90-degrees to one another.
So by placing the camera to respect one side of the
rectangle, we obtain a photograph that proves the sun to
fall 5-degrees short of the Cove, and the moon to go
The Major Standstill is conveniently marked by the druid
who helpfully demonstrates where the moon will appear
every 18.61- years, given good weather.
<<< With ideas carried down from earlier work
conducted on Windmill Hill - this is a schematic of
the original, very first Avebury...
The Cove, scaled to size, is seen here placed in the
middle of one of Professor Thom's Type 2 eggs - as
seen in Megalithic Sites in Britain, A. Thom. 1967. And;
with barley seed placed around the base of the
cove-stones; Avebury: Gillings and Pollard 2005, it
was hoped the Cove would act like the tungsten
filament of a bulb, and energise the whole thing.
The vernal equinox is the one time when the sun
follows the moon as she goes to ground, and
vice-versa, which in Avebury's case was aimed at the
notch at the northern end of Cherhill Hill. The
principle of action behind equinoctial alignments
was emulated by the Stonehenger's when they built
the 3-kilometre-long Great Cursus, in front of what,
some 500 years later, would become Stonehenge.
The picture on the right, places Stonehenge's stone
circle in the middle of the earthwork, where it belongs.
There is much that can be said about this image, but to
do so would be to miss the big picture: because it was
around 2500BC that Stonehenge was joined to a
wooden egg in the middle of a massive henge, some
500 metres diameter, and known as Durrington Walls,
by two avenues and a river.
To continue, please press the 'Durrington' button seen at
top left of this page.
COPYRIGHT © T W FLOWERS 2013
We owe the background image to John Wood, who
surveyed Stonehenge in 1740 with great accuracy, and
graciously passed his measurements down to us.
John's feet and inch measurements were converted into
Professor Thom's Megalithic Yards before entering them
into CAD at the rate of 1 My equalling 32.664 inches.
This figure represents the maximum amount of sky that the sun
ever gets to scan at Stonehenge. The sun breaks free of the
horizon 50-degrees from north on the 21st June and manages to
cover a maximum 260-degree of sky from sunrise to sunset.
Everyone who visits Stonehenge to see the midsummer sunrise at
solstice, looks out along this 50-degree angle from north.
If you have enjoyed this work, please consider
helping me continue to improve it.
Thank you if you do. Tom
Abstract: "People of the Stone Age believed the moon to be female and the sun to be
male, and they tried to bring the two together to copulate. After a thousand years of
trying, and at least as many failed experiments, they decided to build their own baby sun.
We today call it Stonehenge." Copyright © T W Flowers 2014