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Stonehenge, Central Entrance Through Outer Circle And Upright Of Trilithon

Stonehenge, Central Entrance Through Outer Circle And Upright Of Trilithon

Photographer: Ordnance Survey Department, under Colonel Sir Henry James

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1867

Shelfmark: 10351.i.2

Item number: 4

Length: 22.9

Width: 18.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, taken by the Ordnance Survey under the supervision of Colonel Sir Henry James. The image is one of eight photographs of the monument illustrating Colonel James’ 1867 book ‘Stonehenge, Turusachan and Cromlechs’, and was published as plate 7. He wrote: “The structure, when complete, consisted of an outer circle of thirty large stones, upon which thirty other large stones were laid horizontally so as to form a perfect continuous circle. This circle is 100 feet in diameter within the stones…Only seventeen of the thirty upright stones of the outer circle are now standing, and only six of the thirty lintels are now in their places.” This is a view of the entrance through the outer circle of stones with the upright of one of the five central pairs of stones in the foreground.

Stonehenge was built on Salisbury Plain during three phases of construction between c.3200 and c.1600 BC. Its design incorporates astronomical alignments and it was first used as a temple to the moon, only later transformed into a temple to the sun. An entrance causeway runs from the north-east and originally marked the most northerly rising of the midwinter full moon. It was later widened so that another megalith placed at its edge, the Heel Stone, became a marker for the summer solstice.

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