December 5, 2016

0093, 0223, 0774, 1330, 2892 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - Stonehenge - part of Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (UNESCO WHS)

2892 Stonehenge during a storm

Posted on 08.01.2012, 26.05.2012, 30.07.2013, 09.11.2014, 05.12.2016
I don't know if Stonehenge is the most important megalithic construction which survived the history, but certainly is the best known and most intensively researched. Located in the county of Wiltshire, at about 13km north of Salisbury, in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds, Stonehenge assembly consists of four concentric circles made of standing stones set within earthworks.

2892 Stonehenge during a storm (left)

The outer circle (Sarsen Circle), about 33m in diameter, was originally comprised of 30 neatly trimmed upright sandstone blocks (of which only 17 are now standing), above which were placed as lintels some other blocks, circular arc-shaped. Inside is another circle of eggplant stone blocks. They surround a horseshoe-shaped arrangement, built also of eggplant stone, within which is a sandstone slab mecacee called the Altar Stone.

2892 Stonehenge during a storm (center)

The whole construction is surrounded by a circular ditch measuring 104m in diameter. Inside stands a sandbank which contains 56 tombs, known as the Aubrey holes (named after the discoverer). The embankment and the ditch are intersected by a processional path 23m wide and almost 3km long, Stonehenge Avenue, which connects Stonehenge with the River Avon, and the small henge on its bank, discovered in 2008, at West Amesbury. 

2892 Stonehenge during a storm (right)

Near the entrance to the Avenue is Slaughter Stone (a fallen sarsen that once stood upright with one or two other stones across the entrance causeway), and on the other side is the Heelstone, a single huge unshaped sarsen boulder. The main axis of the stones is aligned upon the solstitial axis. At midsummer, the sun rises over the horizon to the north-east, close to the Heel Stone. At midwinter, the sun sets in the south-west, in the gap between the two tallest trilithons, one of which has now fallen.

0223 Stonehenge at sunset

With regard to construction's purpose, opinions are divided, the most important theories circulated claiming that Stonehenge have served as a burial ground, as a place of healing, as part of a ritual landscape or have a celestial observatory function. Even I'm not historian, may have my own opinion, isn't it? Personally I believe that the people who have built it (between 3100 and 1600 BC) just don't thinking like us, ie they not separate the sides of existence as we do, but they viewed things globally.

0774 Stonehenge in summertime

Surrounding universe didn't have for them a sacred dimension and a profran one, but life, death, nature, cosmos, divinity was closely entwined, forming a inseparable whole. As a result I don't think there was a space where they worshiped gods, another in which they buried the dead, another in which they made astronomical observations and so on, but there was only one site (like Stonehenge) which served all these types of activities. Anyway, many aspects of Stonehenge remain subject to debate.

1330 Stonehenge in springtime

Throughout the 20th century, Stonehenge began to be revived as a place of religious significance, this time by adherents of Neopagan and New Age beliefs, particularly the Neo-druids. The historian Ronald Hutton would later remark that "it was a great, and potentially uncomfortable, irony that modern Druids had arrived at Stonehenge just as archaeologists were evicting the ancient Druids from it." The first such Neo-druidic group to make use of the megalithic monument was the Ancient Order of Druids, who performed a mass initiation ceremony there in August 1905.

0093 Stonehenge in wintertime

Between 1972 and 1984, Stonehenge was the site of the Stonehenge Free Festival, culminating with the summer solstice on or near June 21. It emerged as the major free festival in the calendar after the violent suppression of the Windsor Free Festival in August 1974. After the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985, this use of the site was stopped for several years and ritual use of Stonehenge is now heavily restricted. Some Druids have arranged an assembling of monuments styled on Stonehenge in other parts of the world as a form of Druidist worship.

About the stamps 
On the postcards 0093, 0223, 0774
All three stamps are part of the definitive series issued in 2011, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1330
The first two stamps, depicting a tulipe and a crocus, belong to the set Blumen, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp was issued on September 1st, 2014, to commemorate a great literary work by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - The Little Prince, published in 1943. It is both the most-read and most-translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France.

On the postcard 2892
The stamp is one of the seven issued on November 11, 2012 to mark the Christmas.

Stonehenge - Official website
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites - UNESCO official website
Stonehenge - Wikipedia
Stonehenge -

Sender 0093: Jeni & George Dragoman
Sent from London (England / United Kingdom), on 07.12.2011
Photo: Skyscan Balloon
Sender 0223: Jeni & George Dragoman
Sent from London (England / United Kingdom), on 07.12.2011
Photo: James O. Davies 
Sender 0774: Maura / fairymin (postcrossing)
Sent from Amesbury (England / United Kingdom), on 25.07.2013
Sender 1330: Postcrossing meeting
Sent from Bielefeld (North-Rhine Westphalia / Germany), on 27.10.2014
Sender 2892: Jeni & George Dragoman
Sent from London (England / United Kingdom), on 12.01.2013
Photo: Hermann Steigert


  1. I like it either. In summer there isn't this contrast.

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  3. Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that you read my posts with pleasure and thanks that you skip my mistakes in English, language which I don't master it well. I like to explore what is behind each postcards and to share with others what I found. Thanks again and keep in touch.

  4. Winter view is really nice :)