England: Stonehenge and Winchester

I cannot believe I visited the famous Stonehenge today! I learned that it was built by a Neolithic tribe of people before the Celts--3000+ years ago. The stones themselves weigh tons and tons each. The entire structure was created for some sort of sun worshiping/pagan ritual.

The birds are enjoying their perch.

The large stones are 18-20 feet tall. Whereas the smaller, leaning stone is about 8 feet high.

This is called the "heel stone." It is set apart from the rest of the structure by many yards. At dawn, on the summer solstice, it casts a shadow into the very center of Stonehenge. People from all over the world converge on the Salisbury Plain on the summer solstice for this event. This is what has lead modern cultural scientists to believe the structure was built for a sun worshiping ritual.

After Stonehenge, we journeyed on to the city of Winchester.  It is famous as the seat of many ancient English kings as well as for Jane Austen's final resting place.
This is a Norman gate that used to be the entrance to the ancient castle.

This is the ruin of the ancient castle where Alfred the Great (who brought Christianity to England) and William the Conqueror, among others, resided.

A replica of King Arthur's Table. Some argue King Arthur may have lived in  Winchester. Others say he lived at Tintagel.

Queen Victoria

The decorative silver doors are inscribed "1981: C and D" in honor of Charles and Diana's wedding. They were a gift from the city of Winchester to the newlyweds.

Beautiful stained glass windows in the great hall on the site of the ancient castle.

Henry VIII--He was responsible for creating the Anglican Church, aka the Church of England, when he broke from the Roman Catholic Church because the Pope refused to grant him a divorce.

The beautiful Winchester Cathedral

Side view of the Cathedral

Isn't this sweet! Two little old ladies, one walking her bike down the little lane.

Love, love, love the Tudor style homes!

Jane Austen's brother, Edward, raised this brass plaque to adorn her grave inside Winchester Cathedral.

Jane's gravestone

Jane lived in this house the last 6 weeks of her life.

Another shot of the Winchester Cathedral with the sun shining on it. We attended the Evensong service here tonight. It was very interesting.

We got back to out hosts' house and celebrated the day with some proper fish and chips.  Yum!


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