7 Stonehenge facts that you probably didn’t know

Researchers have found gigantic stone monoliths which could have been part of Stonehenge, potentially "adding a whole new chapter to the Stonehenge story". How much do you already know about the famous Wiltshire landmark? We look at seven facts you may not have been aware of.

 

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1. Around 30,000 people descend upon Stonehenge each year for the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which occurs on 20, 21 or 22 June.

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2. There are 83 stones in the circle in total: the larger sarsens, some of which weigh over 20 tonnes, and the smaller bluestones.

3. Charles Darwin, who carried out the first scientifically recorded excavations, found that earthworms were the reason for the stones sinking through the soil.

4. Among the replicas of Stonehenge around the world, which can be found in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, is Carhenge in Nebraska, made up of 38 grey cars rather than stones.

5. The largest stone, which weighs over 40 tonnes, is thought to have travelled as far as 140 miles from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, which may have taken place following the melting of a glacier. In 2000, a group of volunteers attempted to test the feat in the modern day, but the bulk fell into the Bristol Channel on the ancient replica boats used to transport it.

6. In the 1700s, people took scrapings from the stones as they were thought to hold a healing power. 

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7. It has been estimated that Stonehenge would have taken more than 30 million man-hours to build.