Mysteriously, before sunrise, when records were not kept
some prehistoric Britons worked the earth, while others slept
Eight Thousand years before our Christ, they worship Sun and Moon
With Stars to stare at in the night, and Springtime coming soon.
The Plain was chalky grassland almost clear from forest trees
An Open Space to farm in and to worship on your knees.
Five thousand years went by and then a greater task began
To circle with a mound and pit and Neolithic man.
Some giant pits to pile the dead, cremated all around
And into all those Aubrey Holes were buried underground.
The Greatest task began around Four Thousand years ago
To bring together Great Blue Stones and make Circle glow.
The Blue stones came from Wales, we think, along the Avon River
In boats perhaps, or on the ice, slaves push while leaders shiver.
But But huge great stones were close at hand, in Avebury, I’ve seen
and these colossal Sarsen Stones, the largest severed clean.
Thirty Tons, some twenty-five, were pushed and pulled with rope
And hoisted in position with an A Frame, ditch and slope.
The Lintels were the masterpiece, to hoist them up and plot
With mortice holes and carved stone bumps to fit them in the slot.
The innovations from the home, from wood to massive stone
And all communication done without a single mobile phone!
Stonehenge was initially a grassy plain with few trees because of the chalk underneath. It was therefore a useful place for prehistoric men to roam and start farming.
Here they could see and contemplate the movement of the stars, sun and moon and begin to understand how the seasons matched the different positions of sunset and sunrise.
Starting with a circular ditch, Stonehenge developed over thousands of years. There are long Barrows where livestock may have been fenced in, or used for ceremonies and areas where people had basic huts. The building of the main Stone Henge began around 2500 BC. A large number of 'Blue' Stones, that have a bluish tinge when wet, were brought from the Preseli Hills in South West Wales. This was a colossal undertaking, probably using boats to carry the two to five ton stones. It is not known how these were transported over 2500km, but hauling stones overland using tree trunks as rollers is one theory, or perhaps even over snow or ice.
The larger 'Sarcen' Stones, which weigh around 25 tonnes, with the thirty tonne heel stone, were sourced more locally, most likely from Avebury where there are many such stones scattered around the countryside. While much bigger, these stones only needed to be transported 20 miles (32 km), overland using tree trunks and hundreds of workers, who may have been acquired in battles as prisoner-slaves, or may have been sun-worshippers of a substantial tribe.
All Limited Edition Prints are signed by Francis Salvesen - Printed as Gicleé Prints Printed with pigment based inks on high quality archival Hahnemühle Photo Rag