Friday, August 21, 2009

Lacock and Stonehenge

After our visit to the Roman Baths, it was back on the bus to continue the scenic drive to Stonehenge. We stopped in Lacock for supper at the George Inn. Lacock is a beautifully preserved village on the edge of the Cotswolds. Parts of several, including the last, Harry Potter films have made here. The village is owned almost entirely by the National Trust and was part of the thriving wool industry in the 13th century. It is called a village "lost in time" and is very popular for filming period movies.


The George Inn is one of the historic pubs in the country and has been in operation since 1365.

It is also famous for its grand open fireplace featuring a dog spit. Meat was placed on the spit which was then turned by dogs running on a treadmill.

Supper was good, but short if you wanted to take a quick tour of the village which I did. It is basically one block...

Here is the post office...

The school...


The beautiful abbey where parts of Harry Potter were filmed. The abbey was founded in the early 13th century by Lady Ela Countess of Salisbury in the reign of King Henry III. Her husband was the illegitimate son of King Henry II.



The bakery...


The best known family in Lacock is the Parker Bowles, and Camilla's daughter was married in the Abbey in 2006.

After leaving Lacock, it was a short ride to Stonehenge. We were very fortunate to be on a tour that is able to enter Stonehenge after it is closed to the public. Many tour companies battle for this opportunity. Most tourists must stand behind a rope surrounding Stonehenge, approximately 30 yards away. We were able to enter the ring of stones and touch them, as long as we did not sit or walk over them.

Here is a concept of what Stonehenge looked like upon completion. It is believed that work on Stonehenge began as early as 3000 B.C. and that it took 1500 years to complete. (Doesn't that seem incredible?!) The theory now is that it was a burial ground and the whole area is surrounded by burial mounds.


Here is what Stonehenge looks like today as you walk around the perimeter.

I was so-o-o happy that we recovered this picture after they "disappeared" from the camera card.


We were there at sunset...


This is supposedly the original entry into Stonehenge. It is positioned so that the sun shines directly through this opening at sunrise onto a target stone, which indicates that the calendar day is June 21, the summer solstice. Even today, this is an event at Stonehenge when new age druids, wiccans and any other people who are interested can attend a special ceremony celebrating the sunrise.



Here is Jim trying to squeeze through!

And moi...

The "bump" on top of the stone on the left is how the vertical and horizontal pieces were joined. There were 10 uprights in the centre of the circle in a horseshoe shape with five lintels (horizontal pieces) on top of them. They were joined using a "tongue and groove" method so that the horizontal pieces fitted snugly onto the verticals.

If that isn't amazing enough, the vertical stones were shaped to be wider at the top so that when you look up at them, the perspective remains constant. Each of these stones would weigh about 50 tons. Truly, truly amazing...

The end of a magical day...


Our next excursion is to visit Dad's cousin, Dot, and her son, Tim...

2 comments:

  1. Shame on you for visiting Lacock Abbey.. and not mentioning the home of Fox Talbot the inventor of modern photography...no wonder your pictured disappeared.

    Chris

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  2. OK...that made me laugh out loud! I guess the tour guide didn't know that bit of info!

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