Raising The Foreign Stones

The five Sarsen Trilithons already mentioned were raised into position

from the inside of the circle. Investigation has shown this to be a

fact. It therefore stands to reason that the Foreign Stones were

erected last, and not first as has so often been supposed.

This is a hard saying, for it at once negatives the picturesque legend

that the Foreign Stones were a stone circle brought from Ireland, and

ed by a colonial tribe, who afterwards gave dignity to their

primitive temple by the erection of stately Trilithons. Furthermore,

the débris of the ancient mason reveals chippings of Sarsen and

Foreign Stone intermingled so thoroughly as to preclude any idea of

two separate periods of building. Stonehenge, therefore, was erected

at one date and continuously. It is a question, as yet, if the outer

Sarsen Trilithons were erected from the outside or the inside of the


It has not been possible, in the foregoing brief description, to

enter into minute detail, but it is hoped that sufficient has been

said to show the stages by which the work of building was approached.

First, the rough trimming of the Sarsen, as it lay upon the Down, then

its transport to the spot, its final dressing, and the preparation of

its foundation, followed by those anxious days during which the

builders toiled as they raised it aloft; the feverish haste with which

they rammed and packed the loose rubble about its foot, casting in

their mauls and implements to wedge and fix it securely on its base:

and last of all, the final effort of raising the impost on its wooden

bed, rising now on this side, now on that, as the packings were

inserted beneath the levered stone. What a contrast to the Stonehenge

of to-day--abandoned and silent on the fast vanishing Plain of

Salisbury. Yesterday, it was the workplace of a teeming hive of

masons, the air filled with the tap of the smaller hammers dressing

the stone faces, with the sullen thud of the big maul pounding the

face of a newly arrived Sarsen, while the faint muffled peck of the

deer's horn told of trench workers dressing down a chalk face to

receive the thrust of the monolith, while high above the steady tap of

the picks and hammers came the sounds of an unknown tongue raised now

in command, now in argument, or encouragement as the work went on.