Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Thousands gather to watch summer solstice dawn at Stonehenge

Approximately 13,000 people descended on the neolithic monument in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise at 4.52am.

Thousands of sun-worshippers witnessed a spectacular dawn as they gathered at Stonehenge for the summer solstice.

Approximately 13,000 people descended on the neolithic monument in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise at 4.52am – up from 12,000 last year.

Jennifer Davies, English Heritage’s general manager of Stonehenge, said they were “delighted” that so many of all ages came to celebrate the longest day of the year.

“We’d like to thank everybody who helped to make it another memorable and good- natured occasion and we look forward to seeing them again next year,” she said.

“We are pleased with how the celebrations have gone.

“This year we had extra security arrangements in place and we’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding with these.

“Summer solstice at Stonehenge is a major operation and we couldn’t do it without our partners, especially Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council.”

Heritage England said those visiting the ancient site were not allowed access if they had brought pets, sleeping bags and duvets, barbecues or camping equipment.

The flying of drones and remote-controlled aircraft was also banned around the monument.

bpanews_63a19a78-0300-4a0d-9bd0-4d7c2e6077c5_embedded662040
More than a million people flock to Stonehenge every year (Steve Parsons/PA)

Stonehenge is believed to have been used as an important religious site by early Britons 4,000 years ago. Pagan celebrations at the site began in the 20th century.

More than a million people flock to Stonehenge every year, with thousands attending ceremonies to mark the solstices in summer and winter.

Wiltshire Police said the event passed peacefully, but that there were seven “mostly drug related” arrests.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph