Among the many legends connected with this famous
site is one telling of its construction by Merlin. He was asked by
Arthur's father, King Uther Pendragon, to construct a fitting memorial
for his brother Ambrosius and the War Lords of Britain felled by Saxon
treachery in the massacre known as the Night of the Long Knives. Merlin
to Ireland in search of the fabled Giant's Dance,
a circle of stones which were believed to possess curative properties
if water in which they had been washed was used to bathe the sick.
|Late Afternoon clouds
gather over Stonehenge.
After a great battle, Merlin conveyed the stones by magic to the shore
of the sea, then floated them on rafts across to Britain and set them
up on the plain near Salisbury. It has been suggested that this story
may contain a distant memory of the method by which the ancient blue-stones,
quarried in the Prescelly Mountains far to the north, were brought
by sea to the mouth of the River Avon and then taken inland on huge
wooden rollers to their present site. Despite numerous theories, which
claim Stonehenge to be anything from an ancient observatory to a Druid
temple, little is known about the true origin or purpose of this mighty
circle of stones.