Across England there are many Neolithic monuments that offer historians and archaeologists a glimpse into the life of ancient civilisations, although the ancient monuments bring forth as many questions about ancient people, as they are able to provide answers to.
Some of the monuments such as the Avebury ring suggest that ancient people of the area lived a hunter gatherer lifestyle. And were pagans who built the large stone monuments as a place of worship. They also offer a view into the lifestyle of the people who built them, and due to levelling of the stones we see the effect that Christianity had on the ancient Anglo Saxon monuments.
On the other hand, monuments such as the Skara Brae offer a view into how herders lived when they settled in one area for awhile. This is due to the fact that Skara Brea is stone village that was built into an earth mound, and held seven different homes that were all built out of stone. In fact, inside the monument are also many remnants of stone furniture.
The ancient monuments also show how civilizations progressed and the transitional periods of technology, such as Wayland’s Smithy, which contains two stone chambers. However, one of the stone chambers used a fair amount of timber, according to the remnants found by archaeologists, which helps show the time period in which wood was adopted into architecture in ancient Europe.
While many of the ancient monuments are made of stone, there are a few monuments that stand out across the country with the same historical significance, but in a different format that is equally captivating. For example, the Cerne Giant is the image of a large naked man with a club carved into the side of a large hill. In fact, the Cerne Giant is so large that it can be seen from a great height, which meant that it had to be disguised during World War II, so that enemy planes could not use it as a landmark.
As with any structure, one of the unique parts of each monument is that they carry with them a certain amount of folklore, which can be as entertaining as the original intent of the structures. Many of the local towns and villages in which the monuments are housed, have created tales that surround the monuments with as much lure as the monuments themselves.
For example, The Rollright Stones monument is said to be the King and his knights who were turned to stone by a witch. According to folklore the men come to life at night and dance throughout until dawn, but if you happen to come upon them while they are alive you will be turned to stone, or die. It can be argued that the folklore surrounding the monuments such as this has the same amount of draw, and intrigue, as the actual historical interpretation of the monuments.