Erecting The Stones
The upright stones that make
up the Sarsen Circle are not parallel but tapered. The center of
gravity is one third from the floor. If a stone of 25 Tons was carved
parallel, it would require 12.5 Tons pressure to lift one end. A stone
weighing 25 Tons which is tapered would only require 8 Tons to lift the
narrow end. Therefore, a lever with a 16 -1 ratio would require only a
half-Ton to raise a 25-Ton stone.
Bruce has done several experiments using
men's weight to pull down on the levers. Human weight is not enough!
However, by using a small tree with a wicker basket woven into its
branches and filled with stones (as seen in the animation) as a lever,
the weight descends and the stone may be raised a few inches. A chock
can then be inserted under the stone and the ballast removed. The whole
process can be repeated time and time again, until the weight required
becomes less and less as the stone is raised into the vertical position.
The best choice of material for ballast is
stone, in large, easy- to- handle pieces, varying in size. Of all the
possible shapes for this stone ballast, round is the most convenient
because the basket can be filled by hand, and once it has descended, the
basket can be opened allowing the ballast to spill out at the rear.
one of the mysteries of Stonehenge has always been the hundreds of
stone balls found on the site. It has been suggested they were stone
mauls or hammers. In the opinion of one stone mason interviewed by Bruce
Bedlam, this is highly unlikely. His belief is that the stone balls,
which vary in size, were in fact ballast used for lifting the Sarsen
Once each Sarsen Stone upright was raised into
position, it could then be surrounded by soil. When all the Sarsen
stones were upright, it would look like a huge mound of earth with only
the tops of the Sarsen Stones visible, ready for the lintels to be
In Stonehenge Bottoms there
is an unnatural valley, which might have been the source of the soil.
Several researchers have considered this valley over the years, and have
suggested that it was man-made.
is surprisingly easy to walk a lintel stone up the mound of soil. The
method is to fasten a log to each side of the stone, put a lever in
between the logs at both ends and simply 'walk' the stone up the mound.
Working on top of the earth mound would be very safe and the height of
each workstation is easily adjusted to suit requirements. All the lintel
stones could then be fitted simultaneously and the circle made perfect.
Each lintel will have been dressed to 90%, but only in the middle, on
the inside upper edge. This fits perfectly with the idea of one lintel
supporting each roof beam and transmitting its weight downwards via the
With the buttresses in place, the mound of
earth could then be raised to accommodate the fitting of the roof beams
and all the wooden tiles which form the actual roof covering. Using
this method, all the construction has been accomplished with security
and safety, without any form of scaffolding or any heights for workers
to fall from.
Finally, with the
whole building complete, the soil could be removed, leaving the entire
structure free standing! Bruce believes that the spoil from
Stonehenge may have been taken to make up the Cursus, having read that
fragments of Bluestone have been found there.