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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2005, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
In pictures: Stonehenge solstice

Solstice at Stonehenge

Up to 21,000 revellers gathered for all-night festivities at Stonehenge to witness the Summer Solstice. There were massive cheers as the sun rose at 0458 BST Tuesday.

Solstice at Stonehenge

English Heritage, which runs the monument, says the night passed peacefully. In 2000 Stonehenge was re-opened for the solstice after the infamous Battle of Beanfield 15 years earlier.

Man celebrating the sunrise on Stonehenge

Druids - a pagan order dating back to Celtic Britain - believe the solstice signifies the 'oak king' being overcome by the 'holly king', who rules the second half of the year.

Man jumping from the stones to celebrate the midsummer sun

The Wiltshire stone circle is thought to date between 3000 BC and 1600 BC. Druids believe it was a spiritual centre more than 2,000 years ago.

Woman celebrating as the sun rises at Stonehenge

5,000 years after first attracting visitors, Stonehenge is still a massive draw and a potent pagan symbol. Some revellers threw off their clothes as the sun rose above the 'heel' stone.

Man climbs the stones at Stonehenge

The World Heritage site consists of Bluestones from the Prescelli Mountains, south Wales - 245 miles (380kms) away. Why it was built is not known - despite many theories.




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21 Jun 05 |  Wiltshire



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