June 22, 2010

Thousands gather for Stonehenge Summer Solstice

by Benjamin Graham

Thousands of revellers gathered at Stonehenge early yesterday morning for Summer Solstice to celebrate the sun rise over the ancient stones.

Around 20,000 people gathered at the 5,000 year old stone circle, and were treated to the sun’s first appearance at a Solstice sunrise for seven years.

“It has been quieter this year but it’s been a great solstice,” said Peter Carson of English Heritage.

“It’s an improvement on the last few years – the last time I remember seeing the sun rise was in 2003 – so it’s great to see the sun has put in an appearance.

“This year there are about 20,000 people and last year it was about 35,000 – so that is quite a bit down which has meant the operation is a lot easier. ”

Rollo Maughfling, archdruid of Stonehenge and Britain, greeted the sunrise by sounding his trumpet.

“It’s been a wonderful, warm night,” he said.

Police said the reduced number of people attending made it one of the safest Stonehenge Solstices in years, although more than 30 people were arrested for minor drug offences.

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