'A bit like early LEGO' -- rare photo shows Stonehenge's uncanny similarity to the plastic bricks

Amy Woodyatt, CNNPublished 15th April 2020
Coronavirus. A view of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres, work from home if possible and avoid all non-essential contacts and travel in order to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture date: Tuesday March 17, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire URN:51623061 (Press Association via AP Images)
(CNN) — The famous sarsen stones of Stonehenge have inspired countless visitors and researchers over the years, but a rare photograph might well win the ancient site some younger fans.
The photo of the ancient site in Wiltshire, England, shows the rocks from above, and reveals details that show the famous stones looking remarkably similar to LEGO bricks.
"This is a rarely seen view of the top of one of the giant sarsen stones," Stonehenge said on Twitter last week.
The stones from above look remarkably like Lego, Stonehenge pointed out.
The stones from above look remarkably like Lego, Stonehenge pointed out.
Nick White: https://www.nickwhite.uk/Historic England
"The protruding tenons are clearing visible and the corresponding horizontal lintel stone would have had mortise holes for them to slot into. A bit like early Lego!" the official Twitter account for the ancient site pointed out.
"Stonehenge is completely unique in that it's the only stone circle that we know of anywhere in the world that has these types of joints," Susan Greaney, Senior Properties Historian for national heritage agency Historic England, told CNN.
Creating the intricate joints, she explained, "would have involved really careful working and shaping."
"Obviously, they've not got metal tools at this time. So they're basically working in shaping the stones using hammer stones in order to create these really precise joints that then lock the whole thing together," Greaney added.
Greaney said that while the joining technique was likely to have been common among timber workers at the time of construction, the Lego-like markings at Stonehenge are some of the only known surviving physical examples of the technique.
The image, taken in 1994 from a cherrypicker truck, didn't go unnoticed by the Danish toy company, which commented: "ah, where it all began."
"As a company that aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, we were a little surprised to see us linked to prehistoric builders; but we were humbled to be mentioned by English Heritage in their tweet comparing the monument's stones with LEGO bricks," a LEGO spokesman said in a statement.
Stonehenge has been a hugely popular destination for centuries, fascinating visitors and researchers alike.
The 4,500-year-old site was rescued from disrepair after landowner Cecil Chubb gave it to the nation on October 26, 1918, allowing crucial maintenance work to take place.