A henge is a type of earthwork that was popular during the Neolithic or New Stone Age. It is basically a circular or oval ditch surrounded by a bank of earth. In the centre is a round or oval area which sometimes contained standing stones or wooden posts. Stonehenge is a fine example of a henge.
No-one is really sure what they were used for, but guesses include; being used for rituals or religious ceremonies, as monuments to the dead, or as observatories to look at the stars and moon. Some of them have their entrance ways pointing to the North East so that the sun will rise through the gap in the bank on midsummers day.
This is a fun way to build your very own henge:
You will need
- one large sponge cake – it need to be quite large in diameter – ours was in a 22cm cake tin.
- some icing (fairly stiff)
- a packet of chocolate fingers
- one jelly baby
First excavate the ditch. Leave a 2cm border round the outside of the cake then dig out a ditch in a circle – we did this using a teaspoon. Remember to leave a space for the entrance. Stick the cake you have dig out onto the outside of the cake using some of the icing to make the bank.
At Woodhenge in England, a child burial was found at the centre of the henge. Dig a small hole in the centre of the cake and bury the jelly baby. Now you can spread icing over the centre of the cake and the ditch. If you had a firmer cake you could maybe ice the bank too, but ours was just too crumbly!
Now you can erect some wooden poles (chocolate fingers). My kids couldn’t resist putting some lintel stones on the top too. I think sponge fingers would make good stones if you fancy making a stonehenge instead.
Finished! See who gets the piece with the jelly baby (this caused a bit of a fight in our house).
Sorry this is not the healthiest of projects – I’m sure you could also make a good henge with mashed potatoes and sausages too. If all this cake has been too much, keep an eye out for next weeks project – eating like a cave man for the day!