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31 30 here comeS the Sun the famous midsummer alignment At the latitude of Stonehenge, the annual range of sunrises and sunsets each sweep angles of forty degrees either side of an east west line. The Bush Barrow lozenge see page 13 displays these same angles. The midsummer sunrise, shown opposite viewed from outside the sarsen circle through the towering giant trilithon, appears from a point on the horizon along the avenue. The commonly held belief that the sun rises over the Heel Stone at midsummer is actually incorrect. All those beautiful images are a trick or fabrication, taken off axis see opposite top yet the Sun did actually rise from the axis of the avenue in neolithic times, since when the earths angle of tilt has reduced by half a degree. Stonehenge was indeed a temple aligned to the midsummer sunrise, and thereby to the seasonal year of 365.242 days, but the Heel Stone is placed to the right of the axis of the monument. The Heel Stone rising is therefore more convincing now than it would have been in 2500 BC. In addition, the midwinter sunset lies almost exactly opposite the midsummer sunrise and, viewed from the avenue, shines into Stonehenge from the southwest see too pages 41 and 43. As a processional walkway the Stonehenge avenue see page 55 is far more appropriate to midwinter rather than midsummer rituals. Anthropologist Dr Lionel Sims has recently noted that the avenue is not level and that a walk along the avenue at the midwinter solstice sunset would enable the celebrants to observe two sunsets.
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