I’m lucky: the real Stonehenge is only about 40 minutes’ drive from my front door, so I can go and visit whenever I like. For students of prehistoric monuments who live further afield, the Stonehenge Experience app for iPad offers a tiny glimpse of what this ancient English stone circle is all about.
It’s not an “official” Stonehenge app, in the sense that it’s not produced by English Heritage, the body that looks after Stonehenge. But it has been put together with proper care, and gives you a decent overview of the history of the site.
Most of this is done with computer generated 3D scenes, which you can manipulate to a certain extent. These let you zoom in and out of Stonehenge-as-was, and view it from any angle. Short voice commentaries provide some historical context.
Stonehenge is just one monument at the centre of a much larger network of sites spread over many miles, and it was good to see that this app doesn’t ignore them. It includes information about Durrington Walls, Woodhenge and the Amesbury Archer, among others.
There isn’t a huge amount of detail, and you can get through all the content here pretty quickly. There are some small errors that are a bit jarring (just mis-spellings, mostly), and some of the animation is a bit juddery, but other than that there’s little to find fault with.
Whether you’re a keen student of ancient history, or just planning to visit Stonehenge next time you’re in the UK, this three-dollar app is a good introduction to the basics, and might provide you with some useful starting points for further reading.