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Building of Stonehenge voted event Brits would most like to witness

The building of Stonehenge by our prehistoric ancestors, the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the Romans' defending of Hadrian's Wall are the top three moments in England's history that people would like to travel back in time and witness, according to a new English Heritage poll. 

Ahead of launching its biggest ever summer of live events, English Heritage asked more than 2,000 adults to choose from a selection of moments from England's history they would most like to experience first-hand.

The lifting into place of the enormous stones at Stonehenge around 5,000 years ago topped the poll with almost half of those surveyed (47%) wishing they'd been there to see it.

The masterminding of the evacuation of British soldiers from the Dunkirk beaches during the Second World War (34%) was the next choice, and seeing Roman soldiers patrolling Hadrian's Wall (26%) was in third place.

Watching Victorian scientist Charles Darwin conduct his revolutionary experiments from his home in Kent and the first Viking raid at Lindisfarne Priory were also popular choices.

Over two thirds (68%) of respondents said they wished they knew more about history and nearly half (47%) of people planned to visit a historic place this summer.

This week English Heritage launches six weeks of living history events across the country, including medieval jousts, knights and princess training academies for kids and the chance to meet characters from the past, including some of England's most famous kings and queens.

Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator at English Heritage, said; "There are so many things we don't know about Stonehenge and perhaps that's why it topped our poll, with people wanting to discover more about who built the stone circle, and why.

"It is great that there is such an appetite for history. While English Heritage can't literally take people back in time, we can offer the next best thing - the chance to experience those places where history was made.

"Over the six week summer holiday English Heritage will host its biggest ever summer of historical events providing fun, entertaining and inspiring days out for families, culture fans and those keen to find out more about England's stories."

English Heritage is encouraging visitors to re-enact history for themselves this summer - sharing their experiences through social media. Visitors can submit photos of themselves through Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #makinghistory

This summer English Heritage will stage over 150 events at iconic historical properties spanning the length and breadth of the country. Family friendly days out taking place across England include 'Awesome Archaeology' activities, Knights and Princesses Academies, plus a series of outdoor theatre performances.

Families looking for affordable days out can benefit from an English Heritage membership. From £39 per adult this provides unlimited access to over 400 historical properties and gardens for 12 months - with up to six accompanying children visiting for free.

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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