Stonehenge can be referred to as a monument of the prehistoric times located in Wiltshire (an English country) at around 3.2 kilometers to the west of ‘Amesbury’ and thirteen kilometers to the north of ‘Salisbury’. It is considered to be amongst the most amazing prehistoric sites of the world. A round setting of huge standing stones with earthworks in the centre- comprises the Stonehenge. As per the archaeological survey, the erection of standing stones can be traced back to 2200 BC. The survey also states that the ditch and round earth bank surrounding the monument trace back to 3100 BC. This site, along with the surroundings, was added to list of ‘World Heritage Sites’ of UNESCO in 1986.


‘Stonehenge Complete’ by Christopher Chippindale states that the name ‘Stonehenge’ has been derived from words ‘stan’ (meaning stone) ‘hencg’ (meaning hinge, i.e. ‘instrument of torture’) of old English. Medieval gallows comprised of a lintel joining 2 uprights, having a close resemblance with Stonehenge’s trilithons.

As per archaeologists, henges can be defined as earthworks comprising of a round banked enclosure having a ditch inside. The presence of trilithons gives it a unique feature. Stonehenge can be distantly correlated to other circles in British Isles. Like ‘Ring of Broadgar’.


The ‘Stonehenge Complex’ was not built in one go. It had gone through numerous construction phases. The time span of these phases can be stated to be around 3000 years. If the activities after and before the construction are considered, the time frame would go up to 6500 years. The excavation records of Stonehenge are very poor. So, accurate dates cannot be found. The present scenario is such that trilithon lintels are omitted for clarity.

Before the construction

Four huge Mesolithic postholes have been found by certain archaeologists. They trace back to 8000 BC. They are said to lie underneath the modern tourist car park. Neolithic sites such as tombs having long barrows and causewayed enclosure were constructed in the landscape.

Stonehenge I (3100 BC)

The 1st monument comprised of a round bank and enclosure of ditch made up of Seaford chalk belonging to Santonian Age. It had a diameter of approximately 110 metres. Bones of oxen and deer were placed at the ditch’s bottom.

Stonehenge II (3000 BC)

The second phase has not left much evidence. From the appearance of some of the postholes, one can have a guess that timber structure had been built after the first phase. ‘Grooved ware’ pottery was the specialty of this phase.

Stonehenge III 1(2600 BC)

This phase suggests that timber was replaced by stone. The site’s center had two concentric holes (R and Q holes) dug. Widening of northeastern entrance had taken place.

Stonehenge III 2 (2450 BC-2100 BC)

This phase marked the buying of thirty ‘Oligocene-Miocene’ sarsen stones from quarry on Malborough Downs.

Stonehenge III 3

By this time, bronze era had already dawned. Bluestones had been re-erected. This was the first ever event of that time.

Stonehenge III 4 and III 5 (2280 BC-1930 BC)

The bluestones were further rearranged by placing them in circle. Altar stone was made to stand vertically. A horseshoe-shaped setting was created thereafter.

After the Construction (1600 BC)

During this Iron Age, Vespasian’s Camp, a hill fort was built near Avon.