History and Stories: Stonehenge
A World Heritage Site, Stonehenge and its surrounding prehistoric monuments remain powerful witnesses to the people of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages who created them.
Stonehenge has inspired people to study and interpret it for centuries, yet many questions remain to be answered – about who built it, when, and why. Find out about its archaeology and history here.
History of Stonehenge
History of Stonehenge
Read a full history of one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, from its origins about 5,000 years ago to the 21st century.
Stonehenge is a masterpiece of engineering. How did Neolithic people build it using only the simple tools and technologies available to them?
Explore detailed reconstruction images depicting Stonehenge and nearby monuments from the early Neolithic period to the Bronze Age.
100 years of care
In 1918, Cecil and Mary Chubb gifted Stonehenge to the nation. Our series of blog posts traces the conservation and care of Stonehenge over 100 years.
Explore the monument
Virtual Tour of Stonehenge
Take an interactive tour of Stonehenge with this 360 degree view from inside the stones, which explores the monument’s key features.
Description of Stonehenge
In the Stonehenge we see today various stones are fallen or missing, making the original plan difficult to understand. This page explains the different elements of the monument.
Plan of Stonehenge
Download this PDF plan of Stonehenge to explore the monument and see how it has developed over time.
Explore the landscape
Explore the Stonehenge Landscape
Use these interactive images to discover what the landscape around Stonehenge has looked like from before the monument was built to the present day.
The Stonehenge World Heritage Site Landscape
Explore this interactive map created by Historic England to find out about the latest in-depth research into the Stonehenge World Heritage Site landscape.
The First World War Stonehenge aerodrome
As they travel from the visitor centre to the stones, few of today’s visitors to Stonehenge realise they are crossing the site of a First World War airfield. Find out more.
Stonehenge Collection Highlights
Hundreds of prehistoric objects from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site are on display at the visitor centre. You can explore ten of them here in detail.
Image Gallery: Set in Stone?
How did our ancestors see Stonehenge? These objects tell the story of our changing understanding of the monument, from medieval myths and antiquarian theories to modern archaeology.
Image Gallery: Soldiers at Stonehenge
This image gallery explores the story of how the landscape around Stonehenge and its communities were changed by the First World War.
Image gallery: visitors to Stonehenge
Explore the changing ways in which Stonehenge has been experienced by its many visitors, and its status as a worldwide icon, through historical souvenirs, guidebooks, postcards and photographs.
Why Does Stonehenge Matter?
Stonehenge is a unique prehistoric monument, lying at the centre of an outstandingly rich archaeological landscape. It is an extraordinary source for the study of prehistory.
Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World
At the time of Stonehenge, people connected with others and with the world around them by making and sharing objects. Explore the story of these connections.
Food and Feasting at Stonehenge
Find out what the people who built and used Stonehenge ate, how they cooked and served their food, and the cutting-edge science behind these discoveries.
Ferguson’s Gang and Stonehenge
How the drive to save the Stonehenge landscape in the 1920s inspired five young women to form a mysterious band who battled to save England’s threatened buildings and landscapes.
Research on Stonehenge
Our understanding of Stonehenge is still changing as excavations and modern scientific techniques yield more information. Yet there are many questions about the monument that we have still to answer.
Sources for Stonehenge
There is a vast amount of archaeological information about Stonehenge from the many investigations there, and numerous early sources, as well as a wealth of published and unpublished resources.
The names used to describe different parts of Stonehenge and its landscape can be confusing. Here you can find explanations for the words used, as well as descriptions of prehistoric periods.
Buy the guidebook
The guidebook includes a tour and history of the site and its remarkable landscape, with many reconstruction drawings, historic images, maps and plans.
England’s prehistoric monuments
England’s prehistoric monuments span almost four millennia. Discover what they were used for, how and when they were built, and where to find them.
Delve into our history pages to discover more about our sites, how they have changed over time, and who made them what they are today.
8500-7000 BCEarly Postholes
Mesolithic posts are raised to the north-west of the Stonehenge site.
Find out more about the history of Stonehenge
3500 BCFirst Monuments
Early farmers build the causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood's Ball, two cursus monuments (rectangular earthworks) and several long barrows in the landscape north of Stonehenge.
3000 BCEarly Henge
The first Stonehenge is built, an earthwork enclosure about 100 metres across enclosed by a circular ditch and two banks.
2500 BCFirst Raised Stones
Stones are raised in the centre of the enclosure using larger sarsens in two concentric arrangements, and smaller 'bluestones' in a double arc between them.
Find out more about how Stonehenge was built
2300 BCIndividual Graves
Well-furnished individual Beaker graves are dug near the Stonehenge site, including that of the Amesbury Archer.
2300-2200 BCAltered Stones
The central bluestones are rearranged to form a circle and inner oval. The earthwork Avenue connects Stonehenge with the river Avon.
1800-1600 BCPlans to Rearrange
Two rings of pits are dug around the stone settings, perhaps for a rearrangement of the stones that was never completed.
1750-1500 BCBronze Age Carvings
Four of the sarsens are adorned with over 100 carvings of axeheads and a few daggers, perhaps symbols of power or status.
700 BCIron Age Hillfort
A major hillfort, Vespasian's Camp, is built about one mile east of Stonehenge, near the river Avon.
AD 43-early 5th CenturyRoman Activity
Many Roman objects are left at Stonehenge, suggesting the site may be a place of ritual importance to Romano-British people.
14th-19th CenturiesNational Interest
Writers, artists and antiquarians take more and more interest in Stonehenge.
The Ministry of Defence buys a vast area of Salisbury Plain for army training exercises.
Landowner Sir Edmund Antrobus organises the re-erection of the leaning tallest trilithon.
1915-1918Given to the Nation
Local landowner Cecil Chubb buys Stonehenge from the Antrobus family and gives it to the nation.
The last stones are consolidated.
The road which ran right past the stones is closed. A new visitor centre and exhibition centre is built 2 kilometres away from the monument. The stone circle is reunited with its sacred landscape.
Learn more about Stonehenge