STONEHENGE. The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world.

Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. It is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. ~ HOME

Across the British Isles can be found prehistoric remains which date from the period 3,000 BC to 1,500 BC, and take the form of a number of stones standing in a circle. The reason for their construction, and the role they played in the society of the time are now unknown. The most famous stone circle is Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, but in all there are almost 1,000 other stone circles.

PLANS for the new £27.5million visitor centre and facilities at Stonehenge have been given the go ahead by Wiltshire Council. More.......

The Blue Stones were from the Prescelly Mountains, located roughly 240 miles away, at the southwestern tip of Wales. More......

Many early historians were influenced by supernatural folktales in their explanations. Some legends held that Merlin the wizard had a giant build the structure for him or that he had magically transported it from Mount Killaraus in Ireland, while others held the Devil responsible. Henry of Huntingdon was the first to write of the monument around 1130 soon followed by Geoffrey of Monmouth who was the first to record fanciful associations with King Arthur which led the monument to be incorporated into the wider cycle of European medieval romance.
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Cursus Group
Bronze Age Barrows
North of Stonehenge, Wiltshire  OS Map Ref SU119428
OS Maps - Landranger 184 (Salisbury & The Plain), Explorer 130 (Salisbury & Stonehenge)

The view looking north from Stonehenge.

This is a nice set of six round barrows about 150 metres south of The Cursus and 600 metres north-north west of Stonehenge and is clearly visible from the stones. Aligned roughly east-west this small linear cemetery has survived the ravages of farming and antiquarians reasonably well and being of Bronze Age date they are roughly contemporary with the final Phase III of building at Stonehenge.

The Cursus
Neolithic Processional Track ?
North of Stonehenge, Wiltshire  OS Map Ref SU120430
OS Maps - Landranger 184 (Salisbury & The Plain), Explorer 130 (Salisbury & Stonehenge)

Picture taken from the western terminal of the Cursus looking east. The almost parallel course can be seen as the line of bushes and trees on the left and the line of hedges 100 metres away to the centre-right of the pictur

Like the Stonehenge Avenue this monument was first recorded by the 18th century antiquarian William Stukeley. He fancied teams of Romans or Ancient Britons racing chariots along its length and so gave it the Latin name for 'racecourse' - cursus, a term which is now applied to all monuments of this type. It is now known that it is much older than Stukeley believed and is though to date from the late Neolithic - it may even predate the first phase of construction at Stonehenge which lies about 700 metres to the south.
What can be seen on the ground today is very faint but its course and size can be clearly seen from the air. It consists of a pair of nearly parallel banks and ditches varying between 100 and 150 metres apart and traveling for a distance of around 3 km across the Stonehenge landscape. The eastern end was marked with a long barrow and it could be that the cursus was built as a processional trackway leading to this barrow. What is certain is that the cursus is aligned on the equinoctial sunrise and also Woodhenge.
There was once a second narrower and shorter cursus some way to the west, known as the Lesser Cursus but this has now been completely destroyed by ploughing.

Visit Wiltshire Links

Burial Mounds
The Avenue
Normanton Down  
Avebury Stone Circle
Silbury Hill
Chalk Hill Figures
West Kennet Long Barrow
Crop Circles
Old Sarum Hillfort
Salisbury City and Cathedral

Stonehenge gift shop souvenirs


English Heritage provides Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice and works closely with the many agencies, and people from all sectors of the community, in order to create a peaceful occasion - ensuring an event that can be safely enjoyed by all and protects Stonehenge and its surrounding Monuments. Further details on the entry conditions are available from English Heritage. Each year on the 21 June visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to mark the summer solstice and to see the sunrise above the stones. At dawn the central Altar stone aligns with the Slaughter stone, Heel stone and the rising sun to the northeast. Stonehenge is definitely one of England's greatest icons. Its original purpose is still somewhat unclear, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for worship of ancient earth deities. It has also been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the ancient prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site created by Merlin and King Arthur for the burial of high-ranking citizens from societies of long ago. Falling on June 21st or 22nd, the Summer Solstice is a time of light and of fire. It is a time to reflect upon the growth of the season: the seeds that were planted in the earth and the seeds planted in our souls. It is a time of cleansing and renewal. It is a time of love and growth as well.


Stonehenge. Mystery surrounds this 5,000 year old monument in the centre of the World Heritage Site. Visit this prehistoric South West site and decide for yourself whether Stonehenge was a place of sun worship, a healing sanctuary, a sacred burial site, or something different altogether!