Bruce Bedlam believes he has solved the age-old conundrum of how such enormous monoliths could have been moved over these great distances by a supposedly primitive people. And if their technical and logistical skills were capable of such a feat, he believes it would be no great imaginative leap to suppose that they would have been able to design and build the wooden structure illustrated here.
Stonehenge (c. 3,000-1,600 BC)
1st phase – earth monument - circular bank and ditch (c. 3,000 BC)
2nd phase – timber monument (c. 2,900 to 2,600 BC)
3rd phase – stone monuments (c. 2,500 to 2,000 BC) – bluestones and larger sarsens re-arranged in several phases. Abandoned after 1,600 BC.
The tallest stone is 7.3m high and weighs over 45 tonnes. It is one of the 5 sarsen Trilithons. The sarsen circle was originally composed of 30 uprights (each weighing about 25 tonnes) capped by horizontal lintels (about 7 tonnes). The bluestones, weighing up to 4 tonnes each, came from the Preseli Hills in Wales, some 240km away.
Neolithic and Bronze Age Monuments
Other key monuments include the Stonehenge Avenue (c. 2,500-1,700 BC and 2.5km long), the Cursus (c. 3,600-3,400 BC and 2.7km long), Woodhenge (c. 2,300 BC), and Durrington Walls (c. 2,500 BC).
The Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) contains more than 350 prehistoric burial mounds. These include 10 Neolithic long barrows, the rest are Bronze Age round barrows. The key barrow cemeteries are Normanton Down, King Barrows, Cursus Barrows, Winterbourne Stoke, Wilsford and Lake Barrows.
Altogether, the WHS includes more than 700 known archaeological features (including find spots), of which 415 are protected by scheduling within 180 scheduled areas.
Size and Ownership
The Stonehenge WHS covers 2,665 hectares (26.6 square km - 6,500 acres). Ownership and management of the WHS is shared between English Heritage, the National Trust, the Ministry of Defence, the RSPB, farmers and householders in Amesbury, Larkhill and the Woodford Valley.
Stonehenge, Woodhenge and parts of Durrington Walls are owned by the state and managed by English Heritage.
A large part of the landscape surrounding Stonehenge is owned by the National Trust (827 ha, 31% of the WHS)
In the Stonehenge part of the WHS, 520 hectares of arable land (20% of the WHS) have been signed up for grass restoration between 2000 and 2008, protecting and enhancing the setting of 105 prehistoric monuments.
This represents a financial commitment from Defra of £2,256,000 over the lifetime of the stewardship agreements (10 years).
Stonehenge Visitors and Facilities
887,000 visitors to Stonehenge in 2000/10 (excluding the Solstice and including free education visits and stone circle access)
About 50% are from overseas, 30% are part of a group and 5% are education visitors. More than 70% of the education visitors are from overseas.
Summer Solstice: 40,000 people in June 2009. After years of problems, Stonehenge reopened in 2000 for the Summer Solstice under strict conditions.
Existing visitor facilities built in 1968 (extended car park, new café, shop and underpass)
Access inside the stone circle was stopped in 1978 because of vandalism and erosion due to increasing visitor numbers
Click here for the latest 'Stonehenge Visitor Centre' news
For the latest Stonehenge News visit: