Stonehenge2007 07 30.jpg
Stonehenge in July 2007
Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire
Map of Wiltshire showing the location of Stonehenge
LocationWiltshire, England
Coordinates51°10′44″N 1°49′34″W / 51°10′44″N 1°49′34″W / 51.17889; -1.82611
Official nameStonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Criteriai, ii, iii
Designated1986 (10th 373
RegionEurope and North America

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.[1]

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC,[2] although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.[3][4][5]

One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon.[6] It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.[7][8]

Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.[9] Deposits containing human bone date from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug, and continued for at least another five hundred years.[10]


The Oxford English Dictionary cites Ælfric's tenth-century glossary, in which henge-cliff is given the meaning "precipice", or stone, thus the stanenges or Stanheng "not far from Salisbury" recorded by eleventh-century writers are "supported stones". William Stukeley in 1740 notes, "Pendulous rocks are now called henges in Yorkshire...I doubt not, Stonehenge in Saxon signifies the hanging stones."[11] Christopher Chippindale's Stonehenge Complete gives the derivation of the name Stonehenge as coming from the Old English words stān meaning "stone", and either hencg meaning "hinge" (because the stone lintels hinge on the upright stones) or hen(c)en meaning "hang" or "gallows" or "instrument of torture" (though elsewhere in his book, Chippindale cites the "suspended stones" etymology). Like Stonehenge's trilithons, medieval gallows consisted of two uprights with a lintel joining them, rather than the inverted L-shape more familiar today.

The "henge" portion has given its name to a class of monuments known as henges.[11] Archaeologists define henges as earthworks consisting of a circular banked enclosure with an internal ditch.[12] As often happens in archaeological terminology, this is a holdover from antiquarian use. Because its bank is inside its ditch, Stonehenge is not truly a henge site.

Despite being contemporary with true Neolithic henges and stone circles, Stonehenge is in many ways atypical—for example, at more than 24 feet (7.3 m) tall, its extant trilithons' lintels, held in place with mortise and tenon joints, make it unique.[13][14]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Stonehenge
Ænglisc: Stānhencg
العربية: ستونهنج
অসমীয়া: ষ্ট'নহেঞ্জ
asturianu: Stonehenge
azərbaycanca: Stounhenc
Bân-lâm-gú: Stonehenge
башҡортса: Стоунһендж
беларуская: Стоўнхендж
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Стоўнгэндж
भोजपुरी: स्टोनहेंज
Bikol Central: Stonehenge
български: Стоунхендж
Boarisch: Stonehenge
bosanski: Stonehenge
brezhoneg: Stonehenge
català: Stonehenge
čeština: Stonehenge
Cymraeg: Côr y Cewri
dansk: Stonehenge
Deutsch: Stonehenge
ދިވެހިބަސް: ސްޓޯންހެންޖް
eesti: Stonehenge
Ελληνικά: Στόουνχεντζ
español: Stonehenge
Esperanto: Stonehenge
euskara: Stonehenge
føroyskt: Stonehenge
français: Stonehenge
Frysk: Stonehenge
Gaeilge: Stonehenge
galego: Stonehenge
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Ki-sa̍k-chhṳn
한국어: 스톤헨지
հայերեն: Սթոունհենջ
हिन्दी: स्टोनहॅन्ज
hrvatski: Stonehenge
Bahasa Indonesia: Stonehenge
íslenska: Stonehenge
italiano: Stonehenge
עברית: סטונהנג'
Kabɩyɛ: Stonehenge
ქართული: სტოუნჰენჯი
қазақша: Стоунхендж
latviešu: Stonhendža
lietuvių: Stounhendžas
magyar: Stonehenge
македонски: Стоунхенџ
Bahasa Melayu: Stonehenge
монгол: Стоунхенж
မြန်မာဘာသာ: စတုန်းဟင်းချ်
Nederlands: Stonehenge
नेपाली: स्टोनहेज
norsk: Stonehenge
norsk nynorsk: Stonehenge
Nouormand: Stonehenge
occitan: Stonehenge
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Stonehenge
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸਟੋਨਹੈਂਜ
پنجابی: سٹونہنج
polski: Stonehenge
português: Stonehenge
română: Stonehenge
русский: Стоунхендж
Scots: Stonehenge
shqip: Stonehenge
sicilianu: Stonehenge
Simple English: Stonehenge
slovenčina: Stonehenge
slovenščina: Stonehenge
کوردی: ستۆنھێنج
српски / srpski: Стоунхенџ
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Stonehenge
suomi: Stonehenge
svenska: Stonehenge
Türkçe: Stonehenge
українська: Стоунхендж
vepsän kel’: Stounhendž
Tiếng Việt: Stonehenge
Winaray: Stonehenge
吴语: 巨石阵
粵語: 巨石陣
中文: 巨石阵