Stonehenge Facts

History In Numbers

Stonehenge trilithon


The wider area within which Stonehenge sits features an unusually large number of earthworks, long barrows and other monuments, dating back as far as 8500 BC. Stonehenge was initially a simpler monument built around 3000 BC which comprised of a circular ditch dug into the earth, with an inner and outer bank. Inside the inner bank were 56 chalk pits.

Around 2,500 BC, the stones arrived. These were set up as a horseshoe of large sarsen trilithons contained within a circle of sarsen stones. Also inside that stone circle were placed a number of smaller bluestones, arranged in a double arc shape. An altar stone was placed inside the horseshoe. A single heel stone was also placed outside the main entrance to the outer ditch.

Then, sometime around 2,200 BC, the bluestones were repositioned to form a complete circle around the horseshoe, so the sarsen horseshoe was now inside an inner bluestone circle and an outer sarsen stone circle. Additionally, some of the bluestones were laid out in an oval within the horseshoe. Still later (date unknown), this oval was reformed into a horseshoe shape as well.

Read the History of Stonehenge in numbers.

10 Stonehenge Facts

20,000 tons - the estimated amount of chalk dug out to create the Greater Cursus, a causeway enclosure created as much as 500 years before the first Stonehenge monument.

More facts from before Stonehenge

64 - the approximate number of human cremations that have been found at Stonehenge.

More facts about Stonehenge history

31 December 1900 - the date on which one of the uprights of the sarsen stone circle fell over, leading to public pressure to start a major restoration project.

More facts from after Stonehenge

1,000,000+ - the number of visitors the Stonehenge monument receives each year.

More facts about Stonehenge today

c 2500 BC - approximate point that both the stone monument at Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid in Egypt appeared.

See the Stonehenge timeline

10 years - the estimated time it would have taken to drag all of the sarsen stones to the monument site.

More facts about how Stonehenge was built

4,000 - the approximate number of people who lived at the Durrington Walls encampment, believed to be the people who built the stone monument.

More facts about who built Stonehenge

9 m - the approximate length of the tallest stone still standing.

More facts about the size of the stones

160 - the approximate number of stones required to build Stonehenge.

More facts about the number of stones

56 - the number of chalk pits (the Aubrey Holes) discovered inside the earth bank of Stonehenge.

More facts about the Aubrey Holes

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Phases of Stonehenge

3000-2920 BC - Stage 1: the earth bank and ditch are built, and the 56 'Aubrey Holes' dug.

2620-2480 BC - Stage 2: the stones arrive - the sarsen stone circle, bluestone circle, and the 5 trilithons.

2480-2280 BC - Stage 3: the Q and R holes appear, the Avenue is built, and the bluestones are rearranged.

2280-2020 BC - Stage 4: the bluestones are rearranged into an oval shape, and then still later into a circle.

1680-1520 BC - Stage 5: the Y and Z holes appear.

Some Useful Definitions

Neolithic - meaning New Stone Age, a period that followed on from the Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) and the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age). The people of the Neolithic era used stone tools, made pottery, grew crops and kept domestic animals.

Henge - an enclosure, commonly circular in shape, which has an outer bank and an inner ditch.

Sarsen - derived from "Saracen stone", Saracen being a name from the Wiltshire dialect which referred to anything considered to be non-Christian (Pagan, Celtic or Muslim).

Bluestone - in general use 'bluestone' is the common name for one type of rock, spotted dolerite. However, in the context of Stonehenge, 'bluestone' is an informal name used to group all of the smaller stones that are foreign to the area (including spotted dolerites, dolerites, volcanic tuffs, and rhyolites).

Solstice - the longest and shortest days of the year, occurring at midsummer and midwinter.

Equinox - the days of the year on which day and night are exactly the same length, occurring in spring and autumn.

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About The Site

There is much written about Stonehenge on the web, much of it excellent, some of it fanciful. is designed to provide a quick and simple reference to some of the more significant and interesting Stonehenge facts and figures; we hope you find something of value here.

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Important Note

All of the facts and figures displayed on are correct to the best of our knowledge. However, there are disagreements and different interpretations on the history of Stonehenge and so the accuracy of the information presented cannot be guaranteed; in using any of the facts or images from this website you do so entirely at your own discretion.

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