Stonehenge Frequently Asked Questions
Here you’ll find the answers to your questions about the Stonehenge, one of the best known wonders of the ancient world.
Where Stonehenge is located
Stonehenge is located in Salisbury Plain, about eight miles north of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England.
What is Stonehenge nearest town?
Amesbury, two miles east of Stonehenge, is the nearest town to the landmark. The nearest large town is Salisbury to the south, which is the closest rail connection to the site.
When was Stonehenge built and by whom?
Many archaeologists believe that construction began on Stonehenge roughly 5,000 years in 3,000 BC and was gradually added to over the next thousand years. A popular belief is that druids – Celtic high priests – built the site. John Aubrey was the first to make the link between Stonehenge and Paganism.
In which period was Stonehenge built?
The famous stone circle in the centre of the landmark was erected in the late Neolithic period – approximately 2,500 BC.
How Stonehenge was built
Stonehenge was built in several stages. At first, it was a circular earthwork enclosure, which archaeologists believe was dug with simple tools like antlers in 3,000 BC. Chalk was piled up, forming an outer and inner bank. Inside the ditch stood a ring of 56 posts made of timber or stone.
Later, in 2,500 BC, the central stones were constructed from bluestones and sarsen stones, smaller and larger in size respectively. Many archaeologists claim that the stones were brought from Marlborough Downs, some twenty miles away. However, the stones at Stonehenge are hefty – the largest weighing roughly thirty tons – and the method by which they travelled remains unclear. Analysis of recent laser surveys of the stones reveals the stoneworking methods used.
What was Stonehenge used for?
Several theories surround what Stonehenge was used for and why Stonehenge was built. However, many people claim that it was built as a burial site and a monument, where prehistoric people cremated the dead.
Stonehenge - how many stones?
There are ninety-three rocks or lumps of stone currently visible at Stonehenge. This number does not include the buried and missing stones.
Which direction does Stonehenge face?
Studying the passage of time was essential to many ancient cultures, including the creators of Stonehenge. Many believe the yearly cycle inspired Neolithic people to erect the stones of Stonehenge in such a specific way, aligning them to the movements of the sun. Gaps in the stones frame two of the most important events in the solar cycle – the summer and winter solstice.
Stonehenge has an opening in the henge which faces northeast. During the summer solstice, the sun shines into the centre of the monument through this opening. Likewise, in the winter, the sun would also set between the gaps in the stone.
Can you visit Stonehenge?
What are Stonehenge visiting hours?
Stonehenge is open from Monday through Sunday. From January until March, and throughout November and December, the site opens at 9:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM.
During April and May, and throughout September and October, Stonehenge opens from 9:00 AM, closing at 7:00 PM.
In peak season – June and August – the site opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM.
However, these are the standard Stonehenge opening times, so to avoid disappointment, please check opening times before booking any Stonehenge tickets.
How do I get to Stonehenge?
By road, Stonehenge is clearly signposted from the A303. The closest train station is in Salisbury. From there, you can take the Stonehenge Tour Bus, which departs from Salisbury bus and train stations, taking you to the landmark.
Can you get to Stonehenge without a car?
Yes, you can get to Stonehenge by train, bus, bicycle, or by joining a Stonehenge tour.
Where is the Stonehenge car park?
Parking for Stonehenge is available on site. During busy periods, there is a parking charge to visitors who are not National Trust or English Heritage members. The charge also applies to those who have not prebooked tickets. Once parked, a bus frequently travels from the Stonehenge visitor centre. It takes roughly ten minutes to reach the stones.
How many Stonehenge visitors per year?
The landmark draws over one million Stonehenge visitors per year.
Can Stonehenge be seen from the road?
You can see Stonehenge from the A303 coming from Amesbury. However, there is no shoulder on the road where you can pull off. It’s advised to visit the site to get the best views of Stonehenge.
Can you visit Stonehenge for summer solstice?
Yes, the public can visit and take part in the Stonehenge Summer Solstice. Admission is free of charge. This year, the last regular entry to Stonehenge takes place on Thursday 20th of June at 1 PM. The site will close at 3 PM in preparation for the Solstice the following day. It will reopen as usual on the afternoon of the 21st.
Which is older Stonehenge or the pyramids?
The earliest known Egyptian pyramids date back to roughly 2600 BC. However, Stonehenge was under development as early as 3100 BC, making them older.
Will Stonehenge fall?
As is to be expected with such an ancient structure, Stonehenge has been repaired over the years. In 1979, an entire trilithon fell. Later, in 1900, one of the uprights of the outer circle also fell.
Can Stonehenge be seen from space?
Yes, much like Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge can be seen from space. NASA has images of a Stonehenge birds eye view.