Topics: Stonehenge Facts
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.