Perched on the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain, the megaliths of Stonehenge offer one of the most recognizable outlines of any ancient structure. Its purpose – place of worship, sacrificial arena, giant calendar – is unknown, but its story is one of the most extraordinary of any of the world’s prehistoric monuments. Constructed in several phases over a period of some 1500 years, beginning c.
3000 BC, Stonehenge’s key elements are its ‘bluestones’ , transported from West Wales by unexplained means, and sarsen stones quarried from the nearby Marlborough Downs. Francis Pryor delivers a rigorous account of the nature and history of Stonehenge, but also places the enigmatic stones in a wider cultural context, exploring how antiquarians, scholars, writers, artists, ‘the heritage industry’ – and even neopagans – have interpreted the site over the centuries.