Research paper for ARC 1701 History of Architecture I

Valencia Community College summer semester, 2010


Stonehenge catches my attention because of the mystery that it has to it. All the theories about how it was built, why it was built, and for who it was built have not been proven to this day. And that’s what catches my attention the most, the mystery of how this primitive people were able to move this big stones from such far distance, and how they were able to aligned them almost perfectly for an unknown purpose.

Stonehenge, called the most photographed site in the world, draws nearly a million visitors a year, almost half of them from the united states (Wendy Mass 9) After Stonehenge has mystified an impressed generation of visitors and scholars who traveled to Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England, 80 miles west of London, to marvel at the wonder of this ruin (Wendy Mass 8) but why is this ruin so magnificent? What draws so many people to it? Is it because the question of who built it and how it was built still lingers in the minds of many today. These questions have kept the mystery of Stonehenge alive for thousands of years, and the combined investigative efforts of historians, geologists, engineers, archaeologists, astronomers, chemists, and philosophers have continued to uncover more questions than answers (Wendy Mass 8)

The name Stonehenge is believed to have been derived from words that mean either “circle of stones,” “hanging stones,” or “stone hinges.” (Wendy Mass 8) it was originally called stanhenge; stan, which means stone in OLD English, and henge, which means “to hang.” There are several theories as to t...

... middle of paper ... considered pagan and not Christian. In medieval times the stones were stolen by stonemasons and peasants to make bridges and houses. In the early 14th century the stones were pulled down because at that time the stone circles were associated with witches. Until recently people were allowed to touch the stones and even climb on them, the public order act of 1986 passed a new trespassing ban limiting the number of people who could legally walk in a procession, ensuring that the guards make sure the stones are not been maltreated.


Mass, Wendy. 1998. Lucent Books, Inc., San Diego, California

More about Stonehenge

Get Access