Located in the English county of Wiltshire, Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric and mysterious monuments on Earth. This ancient monument is surrounded by several hundred burial mounds and located far from the source of its megalithic stones. It was built in several stages. It is said that, the first monument was an early Henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected about 2500 BC, in the late Neolithic period. Finally, many burial mounds were built nearby during the early Bronze Age. Archaeologists estimate that the ancient people quarried and arranged the stones sometime between 3400 BC and 3200 BC, while the monuments were probably constructed around 2900 BC.
It is possible that the features like the Heel Stone and the low mound known as the North Barrow, are the early components of Stonehenge. However, the earliest known major event was the construction of a circular ditch with an inner and an outer bank, built about 3000 BC. This circular ditch enclosed an area of about 100 metres in diameter, and had two entrances. It was an early form of Henge monument. In about 2500 BC the stones were set up in the centre of the monument.
The Stonehenge was built with two types of stones – the larger Sarsens and the smaller Bluestones. The Sarsens, in two concentric arrangements, erected an inner horseshoe and an outer circle, while the Bluestones were set up between them in a double arc. The Sarsens are about thirty feet tall and weigh 25 tons on an average. How these huge stones were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the north, is an enigma still today.
The monument remained in private ownership until 1918, when a local man, Cecil Chubb, purchased Stonehenge from the Atrobus family at an auction three years earlier, and gifted it to the nation.