-3100 – Stonehenge started



A circular arrangement of large stones on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire county, England, Stonehenge was probably set up as a burial site and point for rituals of healing and worship. It was erected in stages over a period of at least one thousand years.

Stonehenge, England

Laugh not so lightly, King, for not lightly are these words spoken. For in these stones is a mystery, and a healing virtue against many ailments. Giants of old did carry them from the furthest ends of Africa and did set them up in Ireland what time they did inhabit therein. And unto this end they did it, that they might make them baths therein whensoever they ailed of any malady, for they did wash the stones and pour forth the water into the baths, whereby they that were sick were made whole. Moreover they did mix confections of herbs with the water, whereby they that were wounded had healing, for not a stone is there that lacketh in virtue of leechcraft.


The megalithic ruin known as Stonehenge stands on the open downland of Salisbury Plain two miles (three kilometres) west of the town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, in Southern England. It is not a single structure but consists of a series of earth, timber, and stone structures that were revised and re-modelled over a period of more than 1400 years.

Stonehenge and the Druids

After centuries of neglect in the wake of first Roman and then Christian suppression, the Druids were rediscovered during the Renaissance when the revival of interest in ancient Greek and Latin writers brought attention to the works of Pliny, Tacitus, and Julius Caesar and their descriptions of the Celtic world. First in France in the sixteenth century, and then in England, the ancient Celts (or Gauls as they were known in France) and Druids were claimed as historical ancestors. By the seventeenth century, a new romantic image of Druids began to emerge in French and English literature.

In England as early as 1624 the Celtic warrior queen Boudicca is credited by Edmond Bolton with building Stonehenge as her monument. Although other English writers at this time refused to acknowledge anything worthwhile in Celtic culture, and the architect Inigo Jones (1573-1652), in his The Most Remarkable Antiquity of Great Britain, vulgarly called Stone-Henge, Restored, compiled from his notes by his son-in-law John Webb and published in 1655, would conclude that “Stonehenge was no work of the Druids” (he claimed instead that it had been built by the Romans, see “Stonehenge Restorations”), the link between the Druids and Stonehenge had nonetheless been forged in the popular imagination.

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