The LAYOUT

  A Map of the Full Stonehenge, as it stands today.

Source: Atkinson, R. J. C. "Stonehenge". London, England: Westerham Press, 1987. page 11.

The “exterior”

The outermost element of the site is the Avenue that runs straight down a gentle slope for 530m. The Avenue consists of twin banks about 12m apart with internal ditches, and it begins at the entrance to the earthwork enclosure. This is where the Heel Stone, a large upright unworked sarsen lies immediately adjacent.

Lying within the entrance is a sarsen stone, known as the Slaughter Stone. Arranged around the inner edge of the earthwork bank were originally four small uprights: the Station Stones, of which two are still visible.

Immediately adjacent to the bank is a ring of 56 pits, known as the Aubrey Holes, marked by circular concrete spots. The area between the inner edge of the bank and the outermost stone settings includes at least two further settings of pits: the Y and Z holes.

The “inner circle”

On the central area of the site there are the stone settings, the sophisticated arrangements that set Stonehenge apart from any other prehistoric monument in Europe. In their construction two types of stone were used: sarsen and bluestone. The sarsens used in the central settings are much large.

In its complete form the outermost stone setting consisted of a circle of 30 upright sarsens, of which 17 still stand, each weighing about 25 tons. The tops of these uprights were linked by a continuous ring of horizontal sarsen lintels. The edges are smoothed into a gentle curve which follows the line of the entire circle. The Sarsen Circle with its lintels is perhaps the most remarkable feature of Stonehenge in terms of design, precision stonework, and engineering.

The bluestone setting, consists originally of about 60 stones, but many have fallen, dissolved or been crushed. They are arranged in a circle within the sarsen cicle.

Part of the outer Sarsen Circle with lintels in place
In front of them are stones of the Bluestone Horseshoe (see below)

The horseshoe within the inner circles

Inside these two circles lies the sarsen horseshoe, consisted originally of five sarsen trilithons (a Greek word that means three stones), each comprising two uprights with a horizontal lintel. Although now fragmentary, the arrangement shows the careful grading of the five trilithons, the tallest of which is 6.7m high above ground level. Enfolded within this massive horseshoe lies a smaller horseshoe arrangement of upright bluestones


    

Source: Newall, R. S. FSA. "Stonehenge". London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, and the Department of the Environment (Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings), 1959. page 6.