This model of what the building was meant to look like, should help find our way around - even though it was probably never finished.
The surveyor, John Wood Senior, famous for having designed the Crescent and Circus in the City of Bath, was the first to make a proper survey of Stonehenge. A CAD version (Computer Aided Design) of John’s survey, after converting his feet and inch measurements into megalithic yards, is shown above. This ground-plan has been criticised for working to six decimal places. However, those figures were produced on a modern calculator, and reducing them down to please the awkward, whilst still maintaining accuracy, would require extra work more trouble than it’s worth.
Who's for some more geometry.. John Wood used Stonehenge to train his apprentice son, John Wood junior, in the art of surveying. Requiring over 800 measurements, the Wood’s 1740 survey has never been bettered. Their survey is especially important for having been produced before Trilithon 4 fell to the ground.
The first step in setting out the ground-plan of Stonehenge was to draw a 36-megalithic-yard-diameter circle (98 feet, 29.88 metres) with a line through the centre at an angle of 50-degrees clockwise from north. This line represents the primary axis. Also, this line very nearly points to the northernmost rising of the sun, known as the summer solstice, and is where revellers stand every June 21st. The summer solstice occurs every year around this time and it’s a kind of terminus where the sun rests a while before making its weary way back to its southern terminus, known as the winter solstice.
We should explain that the stones were numbered by the Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie, in 1880, and his numbering system is what we use today. Also, we have Anthony Johnson to thank for coming up with the basic geometry on which the trilithon's are based. “Solving Stonehenge: The New Key To An Ancient Enigma.” Johnson A. Thames and Hudson, London, 2008.
Johnson's method of determining the position of Trilithon 1 is shown above.
However, whilst Johnson, in his book, bases the trilithons around the axis of the sarsen circle as is seen above, we now know that trilithon's 3, 4 and 5 are based on a totally separate axis.
To be found in "Chalkland, an archaeology of Stonehenge and its region" by Andrew Lawson 2007" Stonehenge was constructed symmetrically around a principle axial line which passed through the tallest trilithon, the bluestone settings and the outer sarsen circle. Sorry Andrew but the primary axis does not pass through the great trilithon, or the bluestone oval, but is blocked by both of them.
This is how Johnson determined the position of the inner faces of stones 53 and 54 of Trilithon 2.
With the positions of trilithon's 1 and 2 known, we now have to fix the positions of 3, 4 and 5. As already pointed out, these three trilithon’s are set on a separate axis, so we first need to determine the distance between the two axes by making folded tracings of Stonehenge's ground plan.
Starting by proving Stonehenge’s primary axis, we superimpose one of its many ground-plans on top of a CAD version of where the 30 stone pillars of the outer circle ought to be.
Any one of several ground-plans will do - that made in 1989 by I forget who, Wood’s 1740, or the modern digital. I've chosen Petrie's 1880 version for this task, when we can see straight off that Stone 1 is misplaced - no doubt to capture as much incoming sunlight as possible.
To prove that Stonehenge has two axes, we make a tracing of the above ground-plan-view and fold it double about our new-found primary axis.
Before folding, and to make things clearer, we colour Petrie's stones to the northwest of the primary axis red, and those to the southeast, yellow. The next diagram shows the result.
1. This folding shows the Great trilithon to be offset from the Primary axis by about 0.6 Megalithic Yards.
2. Pillar 57 of Trilithon 4 is offset by 0.9 MY
3. Pillar 58 is offset 0.6 MY,
4. Pillar 60 of Trilithon 5 is not offset here, but a folding of Wood’s ground-plan shows an offset of 0.3MY.
5. Bluestone Oval southwest, (previously known as the 'Horseshoe') is offset by 0.45 MY, (0.9 MY halved)
6. Altar Stone offset is 0.5 MY (1.0 MY halved)
Stonehenge 2,500 BC and a change of heart. The sarsen-stone circle erected in the middle of the earthen bank and ditch.
It's convenient at this point to image the outer circle as if it stood alone, to demonstrate that solstice sunlight could pass right through and out the back. This problem was addressed by the separate axis which caused Stone 55 and bluestone 67 to be offset and to block it.
We are now able to draw the secondary axis on which trilithon’s 3, 4 and 5 stand. And, because the geometry of the bluestone oval is also cast from this secondary axis, we add this too.
Now notice a likely 30 megalithic-inch difference between the centre of the outer circle and the centre of the horseshoe of 19 bluestones.
If we assume this 30 MI centre-distance to be correct, and it very likely is, we can say that the two axes are 18 megalithic inches apart; and that Stonehenge was based on a tiny 18:24:30, six-times-size 3:4:5, Pythagorean triangle. Remember Avebury and its Sanctuary?
It’s also interesting to note that 18 is Stonehenge’s internal radius, 30 the number of stones of the outer circle, and 24 the number of bluestones that once formed the Oval.
Note also how stones 55 and 56 of the Great Trilithon are spaced three megalithic yards apart, 1.5MY either side of the secondary axis.
Again, using Johnson’s method but working to the secondary axis, we mark out the position of the inner faces of stones 57 and 58 of Trilithon 4.
Once again, using Johnson’s method but working to the secondary axis, we mark out the position of the inner faces of stones 59 and 60 of Trilithon 5.
Putting it all together:
The result of all this work proves several things. Stone 56 of the Great trilithon, which was returned to the vertical and securely set in concrete by Col Gowland in 1901, is now about six imperial inches forward of its true position.
Stone 16 is placed too close to what would become its neighbour 17, and is on the wrong axis, anyway. However, this could be the builders way of allowing winter solstice sunlight to fall on the flattened rear of the Great trilithon. But 16 still upsets the geometry!
The folding proves Stone 10 of the outer circle to be set too far in. This stone caused Petrie to measure Stonehenge's founding circle at 35.75 MY instead of the correct 36.
Whilst in the right place, undersized Stone 11 must be some kind of joke.
I have come to believe that Stonehenge’s geometry was far too complicated for those who were charged to build it. And with so many mistakes, the likelihood is that Stonehenge was abandoned unfinished.
The hypothesis of Stonehenge, which I have already proved on a separate website to this, required it to be built alongside the river Avon. And it was. Archaeologists found the MK1 version in 2008/9 as a circle of bluestones at the start of - some incorrectly say the end - of the Stonehenge Avenue.
The problem with the so-called bluestonehenge, bluehenge or West Amesbury henge, was its lack of astronomical alignments. So its stones were plucked out of the ground to become part of Stonehenge MK2 on top of a hill. A connection to the river was still required to satisfy the hypothesis, thus the need for the Stonehenge Avenue. Please press the button marked 'Woodhenge,' to continue.