While we can’t say for sure what it was for, we can say that it wasn’t constructed for any casual purpose. Only something very important to ancient people would be worth the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge.
The stones we see today represent Stonehenge in ruin. Many of the original stones have been destroyed or removed by previous generations for home construction or road repair.
In its day, the construction of Stonehenge was an impressive engineering achievement, requiring a lot of time and plenty of manual labor. In its first phase, Stonehenge was a large earthwork done approximately 5,000 years ago.
About 2,000 BC, the first stone circle (which is the inner circle now), made of small bluestones, was set up, but abandoned before completion. The stones used in that first circle must be from the Prescelly Mountains, located 240 miles away. The bluestones weigh up to 4 tons each and about 80 stones were used, in all.
The giant stones which form the outer circle weigh 50 tons each. To transport them from the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles to the north, is a greater problem than moving the bluestones. Most of the way, the transportation is quite easy, but at the steepest part of the route, at Redhorn Hill, as modern scientists estimate, at least 600 men were needed just to get each stone past this obstacle.
The question who built Stonehenge is not answered, even today. The monument’s construction has been associated with many ancient peoples throughout the years, for example with the Druids. This connection was first made around 3 centuries ago by John Aubrey. Julius Caesar and other Roman writers told of Celtic priests during the first conquest (55 BC). By this time, though, the stones had been there for 2,000 years, and were, perhaps, already in a ruined condition. Besides, the Druids worshipped in forest temples and did not need any stone structures. The best guess seems to be that the Stonehenge site was begun by the people of the late Neolithic period (around 3000 BC) and carried forward by people from a new economy which was arising at this time.
Nowadays the Stonehenge is still a very impressive site, and the closer you get to it the more impressive it is. No travel itinerary around Britain should omit it.