Institute of Archaeology


The Stones of Stonehenge

Exploring the origin of the stones used to build Stonehenge itself.

The Stonehenge Riverside Project, which undertook major excavations at the henge monument of Durrington Walls and elsewhere in the Stonehenge World Heritage site between 2004 and 2009, has led to further research to explore the origin of the stones used to build Stonehenge itself.

Survey and excavation is taking place in north Wiltshire, to trace the source of the sarsens, and in west Wales, the point of origin of the smaller bluestones. The project brings together many of the Stonehenge Riverside Project team members and associates (Pollard, Richards, Welham, Pike) and draws on the expertise of other researchers working on the archaeology of the Marlborough downs (Gittings, Allen, French) and in west Wales (Austen, Schlee).

Geological analysis by project partners Bevins and Ixer has pinpointed the precise source of one of the Stonehenge bluestones. Research on the Stones of Stonehenge project continues in both Wiltshire and Wales.

Related outputs

  • Pearson, M., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Welham, K., Kinnaird, T., Shaw, D., . . . Edinborough, K. (2021). The original Stonehenge? A dismantled stone circle in the Preseli Hills of west Wales. Antiquity, 95(379), 85-103. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.239

  • Mike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith (2015). Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge. Antiquity, 89, 1331-1352. doi:10.15184/aqy.2015.177.

  • Parker Pearson, M.2012. Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery. London: Simon & Schuster.

  • French, C., Scaife, R. and Allen, M.J. with Parker Pearson, M., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Thomas, J., Welham, K. 2012. Durrington Walls to West Amesbury by way of Stonehenge: a major transformation of the Holocene landscape. Antiquaries Journal 92: 1-36.

  • Parker Pearson, M.2012. Stonehenge and the beginning of the British Neolithic. In A.M. Jones, C.J. Pollard, M.J. Allen and J. Gardiner (eds) Image, Memory and Monumentality: archaeological engagements with the material world. Prehistoric Society Research Paper No. 5. Oxford: Oxbow. 18-28.

  • Parker Pearson, M., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Thomas, J., Welham, K., Bevins, R., Ixer, R., Marshall, P and Chamberlain, A. 2011. Stonehenge: controversies of the bluestones. In L. García Sanjuán, C. Scarre and D.W. Wheatley (eds) Exploring Time and Matter in Prehistoric Monuments. Menga: Journal of Andalusian Prehistory, Monograph no. 1. Seville: Junta de Andalucía. 219-50.


  • Gerda Henkel Stiftung 
  • National Geographic Society
  • NERC Radiocarbon Panel
  • Raw-Cut TV
  • Royal Archaeological Institute
  • The Rust Family Foundation
  • Society of Antiquaries