Stonehenge: Is It Safe?

I tried a GOOGLE on this, but couldn’t find what I am looking for, so maybe y’all can help.

I am wondering if Stonehenge has ever been threatened by “the forces of nature”? For example, has there ever been an earthquake near there, and is anyone measuring the possible erosion of the ground underneath it? What damage has rain/hail etc. done to the stones themselves and how fast?



Stonehenge is pretty safe, the British Isles have whitnessed only minor earthquakes, mostly in the far northern regions far from the Stonehenge structure. Further its very old estimated to be over 3000 years in age. If it hasn’t fallen down up until now it probably won’t by any of the already whitnessed destructive forces seen in the past.

Parts of Stonehenge certainly have fallen over. Most of them have been re-erected. But it’s not surprising when many thousand year old megalithic structures without deep roots and only minimally interlocking joints eventually fall over as they are undermined. But I’m sure they’re well-protected now.
The stones aren’t proof against eroding. I was suirprised when I visited and saw how deeply the hard stone had been weathered (back then you could go up to and touch the stones, which I understand are off-limits now). I also saw the claimed “dagger” illustrations, which look so shallow now that I still find it hard to believe they’re as widely believed-in as they are.

I thought that much of Stonehenge had already fallen apart, and that what you see now is mostly the result of it all being put back together in the last century or so. It hasn’t been standing for 3000 years. I also know that some of the stones have been “repaired” with concrete to fix damange done by erosion.

The stones and the ground they are sitting on are maintained. It’s not just standing up there letting erosion take its toll.

I was unaware that Stonehenge had been re-erected. Certainly not within many decades - if so, they should have put the cross-pieces back on top…

There definitely has been ground erosion. IIRC, the stones are gently sinking into the soil, year by year. There’s also a major road nearby which is causing both vibration and air pollution problems. The stones have also had acid rain erosion problems.

And some hippy asshole sprayed “L I V E” across four of the uprights a few years ago.

It’s been a while since I read about the details of Stonehenge, but IIRC, they did put at least one of hye lintels back atop two uprights to reconstruct a trilithon. If you compare old sketchesd of Stonehenge with pictures of the present day structure, you can see where things have been re-erected.

Heck, it’s probably on the web.

From the Wikipedia article:

Hah! Site with pix (although the URL hints at darker things):

And here I thought this was going to be a thread about a sadistic Nazi doctor trying to smuggle pieces of Stonehenge.

I thought it was going to be a question about whether the place is safe to visit. Certainly, in terms of potential falling rocks, it’s pretty safe, but perhaps not in other ways; there are always a lot of people there; many of them freaks and/or tourists. Beware!

I asked about this a while back. Here’s the thread.

The 3000-year re-erection is proof of the claim that it was used in fertility rituals.

Or an autonomous collective of Asians. I’ll be here all week.

Try the veal. Mind you, this would only be internally consistent if they were electing a Mr Lee.

At least two of the lintels have been put back in place. Stone 22 and a lintel - both in the outer circle - fell on 31st December 1900. Both have since been re-erected. In the central horseshoe of 5 trilithon pairs, 57-58 and their lintel fell over in 1797, but were restored in 1958.
As I noted in Peter Morris’s thread, stone 23 keeled over in 1963, which is the last major collapse. It was re-erected in 1964. Together with various stones being set in concrete at the same time, that was the last major piece of reconstruction.

Some years ago, I read that several of the stones had been deliberately pulled down during the Puritan’s heyday in the mid-17th Cent. The idea being, of course, that they were monuments to pagan rituals and therefore heretical.

Wikipedia doesn’t seem to mention it and I couldn’t find a reference in a cursory Google…

Such behaviour is fairly well recorded at Avebury and elsewhere, but I don’t think there’s any positive evidence of religiously motivated desecration at Stonehenge in the 17th century. Some stones may well have been carted off for building purposes in roughly this period, but one didn’t need to be a Puritan zealot to think “that’s a handy bit of rock”.
If there is no documentary evidence, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. But this is the sort of behaviour people expect Puritans to have got up to and so they readily invoke them as an explanation.

Peter : Yes, you did. Sorry, I’ve been away for a while.

To the rest of y’all: Thanks for the answers, and sorry for the enigmatic (“Marathon Man”") title, but I really wanted to know. May I now apply the same question to the pyramids, or am I “pushing my luck”? :smiley:



After four hours, they really should have contacted their doctors.

And, although Protestant nonconformity was a factor, there were other, more mundane reasons for the destruction at Avebury. See the article on ‘Changing Avebury’ here.