Barrow placement in the Stonehenge area

Sally Exon, Dr. Vince Gaffney, Dr. Ann Woodward and Dr. Ron Yorston


The ritual landscape around Stonehenge embraces one of the largest data sets within prehistoric Britain, and despite the intensity of fieldwork within the area it is also one of the least interrogated. This paper presents a study of the monuments within the Stonehenge area using a variety of computer-based analyses and visualisation techniques. It explores the spatial relationship between monuments , and classes of monuments. The study also incorporates consideration of finds from excavated sites in a novel and critical manner. The results from this work demonstrate how great is the potential of such spatial data for landscape interpretation and our understanding of how people perceived and manipulated their environment.


We have some applets to illustrate aspects of this work. They also demonstrate the advantages of using animation to present large amounts of data in an accessible way. To view them you'll need a Java-enabled browser.

The first applet allows you to examine the intervisibility of the monuments, and has information about barrow contents and types.

There are then two similar applets which show the monuments visible from the henges and long barrows. You can choose to display only those monuments within a certain distance of the edge of the viewshed.

Finally, there are animated tours of some of the larger monuments, highlighting the monuments visible from each point.

The applets on this page are early versions, dating from 1996. To see more fully-featured versions, based on those published in the book Stonehenge Landscapes, visit this page.

Ron Yorston
2nd March 1997 (updated 26th January 2016)