Stone Age Sites and Stone Age Ruins

If you’re looking to explore Stone Age sites and want to find the best places to view Stone Age history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

Once you’ve explored the list of Stone Age sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Stone Age ruins.

Our database of historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Stone Age sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Stone Age: Site Index

Photo by joncallas (cc)

Arthur’s Stone

Arthur’s Stone is a mysterious burial chamber in Herefordshire.

DID YOU KNOW?

Arthur’s Stone is a tomb in Herefordshire dating back to the Neolithic era marked by a collection of large stones.

Little is known about this site and there is little to see, but the mystery of Arthur's Stone is one which continues to inspire debate. Arthur's Stone is an English Heritage site.

Photo by Kurt Thomas Hunt (cc)

Avebury Ring

Avebury Ring is a vast Neolithic stone circle, probably the largest in the world, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

Avebury Ring in Wiltshire, England, is a stone monument which encircles the town of Avebury and is believed to have been constructed between 2850 and 2200 BC.

Now comprised of a bank and a ditch with a 1.3 kilometre circumference containing 180 stones making up an inner and outer circle, the Avebury Ring is not only fourteen times larger than Stonehenge, but was almost certainly completed before its famous counterpart.

Many of the stones which once formed part of the Avebury Ring were destroyed or buried during the Middle Ages, but the formation of the site is still visible from the remaining stones.

Visitors to Avebury Ring are free to walk up to the site itself at all times and view the monument’s stones. Together with Stonehenge, Silbury Hill and several other prehistoric sites, Avebury Ring is a UNESCO World Heritage site managed by the National Trust.

Photo by Jakub Hlavaty (cc)

Belas Knap Long Barrow

The Belas Knap Long Barrow is a well-preserved example of a Neolithic burial chamber located near Cheltenham.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Belas Knap Long Barrow is a well-preserved example of a Neolithic burial chamber located near Cheltenham.

It was built around 3000 BC and used for burials over a significant period until the chambers were deliberately blocked. Romano-British pottery found inside one of the burial chambers show that it was open in Roman times.

The site was excavated between 1863 and 1865 and the remains of 31 people were found inside. A significant burial site, it is 54 m long, 18 m wide and over 4m high. The remains of the Belas Knap Long Barrow feature a false entrance and side chambers and the site has recently been restored. Today the chamber tombs have been opened up so visitors can see them up close.

Photo by Colin Macdonald (cc)

Callanish Stones

The Callanish Stones are a collection of Neolothic standing stones on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Callanish Stones are a collection of Neolothic standing stones on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Probably built between 2900 and 2600 BC, the 13 primary stones form a circle 13m in diameter with a solitary monolith standing 5m high at its heart. Within the circle is a chambered tomb.

Between 1000 BC and 500 BC, the Callanish Stones were covered by peat, and it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that their true height was revealed.

Located on a low ridge with the waters of Loch Roag and the hills of Great Bernera in the background, the Callanish Stones are a scenic and imposing place to visit. There is a Visitor Centre, shop and tearoom on site.

Photo by Jeriff Cheng (cc)

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle is a picturesque Neolithic monument ranking among the earliest of Britain’s stone circles, its scenic hilltop setting providing pretty views of the surrounding area.

DID YOU KNOW?

Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria is a Neolithic Stone Age monument which ranks among the earliest of stone circles found in Britain. It is believed Castlerigg Stone Circle was constructed around 3000BC.

In total Castlerigg contains 38 stones within the outer circle, which has a diameter of approximately 30m. Inside the circle are further stones forming an inner rectangle. It has been speculated that the Castlerigg Stone Circle was built for astronomical and religious purposes though other sources surmise it had a trading purpose.

Today the site is run by English Heritage and is open to visitors, its scenic hilltop setting providing pretty views of the surrounding area.

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Photo by Liangtai Lin (cc)

Gobekli Tepe

Neolithic site at the top of a mountain, with large stone blocks and cap stones creating a T shaped profile, with animal and human shapes carved onto the flat surfaces of the stones. The T shaped profiles often exhibit hands and leg like carving making them resemble people.

DID YOU KNOW?

Six thousand years older than Stonehenge, seven thousand years older than the Great Pyramids and a thousand older than the walls of Jericho, formerly believed to be the world’s most ancient monumental structure, Göbekli Tepe in south-eastern Turkey close to the city of Sanliurfa has literally rewritten human history.

Thanks to this sensational twelve thousand year old discovery by a team from the German Archaeological Institute led by Professor Klaus Schmidt, Göbekli Tepe is regarded as a find of such profound importance that it may well change our current understanding that agriculture and permanent settlements came first then religion followed, a paradigm shift in the knowledge of a crucial stage of our societal development.

Academics are calling Göbekli Tepe the ‘world’s first temple’ and it’s an example that huge complexes were well within the capabilities of early hunter-gatherers, an assumption never previously considered. Göbekli Tepe may very well be the very first thing human beings every built. It pre-dates pottery, domesticated animals and agriculture and Professor Schmidt postulates that Göbekli Tepe was the catalyst for these things to follow. He called it ‘the Rome of the Ice Age’. The discovery is that important.

There are at least 20 installations each enclosed by a wall as well as T-shaped pillars between three and six metres high weighing 40-60 tons, some with human-like appendages and some with carvings of animals such as foxes, snakes, boars and ducks.

Similarly to Stonehenge, questions remain as to how the huge monoliths got to their locations, how intricate carvings were made when even rudimentary hand tools were rare, how they were stood up on end when complex engineering of that type was centuries away, as was farming, the ability to create blueprint for construction and even permanent settlements. The next temples of this size and complexity date from five thousand years after Göbekli Tepe.

Photo by teamaskins (cc)

Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara was the royal seat of the High Kings of Ireland for thousands of years and is home to a Stone Age passage grave.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Hill of Tara (Cnoc na Teamhrach) was the royal seat of the High Kings of Ireland for thousands of years, becoming the site of over a hundred coronations. It is also home to a Stone Age passage grave.

In fact, with a history stretching back as far as 4000BC, the Hill of Tara holds an important place in the nation’s history. This was echoed in 1843, when Daniel "the Liberator" O'Connell held what is known as the "monster meeting" there in favour of dissolving the Irish British union.

Today there are guided tours of the Hill of Tara and people often come to enjoy its beautiful views. You can view a useful map of the site here.

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

The Rheinisches Landesmuseum chronicles the history of Trier and the region as far back as the Stone Age.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Rheinisches Landesmuseum (Rhenish State Museum) of Trier is a large archaeological museum which exhibits pieces from throughout the history of the city and its region.

Starting with the Stone Age and up to the medieval era, the Rheinisches Landesmuseum offers an overview of the development of Trier and its surrounding areas such as the Eifel region. The main exhibition at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum is dedicated to Ancient Rome and particularly the role played by Trier during the Roman period. This is widely considered to be one of Germany’s most important Ancient Roman collections.

In Roman times, Trier was an important centre of trade which later became the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. Established in circa 15 BC, Trier was known as Treverorum Augusta and later became home to emperors such as Constantine the Great, who was responsible for building many of its now UNESCO-listed sites.

From Stone Age tools to Roman reliefs and medieval ecclesiastical pieces, the Rheinisches Landesmuseum has a wide ranging permanent exhibitions as well as temporary exhibits. Audio guides are available in several languages.

Photo by vintagedept (cc)

Silbury Hill

A Stone Age chalk mound with a mysterious past, Silbury Hill is the largest man-made mound in Europe.

DID YOU KNOW?

Only 1500 meters south of the main Avebury Rings stands Silbury Hill, the largest, and perhaps the most enigmatic, of all megalithic constructions in Europe.

Crisscrossing the surrounding countryside are numerous meandering lines of standing stones and mysterious underground chambers, many positioned according to astronomical alignments.

Believed to date back to between 2400 and 2000BC, Silbury Hill rises 30 metres and has a circular base which measures 160-metres wide. The origins of Silbury Hill remain a mystery to this day, but most archeologists believe it was a ceremonial or religious site.

Photo by yellow book (cc)

Skara Brae

Skara Brae is Northern Europe’s best preserved Neolithic village and a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Orkney Isles.

DID YOU KNOW?

Skara Brae is an incredibly well-preserved Neolithic village in the Orkney Isles off the coast of mainland Scotland.

Characterised by sturdy stone slab structures insulated and protected by the clay and household waste which holds them together, Skara Brae is a stunning example of the high quality of Neolithic workmanship.

Skara Brae was inhabited between 3200 and 2500 BC, although it was only discovered again in 1850 AD after a storm battered the Bay of Skaill on which it sits and unearthed the village. Subsequent excavation uncovered a series of organised houses, each containing what can only be described as “fitted furniture” including a dresser, a central hearth, box beds and a tank which is believed to have be used to house fishing bait.

The inhabitants of Skara Brae built their community on a dichotomy of community life and family privacy, as portrayed by the combination of closely built, homogenous homes compared with the strong doors behind which they conducted their private lives. This sense of a structured community, coupled with the fact that no weapons have been found at the site, sets Skara Brae apart from other Neolithic communities and suggests that this farming community was both tight-knit and peaceful.

Visitors to Skara Brae can tour these original magnificent homes as well as a reconstructed version which really conveys the realities of Neolithic life. The nearby visitor centre holds many of the artifacts found at Skara Brae and offers an insight into the site’s history through touch screen presentations.

Photo by Linda Cronin (cc)

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a mysterious collection of vast stone circles dating back to around 3000 BC and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a world renowned, magnificent site consisting of standing (and lying) stones, some transported from South Wales.

The construction of Stonehenge took place between 3000 BC and 1600 BC and is considered to be one of the most impressive structures of its time, especially considering each stone weighs around four tonnes and that its founders had little by way of technological advances to assist them in moving the stones over the hundreds of miles that they travelled.

The purpose of Stonehenge has remained a mystery, despite extensive archaeological investigation.

Stonehenge is managed by English Heritage. Anybody wishing to access the stone circle of Stonehenge must arrange this in advance with English Heritage and these visits can only take place outside normal working hours. During normal operating hours, visitors walk around the circle on a set path and are given free audio guides explaining different aspects of Stonehenge.

A brand new visitor centre has now also opened at Stonehenge, designed to transform the visitor experience with a new world-class museum housing permanent and temporary exhibitions, plus a spacious café.

In 2010, archaeologists discovered a second henge next to Stonehenge. Hailed as the most exciting find in half a century, this second henge  was made up of a circle of pits – thought to have once contained timber posts - surrounded by a larger circular ditch.

Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage site and also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions of the United Kingdom.

Swedish Museum of National Antiquities

The Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm has pieces ranging from the Stone Age to medieval times.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Swedish Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska Museet) in Stockholm offers a comprehensive series of exhibitions for the period spanning from the Stone Age to the Medieval period.

From prehistoric artifacts to Viking displays and beyond, the Museum of National Antiquities offers an insight into ten thousand years of history.

One of the most striking exhibits at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities is its “Gold Room’, a heavily fortified underground chamber housing around 52kg of gold ranging from Viking relics to pieces from the Middle Ages.

The museum offers audio guides in English, Swedish, French, German and Spanish, although these are on a first come first serve basis. These are not adapted for children, but the history trails in the Viking section are perfect for kids to follow.

Photo by Bods (cc)

The Sanctuary (Avebury)

The Sanctuary near Avebury houses the remains of a Neolithic monument and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Sanctuary near Avebury in England is a monument believed to date back to around 3000 BC.

The concrete markers which can be seen today at the Sanctuary site were once made up of first timber slabs and then stones. These were destroyed in approximately 1725 AD, their original locations now marked by the concrete posts.

As with Stonehenge, the function of the Sanctuary remains a mystery, although archaeologists believe it was a ceremonial site, probably used for burial rituals. This theory stems from the fact that large quantities of human bones and food remains have been found at the site.

The Sanctuary forms part of the Avebury UNESCO World Heritage site.