Definition of henge in English:



  • A prehistoric monument consisting of a circle of stone or wooden uprights.

    • ‘The henges are ancient monuments made up of circular earthworks, each 260 yards in diameter.’
    • ‘New Stone Age man did leave plenty of traces of his presence, however, in the form of long and round barrows, standing stones and henges, mostly concentrated on the drier uplands of the moors, wolds and Tabular Hills.’
    • ‘Between 1994 and 1999, we conducted geophysical prospection and excavation at the southern and central henges and other monuments, and fieldwalked 80 hectares of the surrounding landscape.’
    • ‘Dowsers tracking an ‘energy line’ at a neolithic henge at Knowlton, Dorset have found a stone they believe may once have been standing.’
    • ‘Making monuments, henges, and stone circles required an immense amount of labour and the coordination of effort.’
    • ‘The three banked and ditched circular enclosures or henges are scheduled ancient monuments and rival the World Heritage site Stonehenge.’
    • ‘The village of Avebury near Devizes in Wiltshire lies within the huge henge monument with its massive banks and stone circles.’
    • ‘Probably long before there were stone henges there were wooden henges, just posts.’
    • ‘Standing stones and circles, henges, cup-marked stones and dolmens have intrigued us for generations, but there is little real evidence of their true purpose.’
    • ‘There are no large henges, and virtually no rich burials.’
    • ‘Future plans for the garden include a wooden henge that should be in place this summer, and thanks to a grant from Scottish Natural Heritage the plant sales area will be completely upgraded.’
    • ‘It runs for about 100 metres from the timber circle within the great henge to the river.’
    • ‘Evidence of much earlier habitation came to light with discoveries of tiny flint blades from 5000 B.C. and two henges, eight Bronze Age round barrows, and an Iron Age settlement.’
    • ‘On the southern edge of Salisbury Plain is the final version of a henge and stone circle which has undergone many alterations since it was built during the later Mesolithic era 5,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Archaeologists have come to see that ditches, even massive ditches around henges or hillforts, need not always be just utilitarian structures but may have had a metaphysical function too - for example, to keep evil spirits at bay.’
    • ‘You can also see a henge, with wooden trunks staked in a perfect circle around a central trunk for use as an astronomical calendar.’
    • ‘Near the centre of the henge were two smaller stone circles with internal settings.’
    • ‘The Avebury henge and Silbury Hill were the products of enthusiastic volunteers.’
    • ‘In the end only 10 percent of the henge was actually excavated.’
    • ‘The henges represent the largest collection of Neolithic monuments outside southern England.’


Mid 18th century: back-formation from Stonehenge.