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Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
The Oxford English Dictionary cites Ælfric's tenth-century glossary, in which henge-cliff is given the meaning "precipice", or stone, thus the stanenges or Stanheng "not far from Salisbury" recorded by eleventh-century writers are "supported stones".
Like Stonehenge's trilithons, medieval gallows consisted of two uprights with a lintel joining them, rather than the inverted L-shape more familiar today.
The "henge" portion has given its name to a class of monuments known as henges. Italicised numbers in the text refer to the labels on this plan. Holes that no longer, or never, contained stones are shown as open circles.
Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.
Dating and understanding the various phases of activity is complicated by disturbance of the natural chalk by periglacial effects and animal burrowing, poor quality early excavation records, and a lack of accurate, scientifically verified dates.Archaeologists have found four, or possibly five, large Mesolithic postholes (one may have been a natural tree throw), which date to around 8000 BC, beneath the nearby modern tourist car-park.