Almost all twentieth-century considerations of Stonehenge have, perhaps understandably, ignored the fact that Stonehenge exists in, is related to, and is embedded in a landscape. The focus of attention has always been the stones themselves and the chronology and structural development of the monument. Thus Gowland (1902), Hawley (1921-1928), and Atkinson (1956) make no reference to the landscape setting of Stonehenge at all, and only Atkinson mentions and provides a map of monuments in its vicinity (ibid.: 146). The Royal Commission of Historical Monuments usefully puts Stonehenge into a wider spatial context in terms of an inventory of other sites in the Stonehenge ‘environs’ (RCHME 1979), while The Stonehenge Environs Project (Richards 1990) reports on the results of fieldwalking and excavations within a 33-km-square box centred on Stonehenge. However, in both of these studies the landscape contexts and interrelationships of monuments are not considered either from the perspective of Stonehenge or from anywhere else.

The landscape, in both cases, is simply a more or less blank spatial field for analysis. Previous generations of archaeologists have diligently worked in the Stonehenge landscape while simultaneously ignoring it!