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28 votes

America's Stonehenge

105 Haverhill Rd, Derry, New Hampshire 03079 USA

Open Now
Sat 9a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
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“An ancient equinox observatory”

The astronomical calendar at America's Stonehenge marks many important days in ancient cultures. These includes the Solstices, Equinoxes, Cross Quarter Days as well as a True North Alignment.

 The term Solstice means "sun stands still". On summer solstice (the longest day of the year) which falls around June 21st and Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year) which falls around December 21st, the sun will rise over one monolith and set over another. The same thing happens on the Equinoxes. The equinoxes occur when the sun is over the equator. On those days daylight and darkness are equal meaning 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The equinoxes are approximately March 21 and September 21. The cross quarter days mark the days between the solstices and equinoxes. Old Celtic calendars observed Cross Quarters. Unlike modern calendars that define the start of a season on a Solstice or Equinox, the Celts perceived Solstices and Equinoxes as events occurring mid-season, with the seasons actually beginning and ending on the Cross Quarters.

 You may have noticed that many of these ancient holidays fall very close to many holidays we see on our calendars today. Some of the cross quarter days we've adapted into our calendar are February 1st which is now groundhog day or candlemas, May 1st or May Day which although not celebrated as much these days was a big holiday for many around the world, November 1st has been adapted as Halloween and Christmas falls within a couple of days of the Winter Solstice.

USING THE ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR TO DATE THE SITE The astronomical alignments at America's Stonehenge are very useful in determining the time period that the site was built. Due to the earths tilt, the alignments are slightly off. The degree that the sun is off on these stones is a dating technique we use to figure out when the stones were put into place.

OTHER ANCIENT OBSERVATORIES There are many other ancient observatories throughout the world including Easter Island, Stonehenge in England, The Temple of Karnak and Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Calendar I and II in Vermont, The Gungywamp in Connecticut and America's Stonehenge to name just a few.

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Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 28, 2014
Rated 3.0

I took my son there a few years back. It was pretty neat. I will probably go again sometime with my grandkids.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 24, 2014

Cool place to go if you're in to this sort of thing. Even our 6 and 8 year old liked it.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
August 3, 2014
Rated 5.0

Another great place we went on our tour of the North east.

1 person found this review helpful
  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 12, 2016
Rated 4.0

Pricey but worth the money. If you get into the history and the astronomy it is very cool. If you are not into those things it will seem like a really pricey nature walk. The alpacas are cute. There are chipmunks and squirrels everywhere enjoying acorns from the hundreds of oak trees. A nice pit stop during an east coast road trip.

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America's Stonehenge

105 Haverhill Rd
Derry, New Hampshire
03079 USA

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Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking

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