Rock 'n' roll: Stonehenge may have been a giant xylophone

The prehistoric monument Stonehenge may have been built as a giant xylophone, researchers have claimed. The Royal College of Art spent months tapping more than 1,000 types of rock to study the monument's musical qualities.

Most rocks produced a "dull thud" while the bluestones, which formed the earliest stone circle, were found to "sing" when struck. The rocks made a range of metallic sounds like bells, gongs and tin drums, the study confirmed.

Stonehenge may have been a giant xylophone Credit: PA

Paul Devereux, who led the study with Jon Wozencroftfrom, said: “We have had percussionists up here who have been able to actually get proper tunes out of the rocks. This is real rock music.”

This unique sonic nature could explain why neolithic men dragged the huge stones 200 miles from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire more than 4,000 years ago to build Stonehenge.