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Additionally, the Druids are unlikely to have used the site for sacrifices, since they performed the majority of their rituals in the woods or mountains, areas better suited for "earth rituals" than an open field.

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Many early historians were influenced by supernatural folktales in their explanations.

Some legends held that Merlin had a giant build the structure for him or that he had magically transported it from Mount Killaraus in Ireland, while others held the Devil responsible.

Henry of Huntingdon was the first to write of the monument around AD 1130 soon followed by Geoffrey of Monmouth who was the first to record fanciful associations with Merlin which led the monument to be incorporated into the wider cycle of European medieval romance.

According to Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae, when asked what might serve as an appropriate burial place for Britain's dead princes, Merlin advised King Aurelius Ambrosius to raise an army and collect some magical stones from Mount Killarus in Ireland.

Some tentative support for this view comes from the first-century BC Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, who cites a lost account set down three centuries earlier, which described "a magnificent precinct sacred to Apollo and a notable spherical temple" on a large island in the far north, opposite what is now France.