Behind the Scenes: Stone-Cold Solstice

A look at Washington's man-made Stonehenge.

Photograph by Dan Chung.

We all have our passions. For John B. Henry, it’s stones. On the 18-acre Rappahannock County estate the private-equity investor shares with his wife, Ann, he pulled some 8,000 tons of rock from the ground to build fences and sheepfolds, capping his work with this 64-foot-diameter ring of 12 monolithic stones.

Though they evoke Europe’s occult stone circles, Henry found them on the jungle floor in Indonesia and shipped them to rural Virginia via Jakarta and Baltimore. He estimates that the stones—some as high as 12 feet—were carved, or unearthed as is, as much as 6,000 years ago, ten centuries before Stonehenge was erected.

Henry claims that the circle produces a force field. Each autumn, he invites hundreds of revelers to his property near Flint Hill for a bacchanal and bonfire. “I didn’t tell my wife,” he says of his stone circle. “I put them up, hidden by a row of trees. When I took the trees down, she said: ‘That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.’ ”

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Washingtonian.