Avebury and surrounding area

Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. It is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain, it contains the largest stone circle in Europe.

We decided to have a weekend away that revolved around a hockey schedule and decided that seeing as we were heading up towards Swindon, Avebury was the best choice of destination, and also on the Lay lines we had been following when we visited Cornwall.

We also visited The West Kennet Long Barrow,  near Silbury Hill. The Long Burrow was built in around 3650 BC, it was used for a short time as a burial chamber, nearly 50 people being buried here before the chambers were blocked. Silbury Hill was close by too, its original purpose is still highly debated.

On route we found a lovely little coffee shop, called The Honeystreet Cafe on the edge of the West Kennett canal, where several barge boats were moored up.

West Kennet canal barge boat
Moonraker Barge Boats, West Kennet Canal
Silbury Hill
Silbury Hill, Composed mainly of chalk and clay excavated from the surrounding area, the mound stands 40 metres (131 ft) high and covers about 5 acres. According to legend, Silbury is the last resting place of a King Sil, represented in a lifesize gold statue and sitting on a golden horse.
West Kennet Long Barrow
The stone burial chambers are located at one end of one of the longest barrows in Britain at 100 m: in total it is estimated that 15,700 manhours were expended in its construction.
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My son Calum, dowsing inside the chambers. Folklore & Legend The mound is traditionally visited by a white spectral figure accompanied by a white red-eared hound at sunrise on Midsummer’s day. At the end of the burial chamber, recent excavations revealed that the side chambers occur inside an exact isosceles triangle, whose height is twice the length of its base.
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Avebury World Heritage Site including Avebury Chapel, which is one of the few places for religious worship actually built within a prehistoric stone circle.

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The Santuary was originally a complex circular arrangement of timber posts, which were later replaced by stones. These components are now indicated by concrete slabs. Its function remains a mystery: possibly it enshrined the dwelling place of some revered person, and certainly huge numbers of human bones were found here, accompanied by food remains suggesting elaborate death rites and ceremonies.
Wiltshire white horses
Some of the Wiltshire White Horses date back 250 years and eight Wiltshire White Horses still remain on view today

 

 

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One Comment

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  1. We are looking to go to Avebury soon and explore. One of the many things to see and do in Wiltshire. Nice Pictures!

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