Avebury Things to Do

  • Prehistoric landscape
    Prehistoric landscape
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    Caution: man raising umbrella
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  • Silbury Hill - largest man-made mound in Europe
    Silbury Hill - largest man-made mound in...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Avebury

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    The Avenue

    by clairegeordio Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Running from the stones and the henge is West Kennett Avenue, which is 1.5 miles long, made of pairs of standing stones. You need to cross over the road and walk away from the stones in order to not miss this. Many people do miss it as it is not in the same area as the stone circle.

    The Avenue, Avebury

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    Swindon Stone

    by clairegeordio Written Oct 4, 2004

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    This stone is also called the Diamond stone because of it’s shape. This is the largest of the stones in the stone circle weighing 60 tonnes. It is one of the few stones that has remained standing since it was first placed there over 4000 years ago. Unfortunately this stone has lost it’s partner in 1722 when it fell and was destroyed. It is said to cross over the road at midnight searching for the lost partner.

    Swindon Stone, Avebury

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    Stay in the Keiller Room of the Red Lion!

    by clairegeordio Written Oct 3, 2004

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    We stayed in the Keiller room, which is named after a man who owned the village and who resurrected the stone circle. It has a lovely view of the stone circle from two different aspects, one to the front and one to the side. It has a nice, cosy feel to the room with exposed beams.

    View of Avebury from Red Lion

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    Devil's Chair

    by clairegeordio Written Oct 3, 2004

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    This stone is called the Devils chair due to the natural seat formation within the stone. Women used to sit there on May Day and make a wish. Local legends say that if you run around the stone 100 times anti-clockwise you can summon the devil.

    Devil's chair, Avebury

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    White horse at Cherhill

    by grets Written Jul 24, 2004

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    Nearby is the Cherhill white horse, one of many such carvings in the English countryside. The horse was under the direction of Dr Alsop of Calne, also known as the Mad Doctor, who shouted instructions over a magaphone from the main road in 1780. Situated under an ancient earthworks called Oldbury Castle and adjacent to the 38.5m high Lansdowne Obeslisk, Cherhill is not linked to any previous hill figure. Its eye (4ft across) was once filled with upturned bottles which used to sparkle in the sunlight.

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    A great big heap of stones

    by grets Written Jul 24, 2004

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    Dating from 2800BC, this fascinating site comprises an enormous circular earthwork, 400m wide, with a deep external ditch whose circumference is over 120m. Inside is a 40m diameter circle of immense standing stones, and inside that there are two more stone circles each 10m in diameter.

    The stones were dragged from the Avebury Hills 2-3km east of the monument using a combination of man-power, oxen and gravity.

    The site is believed to have been a temple - the axis is aligned on the midsummer sunrise.

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    British Heritage Stone Circle

    by grandmaR Updated May 26, 2004

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    The reason for visiting the tiny village of Avebury is to see the stones. My daughter and grandson really like this place better than Stonehenge because you can get up close and personal with the stones. I found Stonehenge easier to see myself because it was difficult for me to walk far on uneven surfaces.

    The story goes that while returning from a day's hunting one winter's evening in 1648, John Aubrey had an epiphany - the earthworks and stones in Avebury were an ancient Druid temple.

    William Stukeley in the early 18th century saw the distressing destruction of numerous stones by farmers intent on clearing the land for fields. In 1743, he published "Abury, a Temple of the British Druids". This book mapped all the stones surviving at that time.

    The Avebury complex covers about 28 acres partially overlapped by the village and dates to around 2500 BC. There is a huge circular earthwork ditch, originally about 30 feet deep, and bank about a quarter of a mile in diameter which encloses an outer circle of standing stones. Within this outer circle are two inner circles, both about 340 feet in diameter. The northern inner circle only has a few stones remaining.

    Avebury is particularly busy at the summer solstice. Regular bus services operate to Avebury from Swindon, Marlborough and Salisbury

    From the NT (I think at the museum) you can get a "Walking around Avebury" guide which features six local walks; from property or NT Wessex office (£2.50 plus 50p p&p)

    Film picture Looking through the fence at the stones Stones, fields and crop sign Scene near parking lot Stone in sheep pasture
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  • bluesmama's Profile Photo

    Stone circle

    by bluesmama Written May 20, 2004

    Unlike Stonehenge these are rough stones with no stones lying on top. Unfortunately quite a few of the stones have disappeared because people took them to built houses and stuff. But still very impressive!
    What did they use the circle for??

    The stone circle in Avebury
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  • AcornMan's Profile Photo

    Avebury

    by AcornMan Updated Apr 25, 2004

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    There's no sense in going to Avebury if you're not going to see the stones, because frankly there is little else to see there. The town of Avebury itself is actually a nice quaint little farming community with a relaxing pub, but it's the stones that draw visitors in droves. Although Avebury is not nearly as interesting as Stonehenge, the two are near each other, so as long as you're in the area to see Stonehenge you might as well visit Avebury as well.

    No one knows why more than 180 stones were placed in a complex arrangement around what is now the town of Avebury. Originally constructed over 4,000 years ago, many of the stones were felled and buried during the Middle Ages due to fears that they were pagan. They have since been dug up and placed in what is thought to be their original positions.

    Stones at Avebury

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    The Alexander Keiller Museum

    by joanj Updated Jan 12, 2004

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    When you have visited Avebury and the Stones, take a visit to the Alexander Keiller Museum, in what was formerly the manor coach-house. It contains objects excavated in the village, also from Windmill Hill, Silbury Hill, and West Kennet Long Barrow.

    There are also refreshments available here in the summer months.

    Or alternatively, go to the pub on the bend in the road, as mentioned in the Avebury Info page

    Also do check out the little gift shop and post office. The houses in the village are quaint.

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  • More of the Stone Circle

    by TimMiles Updated Jul 31, 2003

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    The Stone Circle is bnisected by two roads and there is something of a village at Avebury but there is not an awful lot there other than a church and a shop, although it is all ver y attractive.

    There is also a museum that attemots to reveal something of the mystery of the stones and the story of their restoration in the 19th Century.

    To be honest I didn't bother - the stones are free - the museums are very expensive!

    Stone Circle at Avebury

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  • Avebury Stone Circle

    by TimMiles Written Jul 31, 2003

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    The world's largest stone circle is at Avebury. People tell me it is much more impressive than Stonehenge (where I have never been) becasue the circle is simply bigger and the fact that you can get right up to the stones and touch them. There were also not too many people here -there was a peaceful air about the place.

    If you walk round the stone circle there are lovely views over the rolling Wiltshire Countryside.

    Stones at Avebury

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    Sarsen stones

    by KennetRose Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The chalk that makes up the Downs is much too soft, porous and crumbly for construction. The building materials for the monuments are provided by a geological oddity - the great rocks littering parts of the area, especially Fyfield Down to the east of Avebury.

    These rocks are called sarsens ("Saracens") because they are foreign to the area. They were carried here in the Ice Ages by glaciers, and dumped as the glaciers retreated.

    Locally they are also called "grey wethers" (that's what the OS map calls them too) and it's not hard to see why - "wether" is an old word for a sheep (as in bellwether) and from a distance the sarsen stones look like sheep grazing on the downs.

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    Stone buildings, bridges and walls

    by KennetRose Written Feb 25, 2003

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    This rustic bridge spans a stream that is in fact the River Kennet near its source. The same River Kennet that. grown up, passes close to my home in Reading (and is much too beautiful a river for such a hard-nosed town!)

    The stones used to build the bridge, as well as many of the houses and walls in the area, are almost certainly the broken-up remains of the missing stones of the circles.

    Bridge over the River Kennet
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    Silbury Hill

    by KennetRose Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Yes folks, this enormous mound is Britain's answer to the pyramids! Though it compares in size only to one of the more modest pyramids, it's still the largest man-made structure in Europe.

    Looking for all the world like a giant pudding turned out on the downs, it has defied all attempts to establish its purpose. It conceals no bodies, nor hordes of treasure. But the great pile of chalk would have been dazzlingly white at the time of it's construction (about the same as the Great Circle), and no doubt terrified the local populace into submission.

    That said, its low-lying site doesn't make it very visible, except (dramatically) from the road, and from the West Kennet Long Barrow.

    Silbury Hill
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