Avebury, Wiltshire

Avebury, Wiltshire

Set within the vast plains of Wiltshire lies this incredible World Heritage site, Avebury’s henge (the name for a circular Neolithic earthwork) continues to reveal its secrets, right up to the present day. Today Avebury is managed by both English Heritage and the National Trust and is an excellent day out when staying in one of our luxury cottages in Wiltshire.

Being exceptionally large at just over three quarters of a mile in circumference, the mysterious stones of Avebury, built using local materials. would have been originally up to 29 feet deep, which must have been a magnificent sight when fully erected. Built and altered over hundreds of years from between 2850 BC to about 2200 BC it’s one of the most complex sites too.

Believed to be a place of ritual and ceremonies, there are two massive avenues of stone, linking to other sites at Beckhampton and Overton Hill, whilst the man-made mound of Sidbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow, amongst others, are not far away and built around the same time so thought to be connected.

During the Middle Ages, many of the stones were either buried or destroyed, being associated with pagan and devil worship, whilst other stones were removed due to building and agricultural improvements. Lucky for us, Alexander Keiller, heir to a fortune and fascinated in archaeology, bought the site, excavated the area, and re-erected many of the stones in the late 1930s.

Today, Avebury is a fascinating spot to visit. Unlike Stonehenge, the stones of Avebury are available for all to see up close, and they even encircle the village of Avebury itself. You’re free to wander amongst the stones, following the huge circle and along West Kennet Avenue. It’s easy to let your mind wander and imagine what life must have been like back in ancient times. To help you gain a greater understanding, pay a visit to the Alexander Keiller Museum which displays archaeological finds from across the Avebury site. Avebury Manor, set on the edge of the village, offers a hands-on experience showcasing the lives of the people who once inhabited this incredible spot.

For access, there’s a pay and display car park 500 yards from the circle, which is free to National Trust and English Heritage members. Dogs on leads are welcome across the site except for Avebury Manor and garden.

To learn more, take a look at the National Trust website and the English Heritage website.

Feeling inspired? Book yourself a break at one of our luxury cottages in Wiltshire here.

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