Avebury and Stonehenge are a quintessential part of our heritage and are set in an ancient landscape along with West Kennet Long Barrow, Windmill Hill, Silbury Hill and many other smaller circles and cairns. Stonehenge with its horseshoe ring of massive trilithons his possibly the more impressive site but is also the busiest. The stones forming the stone circle at Avebury may not be as big or impressive as Stonehenge, but visitors can wander freely round the stones and touch them… It is a unique experience.
Avebury is the largest stone circle in Europe, covering a much larger area than Stonehenge and is nearly 500 yards in diameter. Sheep wander round the stones which are overlooked by the church, manor and thatched houses of the village.
The circle was built in the Neolithic age between 2850-2200BC and is surrounded by a huge bank and ditch. Its purpose is unknown but is assumed to be ‘ritual’. Many of the stones have disappeared over the years, with the position of the missing stones being marked by concrete posts.
As well as the stones, there is also the Andrew Keiller Museum which has displays of artefacts from around the area. The beautiful old stone Manor House is also owned by the National Trust and rooms have been furnished to represent different periods of its history. Everything has been specially made.There are no rope barriers or do not touch signs, Visitors can sit on the chairs, play snooker and even lie on the beds!
If time allows, do have a look at St James’ Church with its Saxon foundations, Norman font and wonderful C15th rood loft.