avebury

 

AveburyAveburyThere are several tourist attractions that make up Avebury's prehistoric landscape. All of the monuments are open to the public and accessible without charge, although parts of the neolithic Avenue pass through private land, and are not accessible.

Built in around 2600 BC, Avebury stone circle is a neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, and contains the largest stone circle in Europe.

The monument comprises a large henge, surrounded by a bank and a ditch. Inside this henge is a large outer stone circle, with two separate smaller stone circles situated inside the centre of the monument.

An avenue of two parallel lines of stones 25m wide and 2.5 km in length, called The Avenue, runs between Avebury and The Sanctuary. Although it is impossible to follow The Avenue in its entirety, without the permission of the private landowners through whose gardens The Avenue runs, there is enough on public land to make a stroll back towards the A4 and Silbury Hill worthwhile.

The Alexander Keiller Museum features the prehistoric artefacts collected by archaeologist and businessman Alexander Keiller.

The museum is located in the 17th-century stables gallery, in the centre of Avebury village, and is operated by English Heritage and the National Trust.

The nearby 17th century threshing barn houses a permanent exhibit gallery about Avebury and its history. Admission includes both galleries.

Avebury Manor and Garden is a National Trust property consisting of an early 16th-century manor house and its surrounding garden. Parts of the house, and the garden, are open to the public.

Avebury is the site of several religious ceremonies, notably at sunrise on midsummer's day (June 21) when pagans including druids, wiccas and heathens celebrate inside the stones at Avebury. It is quite a spectacle, and for those who don't fancy an early rise there is usually still some activity until lunchtime and beyond.

The pagans are very welcoming, and don't object to a bit of gawping, photography or even hand-holding and chanting participation, but casual visitors should be reminded that religious ceremonies are taking place, and respect is always appreciated.

 

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