Map Reference: SU1069
Ninety miles west of London and twenty miles north of Stonehenge
stands Avebury, the largest known stone ring in the world. Older than the more famous Stonehenge, and for many visitors far
more spectacular, the multiple rings of Avebury are cloaked with mysteries.
One of the largest ritual centres in Europe. The earthwork was built around
3400 - 2850BC and stone circle was completed between 2800BC - 2400BC. It has been estimated that over 1,500,000 man-hours
went into the building of the site.
The steep sided ditch of the henge is two thirds silted up it was originally around
thirty feet deep with very steep sides of bare chalk. Human bones have been found in the bottom of the ditch during excavations.
Many of the stone at Avebury seem to alternate between tall pillar like stones and wide diamond or lozenge shapes
it has been surmised that this denotes masculine and feminine energies.
Avebury Stone Circle
Perhaps the most important site in the British Isles. First erected as a
sun temple about 5000 years ago, it is one of the largest ceremonial sites in Europe, encompassing around 28 acres. Originally
the circle consisted of over 100 blocks of sarsen, a silicified sandstone obtained locally, unfortunately only about twenty
seven remain today due to the stones being taken and used as building materials.
Inside this large circle were two smaller circles, at the centre of
the southernmost circle stood a large stone ( now gone but it`s position is marked by a concrete block). The middle circle
once contained a U shaped setting of three large stones - named the cove.
Serpentine in shape, the Kennet Avenue connects Avebury Circle with the
Sanctuary situated on nearby Overton Hill. The Sanctuary is a two period monument of wood and stone, there have been various
excavations revealing burials.
Wood and stone circles on Overton Hill, built for ritual purposes in late
neolithic times. A double stone circle was erected by the beaker folk and at that stage was joined to Avebury by Kennet Avenue.
A camp and Bronze aged barrow cemetary roughly 2.5 miles from Avebury circle.
There has been speculation of an association with the Cydonia region of
the planet Mars.
Thought to be about 4000 years old, Silbury Hill is the largest pre-historic
earthwork in Europe. Excavations show that the inner construction was similar to the pyramid building of ancient Egypt. As
with Windmill Hill, Silbury has also been associated with structures found on Mars.