Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Avebury Complex & Silbury Hill, Wiltshire

The prehistoric complex at Avebury is one of the most important, and certainly one of the most magical, sites in Europe. Consisting of a massive henge, the construction of which was spread over several centuries, it was created by the descendants of the Windmill Hill people who had built West Kennet Long Barrow. Began around 3,000 BC, the final construction was completed circa 2,400 BC when the avenues were added, comprising a bank, ditch and two stone circles within.

The outermost area was once marked by 98 large sarson stones, but only the innermost stone circles now remain. Both circles are much larger than the one at Stonehenge. Four entrances, approximately situated at the four cardinal points, show evidence of avenues; the most evident and spectacular being the West Kennet Avenue which runs from the Southern entrance.

A long-held dream of mine, I visited Avebury in September 2008. The weather was suitably atmospheric with lowering clouds, the odd drop of rain and slightly misty dampness. Perfect! ;)

Above shows the chalk path on the outer embankments and below is the view looking over part of the stone circle.

These gorgeous old oak trees have a massive array of overground roots.

An enigma lies approximately one mile to the South of Avebury...Silbury Hill...which at 130 feet high, is the biggest man-made mound in Europe. Several attempts, such as tunnelling, have been made to discover it's purpose, but it still keeps us eluded as to it's secrets. I have read recently that square-topped mounds such as this may well have been used as a place for offerings, such as harvest produce.

A further walk of around half a mile takes us to West Kennet Long Barrow; the largest accessible example of a barrow in the country. The page article for West Kennet Barrow can be seen here.

More photos can be seen in the Photo Gallery album along with these. Also, there are a few photos taken in the village, including the church and a delightful mediaeval dovecot belonging to the Manor. I'm gradually updating and adding to my pages, especially those which have very little on them, and will be adding more to Avebury when I get to it.

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