Avebury Stone Circles and Henge
At Avebury you are free to wander among the stones and bear witness to the enormous task of building the henge bank and ditch by hand using the simplest of tools. You can also stroll down West Kennet Avenue which is thought to have linked Avebury stone circles to the Sanctuary on Overton Down.
Stone circles and henge
Recognised as a World Heritage Site for it's outstanding Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape, Avebury is a place where you can connect with history and take time to imagine what life might have been like thousands of years ago. The stone circles and henge monument are particularly unusual, not just because it is the largest stone circle in the world but also for the fact that it is the only stone circle with a village built partially within it.
A henge is the name for a circular Neolithic earthwork, consisting of a bank with a ditch on the inside. The henge at Avebury is exceptionally large at just over three quarters of a mile in circumference and it would have been originally up to 29 feet deep . The large outer stone circle contains two smaller inner circles within it. The stones themselves are of a local sarsen stone.
One of the stones tells a grisly story. Excavations by Alexander Keiller revealed the skeleton of a medieval barber-surgeon who was crushed beneath the stone when it was being buried by those who wanted to remove the pagan stones from view.
Recent geophysical research has revealed the presence of an exciting new feature, a square shaped stone monument, possibly the earliest feature in the stone circles demonstrating that Avebury still has many more secrets to give up.
Below is a map with many of the key stones marked (the square shaped stone monument as at the point marked 'Obelisk').
You can find out more about the wider World Heritage Site here