This put up could include affiliate hyperlinks.
Visiting Avebury Stone Circle
Much less crowded and extra accessible than Stonehenge, Avebury is the biggest stone circle in Britain.
Should you’re a fan of neolithic sights, sacred locations and pagan scorching spots, Avebury is an enchanting place to go to in Wiltshire.
Amazingly sufficient, it’s free.
Historical and steeped in thriller, it’s a spot the place you must anticipate the surprising – no less than I ought to have. Right here’s my expertise and a high 10 record of the very best issues to do in Avebury.
My Expertise on the Avebury Stones
As I meandered by means of Avebury’s Crimson Lion Pub, I noticed an indication on a chalkboard: Interested in Paganism? Who not go to the Avebury Pagan Moot? Sunday 3 p.m.
By probability I used to be proper on time. Glancing in on the entrance room of the 400-year outdated pub, nevertheless, I skirted round it.
I used to be curious, however the earthy-looking ladies and burly bearded males inside regarded intimidating, like a wizarding model of a biker gang.
Crimson Lion Pub – A Wiltshire Landmark
Apart from, I got here to see Avebury Stone Circle to not sit in a pub. What was the purpose of discussing the magical world of Avebury after I could possibly be experiencing it for myself?
Then once more, the Crimson Lion Pub is a little bit of a vacationer attraction in itself. Not solely does it sit within the midst of the good stone circle, but it surely’s a wonderful place to cease in for a drink. Plus, it’s haunted.
Constructed within the sixteenth century (although different accounts say 1802), the Avebury Crimson Lion has seen quite a lot of travellers come and go through the years, and saved a couple of as ghosts.
Florrie is certainly one of them. It’s mentioned she was killed by her husband when he discovered her within the arms of her lover. Some accounts say he slit her throat, others that he threw her down the effectively.
Regardless of the reality, Florrie nonetheless flits concerning the pub right now.
However I, like most vacationers to Avebury, wasn’t right here for pub, I used to be right here for the Neolithic stones.
Avebury, a Wiltshire village roughly 120 km west of London, stands out, nevertheless, as a result of it’s residence to Britain’s largest stone circle.
In search of a day journey to Avebury?
However don’t low cost the Avebury Stones. The circle is 500 years older than Stonehenge, 14 instances greater and, in contrast to Stonehenge, it’s accessible 24 hours a day.
So accessible, in reality, that half the village is sitting inside it: not simply the Crimson Lion Pub, however a chapel, a few retailers and two dissecting roads that loosely divide the circle into quadrants.
Mysterious Stones With an Unknown Goal
Visiting Avebury was my probability to commune with the megalithic world, so after shopping for a guidebook on the Henge Store I made my approach to the south-west quadrant of the circle.
Towering over a flock of grazing sheep was a curving row of sarsen stones weighing between 10 and 100 tons apiece.
Gray and weathered, the Avebury stones are surrounded by a deep round ditch (or henge). The Avebury henge was dug out of the gentle chalk floor by Neolithic tribes some 5000 years in the past.
Nobody is aware of the stone circle’s goal, although it’s believed to narrate to the worship of a fertility goddess.
The stones weren’t formed by hand however had been chosen for his or her pure kinds: rectangles to symbolize the male and diamonds the feminine. There’s positively a male feminine power at play.
Initially, the principle Avebury Stone Circle contained two smaller circles. One held a large phallic-shaped Obelisk, now misplaced.
The opposite circle, often known as the Cove, was made up of three feminine stones (two of which nonetheless stand) that had been aligned with the northerly rise of the moon.
Analysis means that earlier than the circle was created, a large 100-foot sq. outlined by big stones stood on this spot. It’s a beforehand remarkable design within the megalithic world.
Even older, courting again to 3500 BC, was an oblong home manufactured from wooden.
No surprise it’s a magnet for pagans.
Oh, These Christians
It’s additionally a surprise the circle nonetheless stands as a result of within the Center Ages the Christians tried their finest to spoil it.
Believing the Avebury Stone Circle was the work of the satan, they began toppling and burying the standing stones.
The apply was solely halted when one landed on a touring surgeon-barber, prematurely entombing him.
Additional destruction to Avebury Stone Circle got here within the 17th century, when most of the standing stones had been cleared for farming. Such a disgrace!
Lastly, within the 1930’s a rich anthropologist, Alexander Keiller, spent right now’s equal of £2 million to partially restore the location.
It’s a few kilometre and a half stroll across the circle. After I did that I returned to the Crimson Lion Pub.
As I walked in, I overheard a dark-haired lady within the pagan-filled entrance room say: “All of us have a sacred fable. You simply have to seek out out what it’s. It lives you. You don’t dwell it.”
I might have favored to know find out how to discover my sacred fable however the dialog turned to the Avebury Stone Circle and the way one small triangle accommodates a selected energy.
“Which half is that?” I couldn’t assist interrupting, braving the pagan horde.
“All of it’s highly effective, however in numerous methods,” the girl mentioned sagely.
“Highly effective sufficient to make me get away in hives?” I held out my wrist which was sporting a pink round welt with a blister inside –a mini stone circle. “The minute I acquired right here I broke out in a rash.”
“I do know what it is perhaps,” she says, nearly shyly. “It’s a therapeutic place right here. A number of stuff works its manner out of your physique.”
That sounded higher than large allergy assault so I smiled at her.
A pony-tailed man in black examined my wrist. “I can kind that out.”
He ran out of the room. A couple of minutes later he was again holding a aromatic bundle of lavender. “Rub this on,” he mentioned. “Lavender could be very therapeutic.”
Hanging with the Pagans at Avebury Stone Circle
One other man with a greying beard and a beret with a feather launched himself as Terry the Druid.
“We’re a blended lot of pagans right here,” he mentioned, explaining that the person with the lavender was a Wiccan. Then he motioned to a clean-shaven younger man strumming a guitar. “And he’s a minstrel.”
It was tempting to remain on this witchy universe all evening, however as nightfall hit I went again out to discover. There are quite a lot of factors of curiosity in Wiltshire, not simply the stones.
On the opposite aspect of city is Silbury Hill. It’s the biggest artifical mound in Europe, the scale of an Egyptian pyramid. It was constructed between 2470 BC and 2350 BC.
Specialists suppose it’s a burial sight, although they’ve dug three tunnels into it because the 18th century and it nonetheless hasn’t given up its secrets and techniques.
West Kennet Lengthy Barrow
There are different issues to see round Avebury. Previous Silbury Hill is West Kennet Lengthy Barrow.
A part of the Avebury UNESCO World Heritage Web site, the barrow is a multi-chambered tomb that’s even older than Silbury Hill, courting again so far as 3500BC. At the very least 50 individuals had been buried right here.
There’s additionally the Avenue, a stone-lined processional route that leads from the stone circle to the Sanctuary, the place a prehistoric temple as soon as stood.
Greater than 100 pairs of standing stones as soon as lined this winding route.
There are quite a lot of sacred websites on this nook of Britain, and I used to be attempting to cram all of them in. When it was too darkish to discover anymore, I backtracked to the stone circle.
Perhaps it was the affect of the pagans however I couldn’t assist considering that the centuries-old megaliths of the standing stones had been buzzing with a deep earthy resonance.
I sat down beside one, then lay flat on my again (rigorously avoiding sheep poo) and regarded on the stars. Perhaps if I waited lengthy sufficient, my sacred fable would flip up.
Journey Ideas for Visiting Avebury Stone Circle
10 Greatest Issues To Do in Avebury
In order for you a fast itinerary for issues to see in Avebury, right here’s what you are able to do in a day.
- See Avebury Stone Circle – It’s onerous to overlook it as half the village is inside it.
- Be taught extra concerning the space on the Alexander Keiller Museum.
- Store on the Henge store for all issues mystical
- Go to the Manor Home and Backyard, a sixteenth century Grade I listed heritage residence.
- Make your approach to Silbury Hill
- Try West Kennet Lengthy Barrow
- Discover the West Kennet Avenue – You’ll be able to stroll half manner on it.
- Make your approach to the Sanctuary web site
- Cease in on the Crimson Lion Pub
- Stroll across the Stones for a remaining goodbye.
Attending to Avebury
From London’s Paddington Station you may take a practice to Swindon. Swindon is about 80 miles west of London and the quickest practice is slightly below an hour.
From Swindon you may take Bus 49 to Avebury. It’s operated by Stagecoach West. You’ll be able to catch it from the Swindon Bus Station or Prospect Station, Previous City. The bus experience is about 20 minutes.
Avebury is about 10 miles south of Swindon.
The place to remain in Avebury
I stayed in a room on the Crimson Lion Pub however so far as I do know that is not attainable. (I didn’t see any ghosts. Perhaps the pagans saved them at bay.)
Steadily Requested Questions on Visiting Avebury
Each Avebury and Stonehenge are fascinating websites. Architecturally, Stonehenge is extra superior. The chosen stones had been formed with hammerstones. The stones at Avebury weren’t hammered, chipped or flaked, however had been chosen for his or her pure form and measurement. Avebury is older, bigger and fewer crowded. It’s free and also you don’t have to e-book prematurely like at Stonehenge. That mentioned, Stonehenge packs extra of a punch at first look.
The Avebury Stones are open from daybreak to nightfall, however as there isn’t any gate, there may be nothing to maintain you out.
Sure. Should you’re driving, it takes about 40 minutes from one to the opposite. You most likely need no less than 3 hours in every place. In any other case the best approach to see each could be to join a tour.