This attractive little village in mid Wiltshire is ringed by a large prehistoric stone circle - one of the most impressive and important scheduled ancient monuments in Britain. Although many of the great sarcens have been lost over time, there are over 100 standing stones still remaining in their original positions.
Most of the village of lies within the footprint of its famous stone circle and earthworks. It comprises of a high a circular bank (originally 50ft high and about 1 mile (1.6km) in circumference), surrounded by a 30ft deep ditch, edged with standing stones of various shapes and sizes. A further avenue of stones also leads south to another site, known as the sanctuary. For the most atmospheric effect the site is best viewed in the early morning or at dusk.
Also located on the edge of the stone circle is Avebury Manor house, a former home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Ailesbury.
Just to the east of the village is the start point of the Ridgeway, a prehistoric trackway that has been in continuous use for over 6000 years. The track runs for some 85 miles (138km) from Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, and intersects with many other important monuments such as the White Horse near Uffington and several Iron Age hill-forts.
Important archeological finds from excavations of the stone circle are on display in the museum, along with detailed information on the 1930s reconstruction of this impressive megalithic monument by Scottish archaeologist Alexander Keiller.
Opening times: Apr~Oct, daily, 10am to 6pm - Admission Charge
Location: High St, Avebury, Marlborough, SN8 1RF - Tel: 01672 539250 - Website
Facilities: parking, audio tours, children's play area
One of the largest and most remarkable prehistoric stone circles in Europe. Believed to have been constructed around 2000 BC, by the late Neolithic nomadic Beaker peoples. The rough dressed sarsen stones (natural blocks of sandstone) used on the site were sourced from the nearby Marlborough Downs. No one really knows why this monument was created, although many theories have been put forward over the years, ranging from religious usage to astronomical associations.
Opening times: any reasonable
time during daylight hours - Free Access
Location: Avebury, SN8 1RF, Tel: 01672 539250 Website
Facilities: parking nearby (charged)
Standing at 300ft (30m) tall, Silbury Hill is the largest man-made prehistoric mound found in Europe. It is believed to have been constructed around 2500 BC. Many excavations in and around the hill have failed to fully discover its purpose.
Opening times: any reasonable
time daylight hours
Location: West Kennett, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1QH
Facilities: free parking (for up to 15 cars) Free access to viewing area
Large neolithic burial tomb said to have been constructed around the 4th millennium BC. The barrow consists of a 340 ft (100m) long chalk mound with a row of sarsen stones marking the entrance at the eastern end. Within the tomb are a number of stone-built chambers, once used for human burials.
Opening times: any reasonable time during daylight hours Free Access
Location: West Kennett, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1QH - Tel: 01672 539 250 Website
Facilities: Parking in lay-by only