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Coordinates: 51°25′40″N 1°51′04″W / 51.4279°N 1.8511°W / 51.4279; -1.8511

Avebury
Avebury.jpg
Avebury framed by the stone circle
Avebury is located in Wiltshire
Avebury

 Avebury shown within Wiltshire
Population 486 (2001 census)
OS grid reference SU103699
Unitary authority Wiltshire
Ceremonial county Wiltshire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MARLBOROUGH
Postcode district SN8
Dialling code 01672
Police Wiltshire
Fire Wiltshire
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Devizes
List of places: UK • England • Wiltshire

Avebury is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. Much of Avebury village is encircled by the prehistoric monument complex also known as Avebury. The parish also includes the nearby villages of Avebury Trusloe, Beckhampton and West Kennett[1].

Contents

History

The Avebury monument is vast, and consists of several smaller sites of varying dates. The earliest of these, the earthworks, dates to between 3400 and 2625 BC. Later additions include a henge and several stone circles. Starting in around the 14th century locals began dismantling the stone circles for one reason or another, to clear land, to provide material for other building projects, or simply to efface a pagan monument. In 1648 John Aubrey visited the site and found most of the stones still standing or lying nearby:

These Downes looke as if they were Sown with great Stones, very thicke; and in a dusky evening they looke like a flock of Sheep: from whence it takes its name. One might fancy it to have been the Scene where the Giants fought with stones against the Gods... I was wonderfully surprised at the sight of theose vast stones, of which I had never heard before; as also at the mighty Banke and Graffe [ditch] about it. I observed in the Inclosures some segments of rude circles, made with these stones, whence I concluded, they had been in old time complete.

In the 18th century William Stukeley visited the site and chronicled the further damage that had been done. In the 1930s the archeologist Alexander Keiller re-erected many of the fallen stones, partially restoring the circle to its original condition. In 1943 the British government took possession of the monument and the village; they are currently administered by the National Trust. In 1986, UNESCO added Avebury, along with Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, and associated local sites, to its World Heritage List.

Besides the Avebury Stone Circle itself, there are numerous other prehistoric sites nearby, including West Kennet Long Barrow and the West Kennet Avenue, both of which are near to the included settlement of West Kennett. The name of the settlement is always spelt with two 't's whilst the archaeological sites are generally spelt with one.

Avebury Manor & Garden

Avebury Manor & Garden is a National Trust property located in the village, consisting of an early 16th-century manor house and its surrounding garden.

Governance

Avebury is a civil parish with an elected parish council and also falls within the area of Wiltshire Council. Both councils are responsible for different aspects of local government.

In the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 486.

Geography

Nearby towns and cities: Calne, Marlborough, Devizes, Swindon, Salisbury

Nearby villages: Winterbourne Monkton, East Kennett, West Overton, Bishops Cannings

Notes and references

  1. ^ Traditional spelling of the name of the settlement, as opposed to the archaeological site

See also

External links

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