Avebury is also home to a pub, which is most famous for allegedly being haunted by several ghosts. It was featured on Most Haunted.
Stukeley was disgusted by the destruction of the sarsen stones in the monument, and named those local farmers and builders who were responsible. He remarked that "this stupendous fabric, which for some thousands of years, had brav'd the continual assaults of weather, and by the nature of it, when left to itself, like the pyramids of Egypt, would have lasted as long as the globe, hath fallen a sacrifice to the wretched ignorance and avarice of a little village unluckily plac'd within it."
Avebury is part of an extraordinary set of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that seemingly formed a vast sacred landscape. They include West Kennet Avenue, West Kennet Long Barrow, The Sanctuary, Windmill Hill, and the mysterious Silbury Hill. Many can be reached on foot from the village. The Alexander Keiller Museum also displays many notable finds from the Avebury monuments. Together with Stonehenge, Avebury and its surroundings are a World Heritage Site.
Avebury Manor was recently the subject of a unique collaboration with the BBC.
The 17th-century threshing barn forms one half of the museum and is home to five species of bats.
With his complaints about the cash, the parking and the labyrinthine layout, Bryson is opening the way for the Disneyfication of Avebury’s electric mysteries
The collections are owned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and are on loan to English Heritage.
At the centre of a pre-historic complex in the Marlborough Downs stands Avebury Stone Circle, the largest stone circle in the world.
Avebury henge and stone circles are one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, the henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch, encircling an area that includes part of Avebury village. Within the henge is the largest stone circle in Britain - originally of about 100 stones - which in turn encloses two smaller stone circles.
Avebury has been adopted as a sacred site by many adherents of contemporary Pagan religions such as Druidry, Wicca and Heathenry. These worshippers view the monument as a "living temple" which they associate with the ancestors, as well as with genii loci, or spirits of place. Typically, such Pagan rites at the site are performed publicly, and attract crowds of curious visitors to witness the event, particularly on major days of Pagan celebration such as the summer solstice.
Before you post, we’d like to thank you for joining the debate - we’re glad you’ve chosen to participate and we value your opinions and experiences.
Water voles are a protected species but numbers are growing in the Avebury area, find out more about them in this short video.
Facilities: Toilets are available near the Alexander Keiller Museum.
Shop and café open every day. *Manor closed 20 to 22 June. Last entry one hour before closing; timed tickets during peak times. In winter, part of garden and museum may be closed, and everything closes at dusk if earlier than 4. **All except stone circle closed 24 to 26 December.
Fun and learning for all the family in the museum. The museum is split into two galleries; the interactive display is in the Barn Gallery and the archaeological finds are displayed in the Stables Gallery.
Since then, a pretty village has grown up at the heart of the monument.
In his study of those examples found at Orkney, Colin Richards suggested that the stone and wooden circles built in Neolithic Britain might have represented the centre of the world, or axis mundi, for those who constructed them, something Aaron Watson adopted as a possibility in his discussion of Avebury.
The lives and stories of the house’s many owners were brought to life by the use of interior design, including the creation of many new pieces reflecting the skills of contemporary craftsmen.
Free or reduced price entry to hundreds of exciting historic events throughout the year.
The chronology of Avebury's construction is unclear. It was not designed as a single monument, but is the result of various projects that were undertaken at different times during late prehistory. Aubrey Burl suggests dates of 3000 BC for the central cove, 2900 BC for the inner stone circle, 2600 BC for the outer circle and henge, and around 2400 BC for the avenues.
Originally erected about 4,500 years ago, many of the stones were re-erected in the 1930s by Alexander Keiller.
During the Late Neolithic, British society underwent another series of major changes. Between 3500 and 3300 BCE, these prehistoric Britons ceased their continual expansion and cultivation of wilderness and instead focused on settling and farming the most agriculturally productive areas of the island: Orkney, eastern Scotland, Anglesey, the upper Thames, Wessex, Essex, Yorkshire and the river valleys of the Wash.
Late Neolithic Britons also appeared to have changed their religious beliefs, ceasing to construct the large chambered tombs that are widely thought by archaeologists to have been connected with ancestor veneration. Instead, they began the construction of large wooden or stone circles, with many hundreds being built across Britain and Ireland over a period of a thousand years.
Avebury is a mystical wonderland. Bryson seems to have missed the point. He confesses in his new book The Road to Little Dribbling that he felt “grumpy” after paying for parking, then going to the National Trust’s ticket-charging properties in the village before he even found the stones. “The size and complexity of Avebury and the fact that a village stands in its midst,” he says, “make it awfully hard to get your bearings, and the National Trust does precious little to help.”
An extra £1 paid under the scheme can be worth over £3 to the National Trust as shown below: Payment of the additional percentage donation is entirely voluntary, so if you prefer to pay the standard admission please advise our reception staff at the till point.
Volunteering for the National Trust is a great way to make new friends, learn new skills and enjoying helping look after our special places.
Keep up to date with our latest news
Nordic walking is a powerful combination proven to keep you fit, help with posture and improve overall health. Join a qualified instructor for various group walking sessions and enjoy the inspiring landscape in the Avebury World Heritage Site. Discover Nordic walking and how fun it can be. A great social walk to explore the beautiful countryside while keeping fit. All abilities welcome.
Avebury Manor, on the edge of the village, was transformed in a partnership between the National Trust and the BBC, creating a hands-on experience that celebrates and reflects the lives of the people who once lived here.
Membership gives you unlimited access to castles and gardens, historic houses and abbeys, and kids go free…
Avebury is owned and managed by the National Trust, a charitable organisation who keep it open to the public. It has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, as well as a World Heritage Site, in the latter capacity being seen as a part of the wider prehistoric landscape of Wiltshire known as Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites.
Alongside its usage as a sacred site amongst Pagans, the prehistoric monument has become a popular attraction for those holding New Age beliefs, with some visitors using dowsing rods around the site in the belief that they might be able to detect psychic emanations.
The Avebury monument is a henge, a type of monument consisting of a large circular bank with an internal ditch. The henge is not perfectly circular and measures over 1,000 metres (1,090 yd) in circumference. The only known comparable sites of similar date are only a quarter of the size of Avebury.
Nearby you’ll also find a dovecote, shop and cafe.
From maintaining footpaths to running exhibitions, find out more about our vital ongoing work at Avebury.
In the nooks and crannies of the Avebury Manor garden there are 101 exciting works of art to be found. Turn a corner and see a stylised head in stone, stroll down Lion Walk and encounter ceramics nestled in the borders or wander into the Church garden and find a glass mosaic – all with the perfect backdrop of this beautiful and tranquil garden. The exhibition runs from Saturday 27 August to the 25 September. Garden only tickets available. Click to find out more.
Avebury (/ˈeɪvbri/) is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. One of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain, it contains the largest stone circle in Europe. It is both a tourist attraction and a place of religious importance to contemporary pagans.
A great deal of interest surrounds the morphology of the stones, which are usually described as being in one of two categories; tall and slender, or short and squat. This has led to numerous theories relating to the importance of gender in Neolithic Britain with the taller stones considered "male" and the shorter ones "female". The stones were not dressed in any way and may have been chosen for their pleasing natural forms.
About 480 people live in 235 homes in the village of Avebury and its associated settlement of Avebury Trusloe, and in the nearby hamlets of Beckhampton and West Kennett.
This circle features one of the most impressive henges in Britain as well as remains of a stone avenue.