Student Blog - The world heritage Avebury
As part of our social programme we took our students on a trip to the stone circles in Avebury.
Here is a report one of our students wrote about this trip:
The world heritage Avebury
Do you know how our ancestors buried their family several thousand years ago? In and around Avebury you can find out.
Avebury, a small village located in the Wiltshire, is a prehistoric site in Britain. It contains stone circles, a stone-lined Avenue, a huge artificial hill, a sanctuary and a Long Barrow. And nobody knows its purpose.
Its centerpiece is, undoubtedly, the big stone circle. 98 enormous stones line the circle but some of them were used, for example, as a stone resource for building houses in former times. Today, the missing stones have been replaced by concrete steles. Two smaller stone circles and the village can be found inside the large circle. Avebury itself contains around fifteen to twenty houses, some of them thatched. One of the houses is a pub called ‘The Red Lion’. There they serve delicious pies, so you can take your lunchbreak there. Additionally, there is an old church in the village which was most probably build to create a Christian presence in this place full of ancient religion. Take your afternoon break in the Coffeeshop and order a Cream Tea; it tastes so delicious that you won’t regret the order.
If you are interested in the history of Avebury, the Alexander Keiller Museum is worth a visit. There, archeologists present theories on how people could have moved the enormous stones almost 6000 years ago without a crane. But because nobody knows the exact purpose of the stone formations, the museum presents lots of assumptions about the place.
There is a stone-lined avenue leaving the village. After wandering around it for about 30 minutes, you pass a huge artificial hill, which is also part of the site. The avenue leads to a sanctuary but the path earlier takes you to a Long Barrow, where 46 people found buried several thousand years ago. The grave is an artificial mound 100 meters long. Inside are three sepulchers in which the bodies were found.
The site itself doesn’t have an entrance fee but you have to pay for the car park and an entrance fee at the museum. I am sure that Avebury is similar to the world-famous Stonehenge but since I have not been to Stonehenge yet I am not able to compare them.
The site is definitely worth a visit even if you are not interested in the history of our ancestors. But it is located in the iconic landscape of Wiltshire, so you can use the visit to get to know beautiful lawns, fields and hills. Unfortunately, I visited the site on a stormy day in March and because of the wind, I was not really able to enjoy the place, so make sure you go there on a mild, sunny day.