Avebury henge and stone circle (or circles) in Wiltshire is the largest stone circle in Europe, and part of Avebury village is enclosed within the henge. I could not have imagined how impressive it was until we visited, easily rivalling Stonehenge.
The photo is of the interior of this Neolithic chambered tomb which was built around 3650 BC. The burial chamber is only a small part of the whole barrow and comprises 5 smaller chambers: 2 on either side and 1 at the far end. Nearly 50 people were entombed here, dying within the space of 20 or 30 years, but the tomb was left open for 1,000 years before it was sealed. Large stones ‘guard’ the entrance.
It is one of the most impressive and well-preserved burial chambers in Britain, and part of the Avebury World Heritage Site, close to Silbury Hill.
On a short break back in July we managed a long-overdue visit to Stonehenge. We went early, beating most of the crowds that thronged the visitor centre and ferry-busses later in the day. It was chilly and murky, but the walkway around the ancient site gave the impressive iconic view (above) although the path is closer to the stones at the far side (below) whilst keeping the immediate area directly around the site protected. Strangely it isn’t as big as I had imagined, but impressive nontheless. English Heritage have done an excellent job with their new visitor centre (the 360 degree all-seasons panorama well worth seeing) and in maintaining and running this World Heritage Site. And for us the bonus was free entry as we are English Heritage members!
It has been a pretty grim few months, hence the severe lack of posting on the blog, which meant, amongst other things, that our planned holiday to Scotland had to be cancelled. Eventually, though, we did manage a few days away in Wiltshire where we visited the famous pre-historic sites and a couple of the cities.
Here is one of the tiny side streets in Bath, close to the cathedral and just off a square with a beautiful tree whose branches almost fill the entire space. It was a very busy day but this little street was quiet and would still be familiar to Jane Austen and her contemporaries.