Stonehenge and Avebury Henge

Throughout Britain, there are an incredible amount of prehistoric sites. The county of Wiltshire contains a large number of these sites and we were able to discover a few of them this past weekend. Our first stop was the town of Avebury. Avebury is about an hour west of London, about 3 hours from Ely. I am not going to pretend to be a history buff in this post but I will try my best to give you an overview of the sites.

Avebury Henge

The henge at Avebury is the largest circular stone monument in Britain. As you are driving into the town, you are able to see the "Avenue", which is a mile long path marked by pairs of large sarsen stones that led from the henge to the Sanctuary, which is a circular monument of timber. Seeing this gets your imagination turning...why did they have such an elaborate pathway?? As you come into the village of Avebury, which is smack dab in the middle of the henge, you are able to see the large circular mounds and ditches surrounding the stones.

The best part about Avebury was that we were able to walk any where we wanted around the stones. Even though it said to not touch them, everyone was. It was so incredible to stand next to these large stones that were placed 5000 years ago!! No one knows the actual reason these stone monuments were built. They were built during the Stone Age and then seemingly abandoned during the Bronze Age.

The Avebury Henge is part of the English Heritage group and we were able to enter for free with our passes we bought at Orford Castle.

For size reference, Van is 6'2

You can see the two circular rings of stones
The most famous circular stone monument of them all. I have to tell you, it was a little bit amazing to look at my bank account online and see a charge from Stonehenge!!! Again, we were able to enter Stonehenge for free with our English Heritage Passes. Those passes have definitely paid for themselves!

Theories suggest Stonehenge began construction somewhere between 3000-2000 BC. I recently watched a documentary that suggested that Stonehenge was first created as a burial site, and then later used to mark the Summer and Winter Solstices. What is so remarkable about the area is that you can look around and see a large number of mounds in the distance. This area became a major burial site during the Stone Age. It is amazing to imagine humans during the Stone Age were able to transport and construct a monument such as this.

I've edited this photo rather sharply so that you can see the mounds along the horizon line. These are some of the burial mounds around the monument.

So to some people, this may just be a bunch of rocks. But to us, it was a wonderful experience to imagine life in prehistoric times!

Happy Friday!

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