History and Facts about Avebury Henge and visiting for Free!

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One of Britain’s most important Neolithic ceremonial sites that may be seen today is Avebury Henge, which is part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. One of the biggest and most complex of Britain’s Neolithic henge structures, it was erected and changed over several decades between around 2850 BC and approximately 2200 BC. Find out all about it below and why people choose to visit the Avebury stone circles when also taking a tour of Stonehenge.

An image of how Avebury could have been seen in Neolithic times
The image above show how Avebury might have been like in the Neolithic period
© Historic England (illustration by Ivan Lapper)

How Avebury was built

The precise order in which the banks, ditches, and stone circles at Avebury were built is still a mystery similar to Stonehenge’s history, which is still fiercely debated.

Numerous other features may have formerly been present within the enclosure, according to modern aerial and geophysical investigations and limited excavations. As with other henges in this region of Britain, it is quite possible that the space inside the bank and ditch was formerly occupied with wood circles and structures before the stone circles were built.

Two stone pathways that connected the Great Henge to additional ceremonial sites at Beckhampton and Overton Hill were also constructed at some point. Nearby, Silbury Hill is a massive man-made mound that is about contemporary with these monuments.

A Ritual Landscape

The perception is that the terrain was designed for rituals, including procession, inclusion, and exclusion.

If this is the case, the various monuments may have been constructed as open-air “theatres” for rituals and ceremonies that physically expressed the community’s beliefs about the nature and transmission of authority, whether spiritual or political, as well as the place of the people within that order.

See how they might have placed the stones at Avebury into position
See how they might have placed the stones into position

The fact that Great Henge and its two avenues were constructed over such a lengthy period shows that the community’s interaction with its surroundings may have progressively changed. It’s possible that evolving rituals were what inspired the construction of additional monuments and ultimately led to their destruction about 1800 BC.

History, both Medieval And Modern

Many of the stones were either lost in the ground or destroyed throughout the Middle Ages because they may have been connected to pagan and demon worship. Others were eliminated as a result of later agricultural and construction developments. Nevertheless, we may learn a little bit about the area’s past configuration through the records and maps early antiquarians like John Aubrey, and William Stukeley compiled.

But Alexander Keiller, the heir to a wealth amassed from the well-known Keiller marmalade, who purchased the property in the late 1930s and pulled out structures while re-erecting numerous stones, is mainly responsible for the site’s standing stones and current appearance.

Avebury and Stonehenge are both included as World Heritage Sites today and are an example of outstanding prehistoric monuments..

Interesting Facts about Avebury Stone Circle

A masterpiece of architecture, the Avebury Stone Circle, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1986. To see this historic building, travellers from all over the world travel to Wiltshire, a county in southwest England, and Avebury Village. Here are interesting facts about the Avebury Stone Circle, which is a stop on our Big One Tour of rural England.

The Avebury Stone Circle goes back to the Neolithic age.

In ancient Britain, the Avebury Stone Circle was constructed. It was first discovered during the Neolithic Age, probably between 2200 and 2850 BC. Just to give you an idea of what a fantastic effort this architectural masterpiece is, humans in the Neolithic Age mainly employed stone tools, with hints of early metallurgy and pottery, but no advanced technology to transport and set each stone in position. The Neolithic Age also saw the birth of the Agricultural Revolution and the domestication of animals in Eurasia and other areas of the world, which provide some insight into why it was created (but not conclusive proof).

The Avebury Stone Circle was initially comprised of 100 stones.

Construction was between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago; the Avebury Stone Circle has withstood millennia of weathering and erosion. The Avebury Stone Circle originally included 100 stones, with 29 or 30 stones making up its outermost ring. The Avebury stone circle, which is the most enormous stone circle in all of Britain, features an outer ring with a circumference of 1,088 feet. The inner rings’ diameters in the north and south are 322 feet and 354 feet, respectively.

A view of Avebury stone circle from up high
View of Avebury Stone Circle from up high

The Avebury Stone Circle is an attraction that makes up England’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are several Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites in the area, including the Avebury Stone Circle. During your tour, you can all visit these locations, which include:

v West Kennet Long Barrow, a network of chambered graves constructed circa 3650 BC and containing the remains of fifty persons.

v Windmill Hill, a collection of three concentric but sporadic ditches where numerous animal bones were discovered, indicating ceremonies or animal banquets by Neolithic peoples.

v Silbury Hill, the most prominent man-made mound in Europe, was finished about 2400 BC. However, similar to the Avebury Stone Circle, its function is still a mystery.

A selection of Stones at Avebury
Some Stones at Avebury

The Avebury Stone Circle has enormous stones.

The size of the Avebury stones that make up the Avebury Stone Circle only adds to its mystique. One wonders how prehistoric humans could move each stone to its location and force it upright, given the time when these stones were created. Since some of the stones weigh more than 40 tonnes (or 80,000 pounds! ), they could not have been set in position without the aid of trucks and cranes. Furthermore, the stones themselves were tall. They range in height from 12 feet to 18 feet.

The purpose of the Avebury Stone Circle is unknown.

Because of the ancient structures at the time of this Stone Circle’s makeup, no written accounts of its usage or intent exist. However, several archaeologists made similar hypotheses. Aubrey Burl, for instance, thought that whoever constructed the Avebury Stone Circle offered it as a peace sacrifice to the gods who oversaw the weather and other natural phenomena so that they would be shielded from diseases and calamities may damage them. Another version contends that it was a location for feasts and meetings of Neolithic people, which is corroborated by the animal bones discovered nearby.

The Avebury Stone Circle served as a place of prayer.

The notion put out by Aubrey Burl regarding the Avebury Stone Circle was previously stated. He thought the Neolithic peoples utilized it to worship gods in return for defence from illnesses and natural calamities. The Stone Circles sacred importance survived changes in time. It’s possible that mediaeval civilizations utilized it for pagan and demon worship as well.

Some of the stones were destroyed by historical developments.

Some of the stones in the Avebury Stone Circle were destroyed as civilizations developed over time. A change in the terrain and removing many stones resulted from improvements in local agriculture and building development.

Alexander Keiller is in charge of keeping the Avebury Stone Circle in good condition.

Alexander Keiller was the Dundee marmalade company’s heir as well as an archaeologist. He acquired the surrounding area and began to care for and preserve the Neolithic and Bronze Age structures at Avebury.

The Avebury Stone Circle is best explored on foot.

You may visit the Avebury Stone Circle, the West Kennet Long Barrow, the Windmill Hill, The Sanctuary, Silbury Hill, and the Alexander Keiller Museum, which are six locations in the vicinity. So, if your schedule permits, you should spend some time walking about this British UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of course, if you just have a short amount of time, a driving trip will still allow you to view the main attractions.

Drones are not permitted in the vicinity.

The Avebury Stone and neighbouring locations provide some of the most extraordinary aerial vistas. Still, most tourists won’t be able to capture them since drones aren’t permitted to be flown over them. Drone operations are restricted to partners and contractors with the necessary insurance and authorizations. But, of course, the views are still stunning from the ground.

To discover more about prehistoric England, visit the Avebury Stone Circle and the other neighbouring monuments. As part of our Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Avebury Stone Circle See, you may tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site and learn a little bit about the Neolithic Age, even if its significance is still unknown.

Avebury is a location where you may make a connection with history and spend some time understanding what life could have been like thousands of years ago. Avebury is recognized as a World Heritage Site for its exceptional Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape. In addition to being the most enormous stone circle in the world, the henge monument is also exceptional, given it is the only stone circle to have a hamlet partially included inside it. A square-shaped stone monument, which may be the oldest structure in the stone circles and was recently discovered thanks to the geophysical investigation, shows that Avebury still has plenty of mysteries to unravel.  

Visiting Avebury for Free!

Many visitors to Stonehenge will venture across to Avebury, which is just 24 miles away (about 45 minutes by car). Some visitors will compare Avebury to Stonehenge, but we think this is unfair as they are both great, albeit slightly different.

One of the critical points for visitors wanting to visit Avebury is that there are no entrance fees; you just pay for car parting. You are also able to touch the Stones at Avebury. However, the Stones aren’t as impressive. However, it is still very much worth the effort, particularly if you have your own transport.

Interested in checking out some of our…


All of our full-day and half-day London to Stonehenge Tours involve central London pick up and drop off at the end of the tour. Visitors will travel in a luxury air-conditioned coach with a knowledgable guide to assist them on their tour of the best attractions in the UK. Often it’s an early start, so you want to travel comfortably; many coaches include free wifi to keep in touch during the journeys, look up what’s to come or share your experiences online. You don’t need to worry about parking far away at Stonehenge either when travelling on one of our luxury coaches as the coach parks near the main car part and just a short walk to the visitor centre and main entrance.

One of the luxury coaches that takes you on your tour to Stonehenge from London

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