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Avebury Stone Circle

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews and reviews.
Published August 27th 2012
Avebury's supersize stone circle
Stonehenge may be known as the Daddy of them all, but 30 miles away at Avebury, you can see what remains of the world's largest stone circle.

Avebury Henge
Avebury Henge

This enormous bank and ditch (the henge) contains two smaller stone circles within a large outer circle, which originally numbered around 100 standing stones. Some of the huge Sarsen stones weigh up to 60 tons.

Avebury Stone Circle
Avebury Stone Circle

While mystery surrounds the significance of this ancient site, as sunlight casts its shadows, the stones give up some of their secrets. It seems that their purpose was to plot the solar cycle and form a huge temple where ceremonial rituals were held to honour nature and its changing seasons.

There are several other prehistoric sites in this area, which are part of a World Heritage site maintained by the National Trust. These include a Neolithic site at Windmill Hill, burial chambers at West Kennet Long Barrow and Seven Barrows, a Bronze Age cemetery on Overton Hill.

In Avebury village, right beside the Henge site, you can stock up on drinks, snacks and groceries, and browse through the books, gifts and souvenirs at the Henge Shop in the High Street.
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Why? Avebury henge - stone circle
When: Open daily dawn to dusk
Where: Avebury next to the high street
Cost: Free
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