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Almost entirely within the Neolithic earthworks, Avebury is a small compact village. More impressive than Stone Henge, the area cannot be seen from one vantage point, and seems not to have drawn much attention until being noted by John Aubry.

Most of the standing stones were broken up in the 1700's and used for cottage and boundary walls, in which they can still be seen. The method used to break the stones was to heat them on a large fire then pour cold water along premarked lines.

It has never been determined, the form and extent of the standing stones that may once have radiated from the earthworks. The 18th century antiquary, William Stukeley had a theory that the stones were in the design of a serpent in which stone avenues ended in circles at the beast's head and tail.

The village includes museums, a manor, church, craft and National Trust shops and The Red Lion pub.

Avebury c.1965

 This is the south-east quadrant of the henge - the two stones in the foreground are the large "southern entrance" stones (the 'Devil's Chair' is the one on the left), and to the right and beyond are the stones of the southern inner circle.

  © Copyright David Wright and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Avebury stone circle from the air

The largest stone circle in the world.

Taken from the air 17th December 2003 on the 100 year anniversary of the first Wright brothers flight.

 © Copyright PeteG and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

(This photograph has been cropped and clarified but remains PeteG’s work and his copyright)

The Diamond Stone

The northern-most stone of the north-west quadrant at Avebury. Named the Diamond Stone (on account of its shape) or the Swindon Stone (on account of the adjacent A4361 road to Swindon). It is a 60 ton sarsen megalith, one of the largest of the standing stones within the henge.

© Copyright Jim Champion and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.