We hopped on the train in Portsmouth to Swindon, and the took the number 49 bus to Avebury. As we rode northeast along the coast we saw small hamlets along the bays, the harbors filled with boats and yachts. The cerulean blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds competed with the dark blue sea and white sail boats. Inland, we passed refineries, factories and post-war style brick houses. In the larger cities were modern glass towers.
As we head north, the airy clouds merge into large, deep, dark, threatening ones, casting shadows over the pastures and corn fields. They hang low and block out the warm sunshine.
The bus dropped us off in front of the Red Lion Inn in Avebury and we went in search of our B & B (Aveburylife) about 3/4 miles from the center. On the way we purchased a map of the Ridgeway Path in the quaint store (pictured left).
After dropping off our packs, we visited the standing stones. (Upper photo). This world-famous stone circle is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe.There are two inner stone circles surrounded by a larger one, which is the largest stone circle in Europe,
The Neolithic henge monument was constructed about 2600 B.C. Its purpose is unknown, although archaeologists believe that it was most likely used for some form of ritual or ceremony. In the early Medieval ages as the town developed, the locals buried the “pagan” stones. In the 1930s archaeologists excavated the site and returned the stones to their standing positions, indicating the missing stones a with a stone marker.
The standing stones are not the only prehistoric wonders in the area. In addition to Stonehenge, there are chalked markings, a dredge, and a man-made megalithic structure at Silbury Hill. Built in 5,000 B.C. this structure is he largest in Europe.
In the early evening, Dennis and I walked through fields to get to the large chalk mound. It is large, grass-covered, and marked by the animals that graze on it. It never amazes me why someone would put so much effort into building monuments such as these. What is it in the human nature that drives people to toil with basic tools to build these wonders?
The National Trust owns Avebury which has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument,as well as a World Heritage Site. There is a museum on site.