You are hereThe Avebury Complex

The Avebury Complex

The stone circle and henge that surrounds the village of Avebury, is only one in a series of monuments concentrated in this small area. The site is a remnant of a ritual Neolithic landscape, which still survives although degraded with time and the actions of over zealous groups in past centuries. What remains of the circle now is only a small proportion of what must have been an awe-inspiring place when it was in use over 4000 years ago.

Brief History
The stone circle is thought to date from around 2600BC, although the proper chronology of the site is not completely understood by archaeologists. The earliest focus of ritual activity in the area was at nearby Windmill Hill around 3700BC, at this time the first stages of West Kennet Long Barrow were also begun.

It is thought that the two inner circles at Avebury were completed first, around 2600BC. The outer ring and henge (The ditch of which was originally 10 metres deep) was started around 2500BC, completed entirely with antler picks and stone tools. The actual stones where quarried from the Marlborough Downs and transported overland, probably on wooden rollers. This must have been a monumental task as some of the stones within the circle are over 40 tonnes, almost twice as heavy as those at nearby Stonehenge, although not as well finished and shaped. There were originally around 100 of these stones although only 27 remain, the missing stones marked by concrete posts.

There was a phase of destruction at the site in the 14th century, when many of the stones were buried, and again in the 17th and 18th century, when the stones where broken up with fire and hammers. This was mainly in response to puritanical thought and for private ventures.

Folklore and Legends
There seems to be little folklore associated with the stone circle itself, that being reserved for single stones and other features in the landscape.

The Devil's Chair is one of the most massive stones within the structure, it sits where the West Kennet avenue joins the circle. So named because of the natural seat formation in the stone, young women used to sit here on May Day Eve (Beltane) and make a wish.

A large stone known as the Diamond Stone, situated near the Northwest entrance, is said to cross over to the other side of the road when the clock strikes midnight. An amazing feat as the stone weighs around forty tonnes.

There have been some strange sightings in the locality of the stones. Small figures have been seen moving within the stones in the moonlight, and a woman called Edith Olivier heard music and saw lights amongst the stones whilst driving through the village at night. She took the lights to be those of a fair.

Ancient Astronomy
As far as I know there has been no real attempt to measure any alignments within the stone circle itself, and it may now be impossible because so many stones are missing and in different positions after re-erection. Paul Devereux believes that the whole Avebury area and the structures within it are orientated in special relationship to Silbury Hill. More can be gleaned from his books listed in the bibliography section.

The Avebury Complex: Click play to hear sample audio from ROADTOUR
Image Copyright: 
Lee Waterhouse
Daniel Parkinson

Javascript is required to view this map.
Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Re: The Avebury Complex

In her book 'Without Knowing Mr Walkley', Edith Oliver describes coming across a fair in Avebury Stone Circle.  It was 1916 during World War I and was driving her car from Devizes to Marlborough.  Around twilight she stopped at Avebury.

"And the fair that night brought out this aspect of the place. It looked right. The grand megaliths and the humble cottages alike were partly obscured by the failing light and the falling rain, but both were fitfully lit by flares and torches from booths and shows. Some rather primitive swing-boats flew in and out of this dim circle of light; cocoanuts rolled hairily from the sticks on which they had been planted; bottles were shivered by gun-shots and tinkled as they fell to the ground.  And all the time the little casual crowd of villagers strayed with true Wiltshire indifference from one sight to another, those great stones, the legacy of architects of an unknown race, had succeeded in adapting themselves completely to the village of another day. I stood on the bank for a short time watching the scene; and then I decided that too much rain was falling down the back of my neck, so I got into the car and drove away,"

Several years later she returned to Avebury and found the alley of stones she remembered was no longer there.  According to a guide book they had not been there for centuries.  She also discovered that the Avebury fair was abolished in 1850, a good 66 years before she saw it.

Could this be a time slip of some sort?

I have come across a reference that says Edith Oliver was also lucky enough to witness Lyonesse whilst at Lands End.  Hmmm, I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from this.

Stephen Clementson's picture
Stephen Clementson
User offline. Last seen 6 years 1 week ago. Offline
Joined: 29 May 2010
Re: The Avebury Complex

Dear all,

From personal experience, I can say that the Avebury area does serve as a focus for weirdness.  It is a hotspot, but those who experience the weirdness are selected.  Taking the account at face value, I note that the meaning of 'Edith Oliver' is 'strife for wealth, symbol of peace'.  (Oliver means 'symbol of peace', so please consider that Oliver's castle is a crop circle target) This might have been exceedingly significant in 1916.

Avebury was the first place that I'd discovered an intelligently controlled dowsing field.  The first crop circle that we ever visited was the scrolls formation (1990) (I found a connection to the Old Testament), just down the road from Avebury.  It is also recorded that there is a relationship between UFOs and unexplained time distortions.

User offline. Last seen 1 year 40 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Re: The Avebury Complex

When we were stationed in England my wife & I visited Avebury on several occasions. Both of us are keenly interested in lay lines, stones, ancient religions & the like.

At Avebury (unlike Stonehenge) you can actually touch the stones comprising the circle. On practically every visit when my wife touched any of them she said she felt a vibration as if the stone was talking to her through its position on the lay line surrounding the complex.She felt as if she was participating in a very ancient event.I realize this sounds strange to us today but my wife is very attuned to nature and versed in the old ways.



Recent comments

Featured Site