Avebury Surprise

Our first attempt at visiting Avebury was aborted. We arrived at around 2 o’clock on a very cold, miserably damp afternoon. Pulled into the car park to find the ubiquitous “pay & display” machine demanding we hand over £4.00 for the privilege. Between us we had just £3.80 in coins and we didn’t fancy risking a £50 fine so we left.

You know sometimes when something doesn’t work out, but then the next time you try it is so much better than the first time could have been? That’s how it happened for us. So the next day we were a bit better organised and arrived at around 11am, armed with the required £4.00 parking slug. The weather was cold but thankfully not raining. A pleasant English winter’s day and perfect for ancient stone circle viewing and village wandering.

Avebury. I had no idea I would find the perfect place here for my sister Robyn. She spent the day with me in my heart when in fact she was glamping with her family at a beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. In glorious summer sunshine.

Why did I channel my sister in that place? I don’t really know but I felt she’d also love the serenity, the history, the mysticism. I’ve not had that strong feeling about my sister and a place before.

It was in the little Church of St James that I felt true peace & calm, and Dave was very patient as I spent well over an hour just hanging around the small intimate spaces. And thinking of my sister.

I’m in no way religious and I usually admire churches and cathedrals from a historical, architectural and construction perspective.

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I like it when historical data is provided. It helps to understand. You can see how this church has developed over the centuries, the earliest parts date back to AD1000.

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The font dates back to Norman times.

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St James Church is more than just a place of worship for the faithful. Areas are set aside for children’s activities, community meetings and even a picnic area!

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I especially enjoyed reading some of the messages on this tree. Mostly heartfelt wishes for world peace and happiness for all.

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And an especially poignant message following recent sad news. IMG_3116

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Something for everyone in this little church.

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These kneeling cushions are all hand-made tapestries with various messages and symbols.

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Of course the main reason people come to Avebury from all over the world is to marvel at the Neolithic (4200BC – 3000BC) stone circles, the largest circles in all of Europe.

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So wonderful to be able to walk among these rock formations and try to get a sense of the history.

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Avebury Henge. Seriously impressive and worth taking the time to get close. Something you can’t do at Stone Henge as that area is fenced off.

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Looks like a moat all the way around.

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It is said that the circles took centuries to create, and seeing the size of the boulders we weren’t surprised.

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Many buildings of the village date from 16th Century, standing within and around the stones.

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This wall map of Saint Michael’s Ley Line, linking St Michael’s Mount at Lands End through significant sites to Hopton.

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Avebury Village is tiny, just a couple of streets and with a population of around 500.

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Avebury Manor & Garden, owned by the National Trust. Open only April to October. Some buildings date to 16th Century.

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Nice pub, situated right in the middle of ancient stone circles.

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We were lucky on the day of our visit. I think we saw only around 10 other people so we had plenty of open space with no crowds to battle. I imagine it may not seem so serene with loads of tourists in the Spring and Summer, but it would probably lots of fun.

I was amused by this article about Bill Bryson’s experiences in Avebury and I can say I didn’t feel the way he did about Avebury.

We wanted to visit Avebury for the stone circles but we found a wonderful surprise with the beautiful village.

And I felt a strong connection with my dear sister back home.

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1 Comment on Avebury Surprise

  1. Great Blog. I wonder if you and Rob had a past life experience in that place!!!

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