The only place where a village is contained within the largest stone circle complex in the UK! So I thought for my Birthday this year, I would like to spend it there. I've been a couple of times before, and each time has been magical and insightful in many ways. The first time I went, we were guided around by the inspiring and exceptionally knowledgeable Maria Wheatley and Busty Taylor, and the second time I went with the gorgeous Lucy Cavendish.
Avebury is not too far to get to from London, the train to Swindon takes about 50 mins, and the beautiful bus ride is only 20-30 mins through rolling countryside, where if you look carefully you can see a chalk Horse carved into the hillside.
Arriving in Avebury by bus, you get dropped inside the stone circle, yup I did say inside. Some divine inspiration no doubt, carved a small but very main road through the middle of the large stone circle. Such is the respect for our wonderful megalithic past!
It's not too hard to imagine the grandeur of what the Avebury complex may once have been, (if you ignore the lorry going past you, and pretend that potentially hundreds of the stones had not been destroyed and/or made into parts of the village houses, walls, chapel, etc)
If only it was preserved more like it once was. It took our ancestors many, many generations to complete such an ambitious temple and processional works. Alas, despite the magical and majestic power house of energy of Avebury, it didn't take long for people to destroy it! Most of the stones were buried in Mediaeval times, perhaps from fear of persecution from the church, or maybe to clear the land. Later in the 17th Century, worse still many of the stones were destroyed, vandalised and used for housing and church building.
Thankfully around the 17th/18th Century, some people saw sense, namely William Stuckeley who was responsible mainly for how we envision the Avebury complex now,
Here are some drawings images from Stuckeley and just after Stuckeley's time of how Avebury might have once looked:
The first time I went to Avebury, I learned how to dowse and tune into the powerful energy ley lines there. Despite the destruction it is still a place of amazing energy and astrological alignments.
Inside the outer circle there is temple to the Sun and the Moon, with alignments to different festivals and Solar and Lunar events.
There is a long processional way leading from what is called 'The Sanctuary', on the right of Stuckeley's area drawing above, which leads to the main banks and circles. The deep ditch/bank, which surrounds the circle would have been a lot deeper and higher when the temple was in use, with the chalk underneath gleaming bright white. What a sight it must have been, travelling through the processional way, with only torches and starlight to guide you, and seeing the bright white bank of the temple circle!
Back to the modern day, and back to the pub! Everyone who has visited Avebury will be familiar with the Red Lion pub - a pub in the middle of a stone circle - awesome. It's also thought of as one of the most haunted pubs in England. It can hardly escape having an interesting energy, considering where it's place. It also does fabulous grub and beer to keep you warm on a long day exploring!
We also walked to West Kennet Long Barrow (which is the first Long Barrow I visited a few years ago, and ever since I have become fascinated with them). A place of such astounding energy and history, where a deep respect for the ancestors flows through the earth. It is believed to be around 5000 years old, and when using dowsers in there, they react very interestingly - swinging one way then the other suggesting underground water activity there.
As we walked to the barrow you can't help but notice Silbury Hill, the only remaining man made pyramid/mound in the UK. Little is solidly known about the uses of the Hill, but we have a few ideas and theories....
Here are some photos by my partner the fabulous Gordon Burns of my Birthday day trip to Avebury, after you've looked at them go check out his amazing work!!! :)
Me at Avebury
Avebury Stone Circle
Me at west Kennet Long Barrow
Thank you for reading. x