Neolithic Stone Avenue
Southeast of Avebury, Wiltshire OS Map SU106693
OS Maps - Landranger 173 (Swindon & Devizes), Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)
Looking northwest - Avebury is just over the hill ahead while Waden Hill is to the left of the picture
A possible later Neolithic addition to the Avebury landscape, the West Kennet Avenue winds southeast from the southern entrance of the henge at Avebury to The Sanctuary on Overton Hill a mile and a half away.
This row of stones consists of pairs of sarsen boulders set around 15 metres apart and spaced around 24 metres from the neighbouring pair. What is interesting is that each pair seems to consist of a tall thin block and an opposing shorter squatter stone, leading many people to speculate that these could represent male and female pairs.
The stones that can be seen today at the northern end of the avenue have been restored and efforts are currently being made to find some of the missing stones that form part of its the southern length.
In the 18th century the antiquarian William Stukeley claimed the existence a second avenue running west from Avebury and for many years archaeologists dismissed his claims as wild speculation. However recent excavations and finds of buried stones west of Avebury would suggest that Stukeley was indeed right about the existence of this Beckhampton Avenue.
It has been suggested that the tall, thin and short, squat alternating stones of the West Kennet Avenue may embody a form of male / female symbolism.
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