The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Windmill Hill

Causewayed Enclosure


Did a linear walk the other day which gave a different perspective to approaching Avebury as went via Windmill Hill. Travelled by 49 bus to Berwick Bassett then followed one of the North Wessex Downs AONB superb bus walks. The walk (see link below) suggests a small detour to see St Nicholas Church in Berwick Bassett - this is worth the effort however ambivalent you may feel towards churches as it is built from sarsen stone, the first church I've ever seen built completely with sarsen. Three of the gravestones are sarsen standing stones though all erected relatively recently.

The approach to Windmill Hill is along a right of way which takes you across two fields so it is visible for some time before you reach it. Interesting when you remember that Windmill Hill was a causewayed enclosure and a site of Neolithic gatherings long before Avebury was built - I could well have been walking an ancient route. Once on Windmill Hill it seems compulsory to sit on the main round barrow for a bit and contemplate the amazing landscape that stretches out all around you. The day I visited it was misty (though lifting) giving the view towards Avebury the mysterious appearance I love so much. Silbury only just discernible through the mist along with Cherhill Down on the right.

The walk down to Avebury from Windmill Hill was just so peaceful; the mist was lifting fast to reveal a perfect still November day. Hardly anyone at Avebury and on this occasion I went into the Alexander Keiller Museum which is a must for anyone visiting Windmill Hill for the first time.

Its strange that you when become too familiar with a place like Avebury, all it takes is approaching it from a different direction to bring it back into sharp focus again (even in mist). If you are able, I recommend this walk and I understand the 49 bus now runs hourly on a Sunday - use it or lose it.$LUcontent/8.1/$FILE/Walk%203%20EXP.pdf?OpenElement
tjj Posted by tjj
18th November 2011ce
Edited 20th November 2011ce

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