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West Kennett Avenue

Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue


In Aubrey Burl's book 'Prehistoric Avebury' there is a reproduction of a plan made by John Aubrey of the Kennett Avenue. He drew an angled stone just outside of the main avenue - you have to look closely at the plan or you overlook it as a bit of dirt. But JA spoke about such an anomaly, and he believed it to be a cove. He described it as being south of Avebury and near to the Kennett, which on the plan it kind of is. People thought he was confused with the Avebury cove, but you certainly couldn't describe the cove within Avebury in those terms.

There was no trace of this angled stone left by 1723, but it's thought it was about SU11016881 - just about where the road intersects the avenue and there are some more stones (further south than the layby mentioned in the fieldnotes). In 1989 some geophysicists did their stuff there, but the survey showed nothing.

Stukeley (cheeky man) nicked the idea of there having been a Kennett Cove, and presented it as his own. But later he changed his mind on the matter - and now Aubrey's map has come to light, it seems that Aubrey will now get the credit again for his own theory.

If there was a cove, then it would probably (like the Avebury circle cove) have been built very early on in the area's history. It would have predated the avenue itself. Burl suggests the presence of the avenue cove could explain the irregular path of the avenue, or indeed of the avenue's existence at all, in that it was built to link an older holy place with the main Avebury complex. But then surely the avenue was linking the Sanctuary up with the Avebury cove anyway (picking up the proposed Avenue cove en route?). Anyway, it's another possible monument to try and fit into the overall complex of sites...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st November 2003ce

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