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


Circle henge


10th December 2018

The promised journey to return to Avebury occurred as with the best of things, a spontaneous gesture. This time, to visit on the cusp of winter rather than summer, just to mix things up and see how the other season lives.

My last visit to this marvellous hub of positivity during the summer was slightly marred by a 20 strong group, who insisted on taking up the quarter behind The Red Lion to film a very theatrical worship of the stones. My own preference is for quiet reflection and interaction with fellow wanderers, with my most recent trip being conducive to this ideal.

After lunch at the Red Lion and a brief period of enjoying a game of 'pretend to be a friendly local,' while supping a pint outside the pub entrance, I set to exploring the area which time had previously denied.

My focus was on the southern area of the site, stretching outwards away from the village. It's probably here that greater insight is earned, seeing more of the trench and scale of the site. It’s quite something to behold.

My visit was rewarded with interactions with fellow travellers. The elderly woman who photobombed my attempt to photograph the southern entrance stones, told me of her son's visit to Callanish, one of those sites to make anyone’s bucket list.

"Did he see it from the air, by helicopter?" I asked. "No," she replied, but gave her son's account from ground level which was just as compelling. Her own reason for visiting was to see the West Kennet Longbarrow, with an interest in finding similar barrow sites in the area. I showed her my pictures of Wayland's Smithy near Uffington, noting it as my favourite. She asked if I was an expert, to which I replied, "No, but a keen enthusiast."

As dusk set in, the underestimatedly busy road that runs through the village gained more traffic, with the passenger of a passing white van deciding that making cow noises at me might be of amusement. The episode prompted a woman, sitting by a tree and enjoying a yoghurt, to note that by and large, 'today was quiet with not many people about.' She spoke of what the site meant to her, especially in terms of the ley lines. My recognition of the significance of these ensured our conversation, which of course was a delight from the norm of town living, where talk might gear towards the management of traffic and local affairs. Again, as with previous visits, my thoughts turned to what might yet be a retirement in such a place.

Soonafter, the reluctance to leave set in with the onset of dusk, but safe in the knowledge that any visit to this place is but an hour away. The visit was more about the experience of sharing thoughts and tales with fellow travellers, as authentic and in the style of Chaucer, welcoming to all, from both near and far. Surely something more attuned to the initial premise of Avebury, where the spirit of community and gathering still resides in this pocket of the world.
Spiddly Posted by Spiddly
12th December 2018ce
Edited 12th December 2018ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment