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

The Sanctuary

Timber Circle


28th June 2006

And so to The Sanctuary... well that is if you can actually get into it! It took me about 5 mins to work out how to open the gate, which seems to have been fashioned from an Inquistion torture device and one of those brakes mechanisms that they used to put on kiddies go-karts. I pushed and pulled and the gate remained locked; i lifted and tugged and still no joy. I tried a combination of the above and, at last, it came undone - this certainly wasn't the type of riddle that i'd expected to be confronted with here.

Once inside there's not much to see and it's rather left up to your own imagination or the graphics on the EH information post to fill in the blanks, or the holes if you will. In the dramatic reconstruction that an EH artist has kindly put together i found it rather disconcerting that Neolithic man bears an uncanny resemblance to the hairy, bearded bloke from that 1970's erotic masterpiece, 'The Joys of Love'. Perhaps it was the same artist?

Either way this shouldn't really distract from the wider context in which The Sanctuary is posited: sitting aloft Overton Hill at the south-western end of The Ridgeway and forming part Avebury's astonishing Druidic complex. As some of the other posts have commented, this really is the place from which a visit to any of the surrounding sites should begin. Having already trod the Ridgeway earlier in the day up at Uffington i picked it up once again, by way of the M4, at its conlusion just north of The Sancturay.

As one journey ends at The Sancturay it seems that so another begins - that of the descent down to Avebury and Silbury. I found an excellent print in the Henge Shop in Avebury etched by Antiquarian extrodinaire, William Stukeley, in which he offers up a far more interesting and aesthetically pleasing dramatic reconstruction than the one seen on the EH sign. In it he depicts a panoramic elevation of Beckhmanpton Ave, Avebury, West Kennett Ave and The Sanctuary in which the shape of a serpent is apparent in the way the sites are connected - The Sanctuary being it's head!
Posted by deboudoir
28th June 2006ce
Edited 28th June 2006ce

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