Avebury Stone Circle | Things to see and do | Tourism | Out & About | Leisure | Homepage - The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
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FETED as one of the most complete prehistoric complexes in Europe, Avebury stands at the centre of our Neolithic past. The stone circle, which is
thought to have been erected around 2600-2400 BC, stands amid a series of exceptional monuments that include Silbury Hill, Windmill Hill, the Sanctuary and West Kennet Long Barrow.
The size of Avebury and its undoubted drama has led many to declare it superior to Stonehenge and its accessibility means visitors can meander between the stones and even touch them.
The stones were erected between the first two of Stonehenge's three phases of construction. They were dragged from neighbouring downland despite many weighing up to 20 tonnes, some up to 60 tonnes. Experts estimate it would have taken 1.5 million man hours to gather and place the stones.
Today, the great ditch is only a third of its original depth and the bank surrounding the complex is much reduced in height. In addition, the A4361, along which cars speed to nearby Devizes, separates each quadrant of the circle.
Avebury and the surrounding complex of Neolithic monuments have a fascinating history of desecration and restoration, and have inspired scientists and artists alike.