West Kennet Avenue
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The avenue seems to form some kind of a processional way, used for ritual observances. Quite what those observances are is anyone's guess.
The size of the stones varies quite markedly, from a high of 3.3 metres down to 1.6 metres. The rows are on average about 15 metres apart, and stones in each row are spaced at about 20 metres.
One theory suggests that the stones were alternating symbols for male and female, with larger, more upright stones representing males, and shorter, diamond-shaped stones representing females. That would suggest some sort of fertility aspect to the Avenue, but there is no solid evidence to prove this hypothesis.
A burial was found beneath one of the stones, and other possible burial sites in close proximity.
Near the Overton Hill end of the Avenue is an earthwork bank, which runs in a line for 320 metres. Though perhaps of medieval origin, this bank has been suggested as a being contemporary with the Avenue. Some investigators suggest that a cove, or semi-circular enclosure, once stood within the Avenue, but this suggestion is not universally accepted.
A similar avenue of stones, dubbed the Beckhampton Avenue, once ran from the western side of Avebury, though most of this avenue has been lost.
About West Kennet Avenue
Address: B4003, Avebury, Wiltshire, England
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site
Location: The best way to visit is to park in the National Trust parking area in Avebury and walk across Avebury henge to the beginning of the avenue. Try to avoid visiting at the time of the summer solstice, as the crowds can be very large.
Website: West Kennet Avenue
Fax: 01672 539 250
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
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Medieval (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Avebury Stone Circle - 0.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Avebury Manor and Garden - 0.4 miles (Historic House)
Avebury, St James Church - 0.4 miles (Historic Church)
Alexander Keiller Museum - 0.5 miles (Museum)
Silbury Hill - 0.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
West Kennet Long Barrow - 1.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Avebury Sanctuary - 1.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Windmill Hill - 1.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to West Kennet Avenue:
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