Stonehenge was built to worship the sun and moon. Avebury Stonehenge (20 miles north) was built to celebrate something closer to home – human life. Of course this could just be a desperate theory, and one of many, as the symbolism of the stones still remains to be a mystery.
Being the blunt, anti-romantic, atheistic cynic that I am, I personally think it’s all a load of inebriated nonsense, but I do love the possibility that the stones are arranged to represent the full circle of existence; birth, life and death. It’s a nice idea anyway. And it doesn’t get any more exciting than summoning the Devil from the fiery undergrounds of the Earth’s core…..
Free Admission to Avebury
Most people don’t realise, but Avebury is actually one of the most extraordinary prehistoric rock formations in the whole of Europe. It may not be as famous or as imposing as the Salisbury Stonehenge which the world knows best, but it certainly has its own unique charm. Its own unique mystery.
Of course, if you have time, it’s definitely worth seeing both sites. Whether you’re away with the fairies in La-La-Land, or a hardcore realistic like me, these prehistoric formations are still pretty magnificent. Depending on whether you are the former or the latter, Stonehenge and Avebury will reveal the spirituality of Earth or the stupidity of the human mind.
The Stone Circles of Avebury
The outer circle lines the inside of the henge and there were originally 98 stones. Within the outer circle, there are two inner circles where you will be able to walk amongst today’s remains. Unlike the main Stonehenge site, here you will be able to get up close and touch the stones too. It is said that these circles were built for ritualistic purposes and due to a few different factors (which again, nobody knows the real answer for), many of the stones were knocked down and used as building materials for other projects. The remains that are available to the public today still give us an idea of what it may once have looked in Neolithic times.
The great thing about Avebury is that you can roam and ramble around the ritualistic rocks in your own time. It’s a nice feeling; a little less contrived and commercialised than the paid tour at Stonehenge.
Watch Out for Fairies and the Walking Stone!
Ok, so this is probably just a mix of intoxicated bullsh*t and absurd superstition, but some crazy folk have claimed to have spotted fairies at night. At midnight, the famous Swindon Stone is also believed to spin on its own axis, followed by a light stroll along the streets of Avebiry and even crossing the road all by itself. Are you convinced?
Personally, I’ve always been more interested in the Devil’s Chair, purely because of the wickedly sinful name. Legend has it that running round the stone exactly one hundred times in an anti-clockwise direction, will summon the Devil.
I did exactly this. Instructions by the letter. Nothing happened.