Interactive Heritage MapWorld Heritage Sites South West


The Sanctuary* – Avebury

The Sanctuary from the air

The Sanctuary was built in the later Neolithic. It originally consisted of 6 concentric rings of  timber posts. Later, at the time the West Kennet Avenue was built two rings of upright stones were added. Remains of the stone circles were still visible in the 18th century when they were recorded by the antiquarian William Stukeley.


Avebury stone circle from the air

Avebury is listed alongside Stonehenge as one World Heritage Site. They are respectively the most sophisticated and largest stone circles in the world. They lie at the heart of prehistoric landscapes containing numerous ceremonial and sacred monuments.

Within the 25 sq km of the Avebury World Heritage Site landscape there a number of outstanding prehistoric monuments that can be visited on foot. They include the early Neolithic West Kennet Long Barrow (around 3,500BC), the remains of the largest stone circle in the world and Silbury Hill, Europe's largest prehistoric mound whose original purpose remains a mystery. At the heart of the site and partly within the stone circle and henge lies the picturesque village of Avebury. At Avebury you can visit the Alexander Keiller museum and Barn Gallery run by the National Trust.

Avebury World Heritage Site sits within the beautiful North Wessex Downs and is near to the historic market towns of both Marlborough and Devizes.

For more information visit the Wiltshire Council website