Stonehenge and the Avebury Stones, England

stonehenge england
The hardest thing about photographing Stonehenge? Waiting for that magic moment when the clouds are dramatic and the hordes of tourists are thin. I recommend going on a threatening day when tourism is at a minimum.

Yes, it's a bit of a tourist cliche, but Stonehenge does amaze. When you look at Christian cathedrals and think of the religious fervor that inspired their construction and decoration, it all seems so calculated when compared to the raw power of a place like Stonehenge, or its neighbor down the road at Avebury.

One of the amazing things about Stonehenge is the size of the stones, which is difficult to discern unless you take into account the tiny people you can just see in the lower left of the photo. They brought them here from 25 miles (40 kilometers) away. And then they had to set them upright. How the hell did they do that 5000 years ago?

avebury stones england
The Avebury Stones, near Stonehenge, actually cover a much larger area than their more famous neighbor. They'd be an even more impressive monument if many of them hadn't been incorporated by the locals into their homes and barns.

Just down the road a few miles from Stonehenge are the stone circles at Avebury. Avebury is actually much larger than Stonehenge, with an outer circle that encompasses an entire later English village. Unfortunately, many of the original Avebury stones have been destroyed. Many of them were broken up to make, for example, the village church. Ironic that stones originally erected at Avebury to keep evil spirits out of a village were later seen as evil by the more modern inhabitants of the same ground.

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Stonehenge and the Avebury Stones are a UNESCO World Heritage site of the United Kingdom. Click the link to see our other posts about UNESCO World Heritage sites in the UK.

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4 thoughts on “Stonehenge and the Avebury Stones, England”

  1. We just got back from our Rome trip last night, so I haven’t seen every email. However, some tourists never go on to Avebury. Glad you did. A

    • Janet, Hope your trip to Rome was great for all. Yes, we listened to people we met along the way (in Guatemala) and started with Avebury. What a spot. I didn’t realize until we were half way there that Tom also wanted to get to Stonehenge (which I’d visited a few years ago). So we did some zig-zagging through Devon and Somerset, but enjoyed it all (minus the unintended detours while lost).


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