Avebury village

A practical guide to visiting Avebury village

Avebury Village Thatched Cottage

Avebury Village: thatched cottage


Arriving at Avebury

When you arrive at Avebury you will be directed to the car park on the edge of the village for which there is a charge, (National Trust members free). There is a small car park in the village itself but this is strictly for villagers themselves.


Avebury village is largely situated within Avebury henge itself. The A4361 road between Devizes and Swindon goes through the henge using the old north and south entrances of the henge.


Along the High Street is a general shop/Post Office and the Avebury Henge Shop, a quirky souvenir shop most people prefer to the National Trust shop by the barn.


Most of the High Street is made of private dwellings, many thatched. The old school is now a community centre.

 

There are public toilets by the bus stop at the main road junction, just before you come to the landmark Red Lion Pub that is thatched.

 

St James Church

Off the High Street is St James Church. You are welcome to enter most of the time and it has a nice feel of a working community church.

 

The church of St. James has a long history going back to Saxon times, though much of it you see now is medieval.

 

Within is a rare example of a medieval rood-loft once hidden but rediscovered in 1810. It also contains a notable font believed to be of Saxon origin and later adorned with some interesting carvings during the Norman period.

 

There is information posted and further literature available inside.


St James Church Avebury

St James Church Avebury

At the other end of the village on the other side of the main road is the village chapel. The village chapel is curious as it is aligned north-south, not east-west. If there is anyone with some dowsing rods available you can track a ley line that goes straight down the aisle.

 

National Trust area

On the north side of the High Street behind and around St James Church is a broad area open to the public with many National Trust attractions arranged in a village like setting complete with pond.


Avebury Manor is a Tudor manor house of monastic origin. You can take a tour to part of the house and gardens most afternoons.


There are two museums that revolve around Alexander Keiller's involvement with Avebury and tell the story of Avebury and what you are seeing through the ages.

 

A single ticket covers both museums. From the large barn that houses one of the museums, guided walks of the henge taken by volunteers take around an hour and are recommended.

 

There is also a Dovecote, normally open so you can see the perches for the birds. A nice National Trust cafe provides high quality snacks and meals that are slightly on the expensive side. The National Trust shop is also here.

 

The Henge Shop Avebury

The Henge shop, Avebury

The Henge Shop, Avebury

The Henge Shop at Avebury is a quirky independent shop, a marked contrast to the "mainstream" National Trust Shop. If you are into the alternative or mystical you will want to spend time in here.

 

The Henge Shop is also used as a base by local people who run tours, holistic medicine, mystical subjects. The alternative/new age/mystical book section is one of the best of its kind.

 

The shop stocks a wide range from gold, silver and pewter jewellery, woollens, tee shirts, hats, dowsing rods, minerals and fossils to the books on a variety of subjects from the archaeological to the arcane.


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