Lunching in the English Heritage café to avoid a particularly heavy downpour, our afternoon was once more to be filled with Neolithic treasure, this time from 2,850-2,200BC. Avebury henge is the largest stone circle in Britain (another record-breaker!) that encircles part of the village of Avebury. Once comprising 100 stones, this outer circle encloses two smaller stone henges surrounded by deep ditches. Again, it was marvellous to be able to walk among these structures and touch the surfaces, wondering at their past.
The interior ditch is immense, perhaps at least 30-40 feet deep and at least that wide. One of the henges is within the ditch and had oak trees lining its outer edge, as well as henge stones inside. The sacred trees of the ancient Druids, we wondered who had planted the majestic flora. It continued to rain heavily as we walked round and round the henges, passing through gates and across main roads, up and over narrow pathways through clusters of trees.
The enormity of the task in erecting these magnificent stones over such a vast area is breath-taking. And the spirituality of the place is soothing, especially when bad weather keeps the hordes away and you have the stones almost to yourselves. We hardly spoke as we meandered through the circles, all gripped by a serenity. You could almost sense the footsteps of older, ancient visitors as the sodden grass enveloped our boots.
Finally, on our second day, we visited Stonehenge…
FACTS: COURTESY OF ENGLISH HERITAGE WEBSITE [link]
E S MOXON has had a lifelong passion for history and writing. A childhood filled with family visits to ancient burial sites and stone circles fuelled her imagination. Inspired by classic medieval tales and Norse sagas, Elaine imagined herself inhabiting these Dark Ages and exploring the landscapes in her mind and continues to do so through her novels. The first in her ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series is ‘WULFSUNA’ and books two and three will be out soon. When not lost in pages of the past, she lives in the Midlands with her family and their chocolate Labrador.
Blood, betrayal and brotherhood.
They come to honour a Warrior-Lord’s dream,
An ancient saga weaving their destiny,
But a treacherous rival threatens their fate.
The Wolf Sons are coming.