MicktheGreek PRO+

Mysterious Britain: The ritual landscapes

Avebury henge
May 2019

Its close proximity to my neighbourhood makes visiting Avebury little bother, if any at all, certainly much less bo...
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Avebury henge
May 2019

Its close proximity to my neighbourhood makes visiting Avebury little bother, if any at all, certainly much less bother than what is worth. One could use a helicopter ride or a drone to paint the complete picture of Avebury henge in a single capture, because the 330-metre diameter of its outer stone circle makes any viewpoint other than the ethereal insufficient for this purpose. Despite featuring a few photos of Avebury in my gallery, I have never attached the occasional verbose description to any of them. I have been reading about Neolithic monuments for longer than I can remember and I am not sure I am any the wiser or if I can trust some of these books as far as I can throw them. To start with, the term “Neolithic” has changed many times over the years, certainly since the days I was taught is at school: from originally referring to ways of making particular tools, it has extended to embrace the adoption of domesticated animals and, more importantly, the earthwork monuments found in the continent but especially in these islands. Flint mines used as axe factories, ditch-circuit ceremonial centres and tall burial mounds are all conspicuous imprints of the Neolithic Age (4000 – 2500BC), as is their importance to the forging of our land.

There is so much of the Neolithic Age that, to this day, remains an enigma. Our knowledge of prehistoric patterns of settlement is being constantly updated, yet we seem to know more about the monumental architecture of the period than about the lives of those who built and oversaw it. No matter. Maybe one day, someone will explain to me why after several excavations, Silbury Hill, down the road from here, the biggest burial mound in Europe, hasn’t yielded any trace of human bodies. Maybe someone will render a verdict on the significance of the illustrated stones and help unshroud the site from the mystery veil. Maybe local folklore is more credible than scientific circles, after all. Who knows?

Many subjects of our Neolithic and Bronze Age perspective have changed throughout centuries of studying, yet there is one that remains uncontroversial: sheep. They were introduced by settlers from continental Europe and never left us since. Grazing from dawn to dusk, the docile wanderers are almost as iconic as the henge's megaliths, in fact to the extent of even canibalising their popularity. Nestled amidst stones, ditches and rolling hills, the quaint village of Avebury has grown up abreast thousands of years of history. It is now cared for by the National Trust, who will provide all necessary leaflets to get your curiosity going and also rip you off for a car-park space. Alas, so will the landlord of the Red Lion (background). The value of education is unquestionable, but I am not so sure about its price. It all boils down to one thing: how much one thinks this photo is worth.
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10 Comments | Report
angelundercover PRO+
angelundercover May 27, 2019
If you go to Stanton Drew you can get stones and cows ! ;-) . And an almost complete set of Somerset and Wiltshire stones too . . . only Withypool left after that :-)
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek May 27, 2019
I have been to Stanton Drew once, Louise, but not with a camera. There are a few cows in Avebury as well, if you walk the area. I need to go again for some night shots, as at 22:45 PM when I decided to call it a day, the sky was still blue and no stars visible.
reginaldgargaro67 PRO+
reginaldgargaro67 May 27, 2019
great shot mick and cheers for the wee story :~))
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek May 27, 2019
Thanks Steve! The Wiltshire countryside is really nice and there are ancient monuments one shoud visit one day...
Hood PRO+
Hood May 28, 2019
Great image!
sallyG11 PRO+
sallyG11 May 28, 2019
Ah, one of my most favourite places in your neck of the woods my friend. The sheep, yes definitely as iconic as the stones. Beautifully captured, I love the light, moreover the lack of. This photo has a mysterious yet soothing tone to it. xx
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek May 28, 2019
Thank you Sal! I had a right session the other day in there...
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek May 28, 2019
I was lucky with the sunset... it was a colourful one xxx
Pauldc1 PRO+
Pauldc1 June 02, 2019
Just gorgeous, Mick
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek June 03, 2019
Thanks Paul... I hope the description gives you some insight n the site
AmandaJayne June 06, 2019
Beautiful Avebury , hope you left a coin in the stone to wish good fortune :)
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek June 07, 2019
Thanks Amanda! No, unfortunately I ran out of coins, as I spent them in the Red Lion :P
lizziemellis PRO+
lizziemellis June 09, 2019
Thanks for the write up so interesting, shame about the comment on parking on the National trust property , membership will take away those charges for a modest yearly fee you can visit every National trust house in the Britain and enjoy English heritage sites and countryside walks all you can eat so to speak as you get a parking sticker for the year included ..nevertheless this is an amazing shot Mick as always I enjoy your comments and photographs of our small but sometimes unique Island :-)
AnneDphotography June 24, 2019
outstanding capture , love the mood and love the history lesson :)
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek June 24, 2019
Thanks Anne! Avebury is a nice little village indeed. When the sheep are out to play, it is a great laugh taking photos of them.
Irys July 15, 2019
Great photo, unique atmosphere
Bazz PRO+
Bazz July 15, 2019
Awesome capture and history behind it! Wonderful image.
MicktheGreek PRO+
MicktheGreek July 15, 2019
Thank you Cher! Have you been to Avebury?