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Footprints through Avebury by Mike Pitts

Footprints through Avebury was written and photographed by Mike Pitts. Mike, now editor of the British Archaeology Magazine, has excavated at both Stonehenge and Avebury, is the author of Hengeworld, and was, for five years, curator of the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury.

Footprints through Avebury is a little book (only 65 pages) but one none the less packed full with a wealth of information, maps, contact details and a timeline for Avebury and its environs. The timeline begins 5,500 years ago with the Windmill Hill settlement, through to the erection of the first megaliths at Avebury 4,600 years ago, the Roman settlement at Silbury 1,700 years ago, the purchase of Avebury by the National Trust in 1900, and ending in the year 2000 when visitors to this World Heritage Site topped a quarter of a million. As the name of the booklet suggests, however, it’s not just an introduction to Avebury but a well thought-out walking guide to places of interest in and around the village. There are five guides (Mike calls them Excursions) most with maps or diagrams, all with excellent photos or illustrations. A useful note at the beginning of the longer walks is the distance in kilometres and miles; the distance from Avebury to Windmill Hill for example is five and a half kilometres or three and half miles.

With its easy-to-use guides and wealth of information Footprints through Avebury is a must-have for both the first-time and the seasoned visitor to the Avebury World Heritage Site.

Following our recent story about the damage being caused to Tregeseal Circle by the cattle being allowed to roam on the heathland, video evidence of the instability of the stones has been posted on YouTube. We think the video speaks for itself:

It’s obvious from this footage that allowing cattle (large, longhorns at that!) anywhere near the stones is just plain wrong.


April 2011

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