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Postcards to friends of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site


Harold Wilson and others staying at Avebury


The steady stream of notable visitors staying with William Beveridge at the Green Street cottage at Avebury included the social reformers Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and the first Director of UNESCO, Julian Huxley. A future Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, stayed at the cottage whilst working for Beveridge throughout the summer of 1938. Wilson recalled of the swimming pool excavated by guests that it was the coldest water he had ever known. The pool nonetheless proved attractive to beetles, a young David Rockefeller on his way to collecting 90,000 specimens identified more than twenty species in the vicinity. Another visitor was the archaeologist Alexander Keiller, a distant relative of both William Beveridge and Jessy Mair, who owned the cottage. They had been in residence more than five years at Avebury, when Keiller began his purchase of land from which he would excavate and erect megaliths buried centuries before.
B. E.

Some reading: William Beveridge, The London School of Economics and its Problems 1919-1937 (London, Allen and Unwin, 1960) pp. 40-50. Janet Beveridge, Beveridge and his Plan (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1954) pp. 90-100. Philip Beveridge Mair, Shared Enthusiasms: the Story of Lord and Lady Beveridge (Windlesham, Ascent Books, 1982).


This is part of a series of short “postcards” that anyone with something to share is welcome to submit, whether that is a digital snap and a “wish you were here” or something more involved. Please do join in by sending your postcards to

For others in the series put postcards in the search box.


December 2012

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