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Avebury, Wiltshire

- Avebury Circle -
Avebury, a village in Wiltshire. It lies entirely within the Avebury Circle, sometimes referred to as Avebury Henge, which is a Neolithic circle of upright stones that is larger and older than nearby Stonehenge. This Neolithic circle was first described by John Aubrey in 1648:

These Downes looke as if they were Sown with great Stones, very thicke; and in a dusky evening they looke like a flock of Sheep: from whence it takes its name. One might fancy it to have been the Scene where the Giants fought with stones against the Gods. ... I was wonderfully surprised at the sight of theose vast stones, of which I had never heard before; as also at the mighty Banke and Graffe [ditch] about it. I observed in the Inclosures some segments of rude circles, made with these stones, whence I concluded, they had been in old time complete.

The archeologist Alexander Keiller re-erected many of the fallen stones in the 1930s, partially restoring the circle to its original condition. Since 1943 the village and the circle are the property of the nation, and are currently administered by the National Trust. In 1986, UNESCO added Avebury, along with Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, and associated local sites, to its World Heritage List.

Avebury also houses the museum of one of the pioneers of photography, William Fox Talbot.