Beckhampton Avenue

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List

Stukeley's vision of the complete Beckhampton Avenue

Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii
Reference 373
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)

The Beckhampton Avenue was a curving prehistoric avenue of stones that ran broadly south west from Avebury towards The Longstones at Beckhampton in the English county of Wiltshire. It probably dates to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.

Only one stone, known as Eve, remains standing now and even in William Stukeley's day there was little evidence on the surface of the avenue. The other stones were probably broken up and sold by local landowners in the post-medieval era. Excavations by the University of Southampton in 2000 however revealed the parallel rows of holes that held the stones. 120 m of the avenue was uncovered and indicated that the avenue consisted of a double row of stones placed at 15 m intervals in a similar pattern to those at Kennet Avenue. Stukeley's theory was that the two avenues were part of a giant 'snake' winding across the landscape with its head at The Sanctuary and also incorporating Avebury itself. The avenue may have originally extended further past the Longstones with Eve being part of the 'cove' or standing stone arrangement of The Longstones sited along its course.

Before the avenue was built the site was host to an earlier Neolithic causewayed enclosure.

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