Avebury Long Stones 380m east of The Grange Stables, Beckhampton
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 28-Feb-2020 at 19:24:33.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 08893 69302, SU 08913 69328
Reasons for Designation
A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country.
The `Long Stones' are the only evidence surviving above ground of the probable avenue running west from the Avebury henge monument. As such they are important in understanding the nature and extent of the avenue and as a reference point for interpreting the plans produced by Stukeley. The stones are known, from archaeological work early this century, to be associated with more extensive contemporary archaeological remains.
The monument, which is divided into two areas, includes two large sarsen
standing stones, aligned north east-south west and situated on level ground
380m east of The Grange Stables. The stones are all that is known to survive
of the suspected Beckhampton Avenue.
The more northerly of the two stones measures 2m across from north east to
south west, 1.5m from north west to south east and stands up to 3m high.
The southern stone measures 3.7m from east to west, c.1m from north to south
and stands up to 3m high. This stone has been re-erected in its original
position after it fell in 1911. During this work, by B H & M E Cunnington, a
crouched skeleton with Beaker style pottery was found at its foot; these are
now on display at Devizes Museum.
The stones were first recorded in the early 1700s by William Stukeley who also
recorded the position of the stones in the circles at Avebury and on the West
Kennet Avenue. According to Stukeley, these two stones formed part of a cove
or circle, similar to the cove in the northern inner circle at Avebury, and
located immediately adjacent to an avenue. In Stukeley's time this was
represented by only about 30 stones, therefore making the line of the avenue
less clear than that of the nearby West Kennet Avenue.
Locally the Long Stones are also known variously as `Adam and Eve', `Longstone
Cove' and the `Devil's Coits'.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Stukeley, W, Abury: A Temple of the British Druids, with Some Others, Described, (1743)
Discussion of implications, Smith, I F, Windmill Hill and Avebury: Excavations by A Keiller, Pagination 216-217, (1965)
Photos of stone fallen & re-erected, Cunnington, M E, Long Stones, Magazine (Pagination 1-7), (1913)
SU 06 NE 56, RCHM(E), The Beckhampton Long Stones, (1973)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing