Visit Avebury
Avebury henge shop

Originally three medieval cottages, the building which is now The Henge Shop was enlarged and heightened in the seventeenth century. It was thatched until the early twentieth century and is constructed of sarsen stone, chalk blocks and brick. It features on Stuckeley's map of 1723 and has served as the village post office and fire station in the past.

Our shop has a wide choice of goods on offer, using fair trade or local suppliers wherever possible. Items range from gold, silver and pewter jewellery, woollens, tee shirts, hats, dowsing rods, minerals and fossils to books on a variety of subjects from the archaeological to the arcane.

We are also used as a base by local people who run tours in the area. Oxford educated historian Dave Chivers offers a walking tour of the stones and author Maria Wheatley runs dowsing tours and courses exploring energies in the area.

Avebury itself now contains less than 100 inhabitants and is set in the most sparsely populated County in England. Around 5,000 years ago it must have been one of the most densely settled areas, on the evidence of the scale of the monuments still to be seen today. 

The henge encompasses 28.5 acres and the outer stone circle is the largest in the world. The bank and ditch of today are only one third the height and depth of the original monument. Some of the huge sarsen stones weigh up to 60 tons and come from the area.

The purpose or function of the henge with its dual avenues and two inner circles is unknown. Presumably it was a ceremonial ritual centre of enormous importance. It may have been a huge observatory- the position of various stones plotting the year's path of the sun. Possibly it celebrated the seasons, growth and fertility - suggested by male and female stone shapes and the obelisk (fallen in 17th c.). More likely it was a reflection of the celebration of our ancestors' values and civilisation.

Imagine the motivation, the organisation required and the wealth of a society that could think of and execute such an awe-inspiring monument. This pagan belief lasted longer than the current life of Christianity. As only four percent of the henge has been excavated, there may well be further stones to unearth.

Opening hours 9.30 - 5.30