From the prehistoric to the merely ancient

I’ve had a busy old week and been unwell for longer so was unable to write at all so I hope this collection of photos which I took on Thursday. It was a very windy day and the temperature was not much above freezing but it did mean we had everywhere to ourselves.

I hope you enjoy them.

A freezing November day at West Kennet Long-Barrow

A freezing November day at West Kennet Long-Barrow

The large stones that once blocked the entrance

The large stones that once blocked the entrance

Inside are the burial tombs of some of those in the civilisation that built Stonehenge and hundreds of other stonecircles in Britain 5,000+ years ago

Inside are the burial tombs of some of those in the civilisation that built Stonehenge and hundreds of other stonecircles in Britain 5,000+ years ago

The central passageways leads deep into the mound with side chambers on each side where families were buried

The central passageways leads deep into the mound with side chambers on each side where families were buried

Silbury Hill, the tallest prehistoric man made mound in the world. So tall that there was once a fortress on it a thousand or two years ago.

Silbury Hill, the tallest prehistoric man made mound in the world. So tall that there was once a fortress on it a thousand or two years ago.

The outer ditch and earthen heap that encircles the mile wide Avebury Stone-circle

The outer ditch and earthen heap that encircles the mile wide Avebury Stone-circle

Avebury is the biggest Stone Circle in the world. Only a few miles from Stonehenge. So much better too and by comparison totally unvisited.

Avebury is the biggest Stone Circle in the world. Only a few miles from Stonehenge. So much better too and by comparison totally unvisited.

The Avebury stones are huge and about 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. Plus you can touch them and often there is no one else around

The Avebury stones are huge and about 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. Plus you can touch them and often there is no one else around

These old screen used to be common until King Henry VIII decided to get rid of them for their Catholic characteristics. However in places distant and remote from London, the locals had no wish to listen to the crazy Metropolitan crowds and would hide the screens when soldiers arrived at random to ensure the law if the king was being obeyed. Once they'd gone, the screen was put back in place.

These old screen used to be common until King Henry VIII decided to get rid of them for their Catholic characteristics. However in places distant and remote from London, the locals had no wish to listen to the crazy Metropolitan crowds and would hide the screens when soldiers arrived at random to ensure the law if the king was being obeyed. Once they’d gone, the screen was put back in place.

There's been a church at Avebury much earlier but this embroidery merely lists those from the 1066 Norman invasion

There’s been a church at Avebury much earlier but this embroidery merely lists those from the 1066 Norman invasion

Lacock Village, beautiful as ever but deserted in winter. Frozen in time and seen around the world in BBC shows as well as Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, Wolfman and many others

Lacock Village, beautiful as ever but deserted in winter. Frozen in time and seen around the world in BBC shows as well as Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, Wolfman and many others

Inside Lacock Tithe barn, 7-800 years old if it is a day.

Inside Lacock Tithe barn, 7-800 years old if it is a day.

Inside the Lacock lockup.

Inside the Lacock lockup.

A 16th century brewery for English beer made with hops.

A 16th century brewery for English beer made with hops.

King Henry VIII had Lacock Abbey closed and it was converted to a country home. In the 19th century Fox-Talbot invented a took the first photo using

King Henry VIII had Lacock Abbey closed and it was converted to a country home. In the 19th century Fox-Talbot invented a took the first photo using “modern” negative photography. He invented much else besides but was very modest and worked more for science than fame and rewards unlike his competitors

Lacock Abbey is almost 800 years old. This part of the Cloisters might be familiar to fans of Harry Potter as Harry, Hermione and Ron often walked here though they knew it as Hogwarts

Lacock Abbey is almost 800 years old. This part of the Cloisters might be familiar to fans of Harry Potter as Harry, Hermione and Ron often walked here though they knew it as Hogwarts

The Nuns of Lacock Abbey used to keep warm in the winter here and no doubt used their big cauldron.

The Nuns of Lacock Abbey used to keep warm in the winter here and no doubt used their big cauldron.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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18 Responses to From the prehistoric to the merely ancient

  1. modestly says:

    Fabulous pics! Fancy a go with that cauldron!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked my pics. Yes, it is a great cauldron.the best one I have seen I think is at Warwick Castle and belonged to an Anglo-Saxon man known as Guy The Giant (I think) and that one is even bigger.

      Like

  2. Mel & Suan says:

    This is great! We had been researching about where to drive to and in specific wanted to re-see Stonehenge. Avebury came up but we were not sure what to expect. Now we know! And Lacock is also one of the village towns in the vicinity that we considered to stop by before heading back to Salibury. Thanks for the sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that it was helpful and timely. I don’t know anyone who having visited Stonehenge and the Avebury sites, prefer Stonehenge but obviously somewhere along the centuries, Stonehenge got a better PR team. There are actually multiple stone circles within each other at Avebury as well as a large Manor House too which i didn’t visit this time. Lacock is extremely beautiful. It’s only 15 minutes in the car from Salisbury to Stonehenge and then about 35 to Avebury and from there no more than 15 to Lacock. A great day out though if you have time, I’d maybe have a day in each locality.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos. Have visited those area and your photos brought back happy memories

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful pictures! thank you for sharing them with those of us who aren’t lucky enough to see these places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are plenty more to come. I thought it would be a change to post some pictures up in late Autumn rather than summer time. The cold weather is made up for by the almost total lack of tourists!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I look forward to seeing more! It makes sense that there would be fewer tourists in autumn, I suppose prices are a bit cheaper in the off season too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think some of the hotels are cheaper. All the attractions seem to have the same price all year round, except for the Roman Baths which in July and August have a supplement. I’m a big fan of off-season travel, I always do my own then. Seems a bit of a waste to go abroad in the 3 or 4 months where London actually has warm-hot weather (some times).

          Liked by 1 person

  5. We in Seattle are impressed with tombstones of buildings that date to the 1800s… ALWAYS can count on you to help me remember how old history really is. Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s fascinating that Avebury is so much older than Stonehenge though you get the feeling because the Stonehenge stones are shaped whilst 1,000 years earlier I think it was everything people could do just to get them there.

      It’s funny what you say as I remember once taking a family from Oregon to a house and it was from about 1900 and they were amazed as they had never been in such an old house whilst my wife and I were also amazed as it was so “new” and we really liked its modern feel!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mlbradford says:

    Once spent a night inside West Kennet Long Barrow – no vacancies @ th Marlborough in Avebury
    Studying our neolithic Archaeology @ Uni, there was no option to visit th sites studied, so in th Summer of 99 hiked all around Wiltshire – fantastic trip.
    Abbies r v inspirational to my historical fiction – wld love to visit Lacock some time!
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That must have been a great experience to spend the night inside there. I often think about doing so, I’m sure it’s quite cosy if you can find a “dry” floor in one of the chambers. I bet you have a great sunrise from there. I’m going to have to check out your writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dewyplace says:

    thank you for the photos and writing

    Like

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