Begun in about 2500 BC, the Sanctuary was originally a complex circular arrangement of timber posts and standing stones. These components are now indicated by concrete blocks and posts.
When archaeologists excavated the site in 1930 they found many objects such as flint tools, animal bones and pottery fragments, suggesting that Neolithic people were placing offerings in and around the standing posts. Later, in the early Bronze Age, the site was chosen for the burial of a teenage boy with a small Beaker pot.
The Sanctuary is in DCMS ownership and English Heritage guardianship. It is managed by the National Trust on behalf of English Heritage, and the two organisations share the cost of managing and maintaining the site.
Read more about the history of the Sanctuary.
Before You Go
Parking: We recommend parking in the layby next to the site, to avoid crossing the busy road. There is also parking on the opposite side of the road.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
Please be aware: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.
Plan a Great Day Out
The best way to explore Avebury and its various sites is on foot. You should wear appropriate footwear and prepare for the weather.
Begin your visit at the Alexander Keiller Museum to find out about the six sites within the care of English Heritage and their significance, including Avebury Stone Circle, West Kennet Avenue, West Kennet Long Barrow, Windmill Hill and Silbury Hill.
Toilets and a café are available near the museum in Avebury.