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West Kennet Avenue

Hob Uid: 220971
Location :
Wiltshire
Avebury
Grid Ref : SU1032069750
Summary : West Kennett Avenue is formed by two roughly parallel rows of standing sarsen stones dating to around 3000 BC. The Avenue winds its way across the landscape east of Waden Hill and the River Kennett for a distance of about 2.3 km. It links the henge enclosure and stone circle complex at Avebury with the stone circle site known as the Sanctuary on Overton Hill, running in an approximately south-easterly direction from the former to the latter. The course followed is by no means a direct one, with notable changes in direction as the Avenue approaches both Avebury and the Sanctuary. In the best preserved 800 metre section there are 27 upright stones with heights ranging from 1.6 metres to 3.3 metres. Some of these have been restored to their original positions and in other locations there are concrete markers showing where stones are originally likely to have been positioned. The two rows stand on average 15 metres apart with the stones in each row about 20 metres apart. In 1913, a burial was found in the socket pit beneath one of the stones and further pits and features have been found within the line of the avenue or in close proximity. Excavation by Alexander Keiller in the 1930s focussed particularly on the northern end of the avenue as it approached Avebury, and resulted in the re-erection of some fallen stones. Keiller uncovered an occupation site containing hearths, rubbish pits, pottery sherds and other remains. At the southern end of the Avenue is a linear earthwork bank, which is believed to be associated with medieval management of the Kennet Valley. However it's location could indicate an earlier origin. The bank runs for about 320 metres and is 7 metres wide and up to a metre high. In the area between the Avenue and River Kennet there have been numerous finds including stone axes, pottery, Romano-British jewellery and coins.
More information : (SU 10326975 to SU 11846802) Stone Avenue (NR)
(remains of)

See Illustration Card.

In the main part of the West Kennett stone avenue there are 27
upright stones with heights ranging from 1.6 metres to 3.3
metres. Sites of stones are marked by 37 concrete pillars. (The
modern spelling, signposts etc., is "Kennett", replacing the
earlier "Kennet".
Resurveyed at 1/2500.

The West Kennet stone avenue links the henge enclosure and stone
circle complex at Avebury (SU 16 NW 22) with the Stone circle site
known as the Sanctuary (SU 16 NW 102) on Overton Hill, running in an
approximately south-easterly direction from the former to the
latter. The course followed is by no means a direct one, with
notable changes in direction as the Avenue approaches both Avebury
and the Sanctuary.

Excavations by Keiller in the 1930s focussed particularly on the
northern end of the avenue as it approached Avebury, and resulted in
the re-erection of some fallen stones and the marking out on the
ground of the positions of stones no longer extant in this area. A
Neolithic occupation site was also discovered alongside the stones
(SU 16 NW 39). (4) Human remains and pottery, including part of
a Beaker, have been found beneath some stones or in some stone
holes. (4-5)

Ucko et al (6) report on geophysical survey along sections of the
avenue which suggests a more irregular course than previously
thought. They also examine antiquarian accounts in detail.

The probably mistaken suggestion that a cove once stood within the
avenue is discussed by Ucko et al (6) and (Burl) (7). (6-7)
[See SU 16 NW 22 and 102 for more detailed bibliography. See SU 06
NE 62 for details of the Beckhampton stone avenue, which allegedly
ran from Avebury's western entrance.]

An RCHME 1:2500 scale, level 3 air photographic interpretation survey (Event UID 936869) was carried out on this monument in January 1992. The monument is extant and no changes were made to the record. The archive created by this project (Collection UID 936807) is held by RCHME. (8)

West Kennett Avenue is formed by two roughly parallel rows of standing sarsen stones dating to around 3000 BC. The Avenue winds its way across the landscape east of Waden Hill and the River Kennett for a distance of about 2.3 km. In the best preserved 800 metre section there are 27 upright stones. Some of these have been restored to their original positions and in other locations there are concrete markers showing where stones are originally likely to have been positioned. The two rows stand on average 15 metres apart with the stones in each row about 20 metres apart. In 1913, a burial was found in the socket pit beneath one of the stones and further pits and features have been found within the line of the avenue or in close proximity. Keiller uncovered an occupation site containing hearths, rubbish pits, pottery sherds and other remains. At the southern end of the Avenue is a linear earthwork bank, which is believed to be associated with medieval management of the Kennet Valley. However it's location could indicate an earlier origin. The bank runs for about 320 metres and is 7 metres wide and up to a metre high. In the area between the Avenue and River Kennet there have been numerous finds including stone axes, pottery, Romano-British jewellery and coins.(9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : IF Smith (1959) Windmill Hill and Avebury
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Avebury Avenue/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 20-JUN-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Windmill Hill and Avebury : excavations by Alexander Keiller, 1925-1939
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : ME Cunnington: The Re-erection of Two Fallen Stones at Avebury
Page(s) : Jan-14
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 38, 1913
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : PJ Ucko, M Hunter, A Clark, A David (1991) Avebury Reconsidered, (Unwin Hyman)
Page(s) : 186-194
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : A Burl: Coves - Structural Enigmas of the Neolithic
Page(s) : Jan-18
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 82, 1988
Source Number : 8
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Simon Crutchley/03-JAN-1992/RCHME: West Kennett - East Kennett Project
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 13-Jul-98
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : SU 16 NW 101 (West Kennett Avenue) (1974)
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Built in around 3000 BC
Monument End Date : -3000
Monument Start Date : -3000
Monument Type : Stone Alignment, Human Remains
Evidence : Structure, Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Stone Alignment, Human Remains
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 6
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 281
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 106
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 106/157/685/*
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 106/157
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28131
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 326
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 16 NW 101
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 220793
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 969761
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1090380
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 220974
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1090376
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1090378
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1090379
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1090432
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1913-01-01
End Date : 1913-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1922-01-01
End Date : 1922-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1934-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1939-01-01
End Date : 1939-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNETT AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1960-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 16 NW 101
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-06-20
End Date : 1974-06-20
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET AVENUE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET FARM, MARLBOROUGH
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST KENNETT - EAST KENNETT PROJECT
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1992-01-03
End Date : 1992-02-28
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET AVENUE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET FARMHOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: AVEBURY WORLD HERITAGE SITE PROJECT
Activity type : FIELD SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-08-01
End Date : 1998-12-01
Associated Activities : Primary, A4 CABLING, WEST KENNET AVENUE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET STONE AVENUE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WEST KENNET AVENUE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SARSEN KENNELS, WEST KENNETT
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31