Beckhampton Avenue

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Beckhampton Avenue
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Houghton Arc 855.214 - Stukely, the Druid temple of Abury.jpg
Stukeley's vision of the complete Beckhampton Avenue
LocationWiltshire, United Kingdom
Part ofAvebury Section of Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
CriteriaCultural: (i), (ii), (iii)
Reference373bis-002
Inscription1986 (10th session)
Extensions2008

The Beckhampton Avenue was a curving prehistoric avenue of stones that ran broadly south west from Avebury towards The Longstones at Beckhampton in the English county of Wiltshire. It probably dates to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.

Only one stone, known as Adam, remains standing now and even in William Stukeley's day there was little evidence on the surface of the avenue. The other stones were probably broken up and sold by local landowners in the post-medieval era. Excavations by the University of Southampton in 2000 however revealed the parallel rows of holes that held the stones. 120 m of the avenue was uncovered and indicated that the avenue consisted of a double row of stones placed at 15 m intervals in a similar pattern to those at Kennet Avenue. Stukeley's theory was that the two avenues were part of a giant 'snake' winding across the landscape with its head at The Sanctuary and also incorporating Avebury itself. The avenue may have originally extended further past the Longstones with Adam being part of the 'cove' or standing stone arrangement of The Longstones sited along its course. Eve is a known part of the avenue leading back to the western gateway of the henge, which included the now village high street.

Before the avenue was built the site was host to an earlier Neolithic causewayed enclosure.