Thursday, 22 March 2012

Avebury and the River Kennet.

Avebury Church  is viewed here through the Lychgate, so named as the  place  where the coffin containing the dead body (lych) would enter the churchyard.  Lych originates from the middle English word liche, a dead body or a corpse.  In German the word is Leiche, not so different from the English.  We walked from here to see "Adam and Eve," two standing stones that once formed  part of a stone avenue that led to the great stone circle.   A village  once stood in the middle of the stone circle, but when John Lubbock, later Lord Avebury purchased the manor and land in ca 1850, he encouraged future homes to be  built outside the circle, in an attempt to preserve the site.  A new village called "Avebury Trusloe" was established nearby.  Alexander Keiller acquired the land in the early 1900's and began excavating the site.  He re erected the stones, dug out the ditches and re established the site into what is now a World Heritage Site.  It is a most interesting and spiritual place.

"Adam," left with the big nose, and "Eve" to the right.

The waterless bed of the River Kennet.
The photo above was taken in April 2012, and shows the dried up bed of the River Kennet, a once crystal clear, brisky flowing stream containing much wild life.  Below, photographed in February 2010 from almost the same spot is the former stream.
The swiftly flowing River Kennet in February 2010.
At the moment England is experiencing a severe drought, having had a very dry winter for the second year running, which has left many streams and ponds completely dry.   Wildlife experts are concerned about the survival of frogs, rare toads, fish and plant life that depend on  little streams and ponds for their survival.  It is a sad to see it waterless and desolate.
We are walking here towards "Windmill Hill" a neolithic hill camp.  On top of the hill are three "Bell Barrows," burial mounds in which ancient man buried his dead.  This whole area of Wiltshire contains many prehistoric sites, and the ancient people who lived here must have depended on the River Kennet for their water.

No comments:

Post a Comment