exploring avebury: the essential guide

a new book by steve marshall

soft cover, 226 x 248mm, 144 pages, full colour, ISBN 9780750967662 £14.99

"Exploring Avebury is really excellent, being quite clearly the best current introduction and guide to the whole monumental complex: up to date, consistently fair-minded, and superbly illustrated."

Prof. Ronald Hutton, historian


Avebury in Wiltshire is best known as the world’s largest stone circle, but surrounding it is a wealth of ancient monuments. Captivated by its unique atmosphere, many visitors form a personal, often spiritual, connection to Avebury and its ‘sacred landscape’. What was it that first attracted people to the Avebury area more than five thousand years ago?

Beautifully illustrated with over 400 photographs, maps and diagrams, Exploring Avebury invites us on a journey of discovery. For the first time the importance of water, light and sound is revealed, and we begin to see Avebury through the eyes of those who built it.


"Not only is this the most beautiful book to be published on the Avebury landscape, but it offers the reader one of the finest introductions to a region remarkable for its stunning prehistoric heritage and understated natural beauty. Steve Marshall has followed in the footsteps of an earlier generation of great Avebury observers and writers such as William Stukeley and A.C. Smith, to produce an account rich in stunning imagery, detailed personal observation and insightful interpretation. This is the essential guide!"

Dr Joshua Pollard, archaeologist and author 


Whether you are new to Avebury or are a seasoned visitor, this book really is essential. For first-time visitors it is an ideal guide for navigating the Avebury landscape and its monuments; for those who think they already know Avebury, there are surprises in store.  Packed with hundreds of gorgeous photographs, the book shows Avebury not just in the summer, but throughout the seasons. Although Avebury sees few visitors in the winter, it is then that its springs and rivers begin to flow and the place comes truly alive. 

Author Steve Marshall lived close to Avebury for many years whilst researching and taking the photographs for this book. His acclaimed study of Avebury’s springs and rivers resulted from many months of dedicated fieldwork, largely conducted in freezing weather.

Why was Avebury built where it is? Where did the sarsen stones come from? How does Silbury’s ditch fill with water each winter? What was the Avebury landscape like in prehistory? Exploring Avebury: The Essential Guide contains a wealth of new information and examines some of Avebury’s greatest mysteries afresh.

Exploring Avebury includes all the monuments and natural features of the 'sacred landscape' within a five mile radius of the Avebury Henge, including:


  • West Kennet Avenue
  • Silbury Hill
  • West Kennet long barrow
  • The Sanctuary
  • Longstones
  • Windmill Hill
  • Marlborough Mound
  • Beckhampton Avenue
  • West Kennet Palisaded Enclosures
  • Devil's Den
  • Adam's Grave
  • East Kennet long barrow
  • Fyfield Down Valley of Stones
  • Piggledene
  • Lockeridge Dene
  • Alton Yew & Springs
  • Swallowhead Springs
  • and more...