Cherie’s Place » Avebury
Avebury is a fascinating site that connects to other prominent features in the ancient landscape. What remains of the Avebury Circles is largely reconstructed. In the 1930s Alexander Keiller having purchased the site of Avebury and part of West Kennet Avenue started to excavate the site and in time restore the site to some of its former glory. Where stones had been removed he placed concrete plinths to mark their former position. The outbreak of WWII put a stop to the excavations and restoration. Sadly the excavations have never been resumed.
Thanks to Cherie for a fascinating description and some beautiful photos.
One of the reasons that I found it so interesting was that I first learnt about Avebury in a series of stories about moles — my review of the first book in the series follows below. The moles had a religion connected with stones and silence, and so Avebury, with its standing stones, was a kind of holy place for them. The moles also had special ceremonies on longest night and shortest night, and so it seemed appropriate that last night (or is it tonight?) was the longest night here, and the shortest night at Avebury.
The series of mole books unfortunately seemed to deteriorate as it went on. I got the impression that the author wrote the first one because he enjoyed it, and the others because he was under pressure from his publishers to produce sequels. The second and third books weren’t too bad, though not up to the standard of the first, while the last three in the series were dreck.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The system of mole tunnels under Duncton Wood is large, and moles in one part hardly know those from other parts of the system. There also some parts of the system that are almost forgotten, and there are also some customs that have been forgotten as well, so that the moles are using their centre, the silence of the Stone at the centre of the system. This enables a cruel tyrant, Mandrake, to take over the system.
Two young mioles, Bracken and Rebecca, the latter Mandrake’s daughter, meet, and eventually embark on a liberation struggle.
The moles are given a philosophy and a mythology that is very human, and yet it somehow does not seem to diminish their moleness.