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This page describes the south quadrants of the henge.

 

South East Quadrant, South West Quadrant

South East Quadrant

This quadrant was only partially excavated by Keiller before being interrupted by wartime. There is a mixture of stones here, and the landscape is very confusing, with many stones still lying underground. An arc of five stones connected by four concrete markers are the remains of the 29 stones of the inner circle.

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At the centre of the inner circle is a concrete marker indicating where a large obelisk once stood. The original obelisk was over two
metres (6.5 ft) high. To the west of the obelisk marker are a series of smaller stones known as the 'Z' stones, their purpose is unclear.
The concrete marker of the original obelisk is shown in the next picture.

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Walk over the bank towards the road where two large stones dominate the view. The stone on the right in the next picture is known
as the Devil's Chair. You can see why when you approach the rear side.

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Climb up onto the bank and walk around. On the bank, the view of this quadrant is slightly clearer, you can see the marker of the obelisk and picture the full 29 stones of the inner circle in your mind's eye.

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Finally arrive from the top of the embankment and walk down the steps towards the Devil's Chair. If you turn around, you can see West Kennet Avenue dissipating into a low hill. The avenue is formed from pairs of stones about seven metres (22 ft) apart and once stretched
for two and a half kilometres (1.5 miles) to the Sanctuary on Overton Hill. The avenue was used as a processional pathway, possibly in both directions.

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You can glance across the road to the South West Quadrant, that you will be visiting shortly.

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The Devil's Chair has a natural seat, which has become a resting place and photograph stop, and not of course forgetting the stone
huggers, which don't seem to mind this stone to any of the others. However, on a rainy day be careful as you will get more than you bargained for, because water funnels down the stone and anyone sat there will quickly regret it.

Many stories are associated with this stone and some are slightly contradictory. The funnel also known as the 'chimney' according to one ancient story has been know to smoke in a faint bluish colour. Another ancient story describes how you can summon supernatural
powers by walking around the stone several times in an anticlockwise direction. My advice is to live a long and healthy life, and
best avoid such supersition!

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There is a gate near the road in the middle to cross-over into the South West Quadrant.

South West Quadrant

You can either explore this quadrant or from here, walk through West Kennet Avenue which is just south of this picture.

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This quadrant forms an arc shape that is the most complete with 11 sarsen stones. In the 1930's Alexander Keiller located the stones underground that had been placed there in medieval times and restored them. Concrete markers are used where the stones were completely removed or destroyed. The sixth remaining stone in the arc is known as the Barber's Stone.

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This stone played it's part in a tragic accident. A man helping to bury the stone to appease the church, accidently fell into the hole dug
to bury the stone from sight. At that moment the stone fell into place crushing him. It was too difficult to lift the stone again, so the
stone became his gravestone.

Only in the 1930's, some 600 years later, when the stone was being returned to it's original position, did they discover the skeleton of
the man. He had a small pouch at his waist, a pair of scissors, an iron rod (thought to be a scalpel) and some coins that dated from the 1320s. Because of these implements, the stone is known as the Barber's Stone, though some also refer to it as the Barber-Surgeon's
Stone.

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This view of the western face of the Barber's Stone also shows the South East Quadrant in the background.

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Guided tours run throughout the year.

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The following views are walking away from the arc of stones towards Avebury village.

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Finally you arrive at the first stone nearest to the village road. This is known as the Blacksmith's stone.

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It was once a huge stone, and one of a pair that guarded the west entrance of the circle. This stone was lost, but eventually located
buried in the foundation of the blacksmith's forge. It's battered shape was partly restored by Keiller, from the broken fragments
surrounding it. The other stone was lost permanently, possibly to build part of the nearby houses.

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