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Avebury's Lost Avenue

These two megaliths stand alone in a field almost a mile from the Avebury stone circle.

Known today as the Adam and Eve stones, they once formed the head of an avenue that led right down to the main henge of Avebury, with another avenue, much of which still stands today, leading out and up to the Sanctuary nearby.

This lost avenue was demolished mostly by one man and his team - "Fierce" Farmer Tom Robinson. Robinson revelled in the title "stone killer", devising a method by which fires would be burned for several days around a stone then cold water thrown over it to make it brittle enough to break.

If you look closely at the stones in the picture you can see the results of this vandalism, odd shapes cut out of the stones, but it seems these last two were spared - either the men gave up or an appeal was made to the landowner.

Robinson was a housing developer who wanted to cash in on the droves of Catholic priests being expelled from London after the 1665 "Five Mile" act was approved by Charles II. He didn't want heathen megaliths standing in the way and the broken stone made convenient building material, and he almost succeeded in wiping the west avenue out completely, to the horror of William Stukely and other antiquarians who were not quiet in their condemnation of this vandalism.

Two remnants of a lost avenue which would have been magnificent in its day - still standing proudly.

I take a tour of the many megaliths of the Cotswolds and beyond in my book The Mystery Of Mercia II - available at

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