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The Cove

Standing Stones

<b>The Cove</b>Posted by ChanceImage © Chance
Nearest Town:Marlborough (9km E)
OS Ref (GB):   SU1014970079 / Sheet: 173
Latitude:51° 25' 44.69" N
Longitude:   1° 51' 14.43" W

Added by Rhiannon

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Photographs:<b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Meic <b>The Cove</b>Posted by ruskus <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Cove</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>The Cove</b>Posted by hamish <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by moss <b>The Cove</b>Posted by hamish <b>The Cove</b>Posted by hamish <b>The Cove</b>Posted by hamish <b>The Cove</b>Posted by jimit <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Zeb <b>The Cove</b>Posted by photobabe <b>The Cove</b>Posted by photobabe <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Hob <b>The Cove</b>Posted by notjamesbond <b>The Cove</b>Posted by greywether <b>The Cove</b>Posted by ocifant <b>The Cove</b>Posted by TK <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Earthstepper <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Kammer <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Kammer Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance Artistic / Interpretive:<b>The Cove</b>Posted by harestonesdown <b>The Cove</b>Posted by Chance <b>The Cove</b>Posted by moss <b>The Cove</b>Posted by photobabe

Fieldnotes

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Short video of the Cove whilst visiting the locality in 2009.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyrianterror/3675175339/
Tyrianterror Posted by Tyrianterror
14th November 2011ce

I start at the Cove. Even by Avebury standards these stones are gigantic. I am drawn to these stones more than any others here and I will return twice more during the course of the visit today. It takes until the third time before I actually touch the stones, perhaps it needed building up to! As with the Cove at Stanton Drew, its function is not clear but these two megaliths exert great power. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
12th August 2010ce

This is something obviously seen on every visit to Avebury. The one time that sticks in the mind for me was when I was on a guided tour of the site and someone was meditating or something next to the stones. He wasn't doing any harm but the guide quickly moved us along!! Posted by CARL
18th June 2010ce

I came here on New Years Eve 2006, it was very windy but dry.There had been some sort of ceremony near the Obelisk when I arrived but they had dispersed when I got to that area, wonder what they were doing. hamish Posted by hamish
1st January 2007ce

Miscellaneous

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It is thought that the stones of the Cove were the first stones erected inside Avebury's circle. There were originally three stones, arranged to form an open-topped, three sided structure. Aubrey Burl explains in 'Prehistoric Avebury' how coves are 'monumental versions of tomb forecourts and entrances' - which makes sense when you think of Lugbury, which is quite local. When the cove was built the chambered tombs were no longer being used. It's possible that bones of ancestors were brought to the cove instead as part of rites there. About a dozen coves are known countrywide, which are similarly upstanding and are open in one direction, usually the east. Avebury cove faces NE, towards the fairly bland skyline of Hackpen Hill, perhaps symbolically facing the general direction of the midsummer sunrise?

The third, northernmost stone of the Avebury cove fell in 1713. The other two were becoming more wobbly and have recently been made safe, as you can read about on Pete and Alison Glastonbury's website. Their hugeness surprised the archaeologists, as you can see here: http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/13206
As Burl says, such enormous stones must have been carefully searched for, required huge effort to transport, and in fact they required sarsen blocks and cobbles in their trenches to provide extra support for their huge weight. Because of their size they had to be set reasonably far apart, to leave enough room to lift and position them.

Stukeley reported that "The vulgar call them the devil's brand-irons from their extravagent bulk, and chimney-like form"
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th November 2003ce
Edited 8th July 2004ce

Links

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Avebury - A Present from the Past


Prospect of the Cove Abury 10 July 1723. - drawing by Stukeley in his 'Abury - A temple of the British druids' of 1743.

Online at Lithop's comprehensive website.

Also see
http://www.avebury-web.co.uk/plates/plate13.html
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th June 2006ce
Edited 28th June 2006ce

The H.M.J. Underhill Archive


A magic lantern slide from the H.M.J. Underhill Archive showing the Cove in the late 19th Century, firmly embedded in a building!
Kammer Posted by Kammer
7th October 2004ce
Edited 20th December 2006ce