The Ancient village of Avebury, Wiltshire
Today Wednesday was a bit of a sad day because the gardening job I had looked forward to doing had been taken from me on the spurious pretext. Since either of us have anything much to do with decided that it was time for a walk.
We need a pleasant day to counteract the dreadful shenanigans going on in the houses of Parliament where the government seems set on a process of self destruction. How on earth can we leave the European Community cleanly when there is so much infighting and where no party has a majority.
Since we are both members of the National Trust it would make sense to go along to one of their properties, so I skimmed through the Handbook for 2019 and, as things always seem to do, one property jumped out at me, Avebury. It is some time since I have been there and I thought it would be nice to go along and see how it has changed.
It is in fact a miniature village consisting of a couple of streets at the most. You could almost say it was a hamlet. Due to fairly draconian planning rules the whole appears almost frozen in time for the most part very carefully managed by the National Trust. It was a joy to go round. I was very glad to visit at a time when there were no schoolchildren because they had gone back to school so us adults and particularly those of pensionable age were allowed to roam without impediment.
I was very impressed by the motivation of people in Avebury Manor. As soon as I entered a room, be volunteer host step forward and gave us a miniature description of the room with great enthusiasm that they must have said the same thing hundreds of times before. They obviously love working there. there is a hands-on approach where you can lie on Boyle beds, dress up in the clothes of the time and generally touch things. Heaven for children but a nightmare for the staff I would have thought.
The Manor is a building where many different historical periods are represented in the rooms right from Tudor on to the beginning of the second world war. In other words, it was a bit of a set piece but nonetheless charming for that. I love looking at huge old kitchens with gleaming brass ware and everything done by manual labour. Against one wall there was a huge cooking range fired by coal.
Our National Trust membership saved us about £37 in terms of car parking, entry to Avebury Manor, and entry to a museum. I’m not paid to say this but frankly the National Trust membership pays for itself many times over. The day was lovely, white cloud scudding across the sky, about 20°C just right for walking.
Finally, we went round the stones which are huge, it makes you wonder how they managed to get them there after having transported them long distances then we can say that about the pyramids. Some say that the pyramid stones were moved by the power of sound i.e. resonance.
The village itself is so small you can miss it if you blink. There is an excellent second-hand library run by volunteers and a little post office, amazing for such a small conurbation. I suppose they make their money mainly from tourists.
We stopped at a flight of locks in Devizes. They never cease to impress. Two years ago some lazy person left a lock open after passing it and the resulting slide caused £3 million worth of damage on a nearby housing estate.