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29 October 2014

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Moonraking: The Landscape
Chalk downland combines gracefully with low lying pastures while Wiltshire's woodland and forests are reminders of the county's feudal past.
Pine tree overlooking Pewsey Vale
• Avebury
Avebury stone circle, which dates from 2800 BC onwards, is designated a World Heritage Site and managed by The National Trust. The huge sarsen stones that make up Avebury's circle were dragged from the surrounding hills and placed around a ditch, within an external bank. Today, despite many of the stones having been broken up and used to build some of the houses in the village, Avebury's magic is a strong as ever.
• Barbury Castle
High above Swindon, and overlooking the modern metropolis is one of Wiltshire's Iron Age forts, Barbury Castle. The stronghold comprises a double line of earthworks, occupying a four hectare site, with entrances on its eastern and western edges. One of Barbury's attractions is the view - the main reason why Iron Age man chose to occupy the site 2500 years ago.
• Old Sarum
Old Sarum started life as a huge Iron Age hillfort and subsequently saw occupation by the Romans, Saxons and later the Normans. Today, the site, which lies to the north of Salisbury, boasts the ruins of a bishop's palace, cathedral and castle and its position offers some impressive views of the south Wiltshire countryside.
• The Ridgeway
Described as Britain's Oldest Road, the Ridgeway is a 85 mile (137km) route that follows the chalk hills between Overton Hill, near Avebury and Ivinghoe Beacon in Hertfordshire. The route was used by prehistoric man and has been described by some as being as important as today's modern roads. Despite being popular with walkers, the route is open to motorised vehicles, which has resulted in additional wear and tear and, consequently, temporary closure of parts of the route.
• Savernake Forest
One of Wiltshire's ancient 'Royal Forests' much beloved by Norman kings. Today the forest is leased to the Forestry Commission. Access is via many paths and tracks. It remains a place of mystery and imagination and an important habitat for a number of wild birds, plants and animals.

• Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill is the largest artificial prehistoric mound in Europe and stands 40 metres (130 feet) high and forms part of the Neolithic landscape around Avebury.

• Stonehenge

Stonehenge is probably one of the most recognisable monuments in the world. The 5000 year old henge monument became a World Heritage Site in 1986 and is managed by English Heritage. Despite years of research and study the reason behind the construction of Stonehenge remains a mystery.

• Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle was built in the late fourteenth century for John, Lord Lovel of Titchmarsh and was later rebuilt in the sixteenth century. It was not only a commanding stronghold but an impressive residence, the castle's location adding to the overall impact.

• West Kennett Long Barrow

West Kennett Long Barrow dates back to 3500 BC and is one of the best preserved barrows in the country - it is also one of the largest. It measures over 90 metres (300 feet) in length and is nearly 24 metres (80 feet) wide.



• Avebury
• Barbury Castle
• Old Sarum
• The Ridgeway
• Savernake Forest
• Silbury Hill
• Stonehenge
• Old Wardour Castle
• West Kennet Longbarrow


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