Remaking Avebury

It does as much exceed in greatness the so renowned Stonehenge as a Cathedral doeth a parish church - John Aubrey


I used to pass through the village of Avebury on our way to family holidays in Cornwall as a child. It was only when hunting for somewhere to live in 1992 that I came across it again. The house I came to live in was roughly made of these sarsen blocks which had been destroyed by fire from the 14th century onwards. The destruction by local landowners reached its peak during the Puritanical 17th and 18th centuries. There were originally over 660 stones including the circles and two long avenues. Only 10% of these remain.

I was interested in a number of things to do with Avebury

  • Before 3D scanning became widespread I suggested to Archaeologists that scanning the buildings might, in conjunction with image analysis software, provide useful information about original stones used, size and possible location.
  • A road and houses cut through the current stone circle. I was curious about removing them all. This had been done partially in real life (to the irritation of the locals) when most of the village was bought by marmalade millionaire Alexander Keiler. He later left the land to the National Trust.

I used an early Ricoh digital camera to assemble views of the village in 640 x 480 pixel shots. Ironically the screen size of many images now but with hardly enough resolution to work with.

My logic was that if I had enough of these I could create a large landscape canvas and progressively remove the buildings. There were no accessible 3D packages or imaging tools in 1998.

The original source files can be seen below. These are the fragments of ‘before’. There is only one almost complete ‘after’. I thought I had lost the final piece and it took some ‘digital archaeology’ to make it ‘real’ again. 

I did manage to create a working image of the circle without modern artefacts but this has never been published or exhibited.

Any comments on this project please Contact me.


Status: Unresolved
Size: n/a
Year: 1998+
Website: n/a