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14 15 Aubreys Avebury the first known sketch of the site The first proper reference to Avebury appears in the 1610 edition of William Camdens Britannia, where he says Within one mile of Silbury is Abury ... it is environed with a fair trench, and hath four gates, in two of which stand huge stones as jambs ... Then in 1663 Charles II overheard the antiquarian John Aubrey mentioning that Avebury ... did as much excell Stonehenge as a cathedral does a parish church. The King was greatly fascinated and immediately set about visiting the stones with Aubrey. Aubreys plan of Avebury is shown opposite, the earliest known. Then, in 1743, William Stukeley produced the first good book on the site. He thought it was built by people from Atlantis, writing When we contemplate the elegance of this country of Wiltshire, and the great works of antiquity therein, we may be persuaded that the two atlantic islands, and the islands of the blessed, which Plato and other ancient writers mention, were those in reality of Britain and Ireland. They who first took possession of this country thought it worthy of their care, and built those noble works therein, which have been the admiration of all ages. And indeed it might have been for all we still know The seventeenth century map of Avebury by John Aubrey.
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