Avebury, Wiltshire Family History Guide

Avebury is an Ancient Parish in the county of Wiltshire.

Status: Ancient Parish

Alternative names: Abury, Aubery

Other places in the parish include: Beckhampton and West Kennet.

Parish church: St. James

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1679
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1607; 1621

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational and Particular Baptist.

Parishes adjacent to Avebury

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

AVEBURY, or Abury, a village and a parish in Marlborough district, Wilts. The village adjoins a headstream of the Kennet river, 11/3. mile N of Silbury hill, 4 miles N of Wans dyke, 6½ W of Marlborough r. station, and 8 SSE of Wootton-Bassett; and has a post office under Chippenham. Its site is a flat area of 28 acres, once occupied by a vast Druidical temple. Dr. Stukeley, who examined the temple in 1720, supposed it to have originally consisted of 650 stones, and to have included the whole site of the present village. It is surrounded by a broad ditch, outside of which is a lofty vallum, intended, it is supposed, to enable spectators to observe the ceremonies over the whole extent of the area. Within the ditch was a circle, 1,400 feet in diameter, formed of 100 upright stones, from 15 to 17 feet in height, and about 40 in circumference, placed at a distance of 27 yards from one another. Within this were two circles, each consisting of two double concentric rows, composed of the same number of stones, and arranged in a similar manner. The grand circle had two entrances, consisting of double rows of 100 upright stones each, placed at equal distances, and extending a mile in length; the one terminating in a double concentric circle of smaller diameter, and the other having a stone larger than the rest at the extremity. Of this vast structure few traces now remain, the stones having been broken down and used n the construction of the houses of the village, and in repairing the roads. Many barrows and tumuli, together with Druidical stones, are in the neighbourhood; and a most remarkable one is that called Silbury Hill: which see. The parish includes the tythings of Beckhampton and East and West Kennet. Acres, 4,544. Real property, £6,717. Pop., 725. Houses, 153. The manor was given, in the time of Henry I., to the abbey of Boscharville in Normandy; passed first to Winchester college, Oxford, next to the collegiate church of Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire; and went, at the dissolution, to Sir William Sharington. Avebury-house is the manor-house. The living is a vicarage, united till 1865 to the vic. of Winterbourne-Monkton, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £250. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is an ancient structure of stone and flint, with some Norman features, but much altered by modern repairs; and has a curious Norman font. Charities £10.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Avebury Manor
Avebury Manor by Matt Prosser. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Avebury, 5½ miles W. Marlborough. P. 751.

Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

AVEBURY (St. James), a parish, in the union of Marlborough, hundred of Selkley, Marlborough and Ramsbury, and N. divisions of Wilts, 6¾ miles (W. by S.) from Marlborough; containing, with the tythings of Beckhampton and Kennet, 751 inhabitants. This parish, in which the river Kennet has its source, comprises about 4641 acres; the soil is a light earth resting on chalk, and the surface is undulated. The village is built on a portion of the area anciently occupied by a stupendous monument called Abury, supposed to have been constructed by the Britons, for the purposes of religious worship or national assemblies. It consisted of an extensive ditch and rampart, including double circles of large unhewn stones, many of which have been broken, and used as materials for building the houses in the village, and for other purposes. In the vicinity are several barrows, and among them the very large and remarkable one, close to the turnpike-road, called Silbury hill, which covers an area of five acres and thirty-four perches, and exceeds in dimensions every similar work in Great Britain, being 2027 feet in circumference at the base, and 120 at the summit; its sloping height is 316 feet, and its perpendicular height 170 feet. Within a short distance of this are remarkable stones termed the Grey Wethers, and about a mile north of the village is a cromlech. The living is a discharged vicarage, to which that of Winterbourne-Monkton was united in 1747, valued in the king's books at £9; net income, £178; patron, the Crown; impropriators, the family of Hopkins. The glebe consists of 16 acres. The church is of Norman architecture. An alien priory, dependent on the Benedictine abbey of Bocherville in Normandy, was founded here in the reign of Henry I. Robert of Avebury, who wrote a history of Edward III., is supposed to have been a native of the place.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales 1807

Abury, or Aubery, (Wilts) a village near Marlborough Downs, remarkable for a collection of huge stones like those, on Salisbury Plain, and supposed by Dr. Stukeley to be the remains of a Druidical temple, which originally included the whole village within its circumference. It is surrounded by a high rampart, with a proportionable ditch on the inside; and from hence to W. Kennet is a walk nearly a mile in length, inclosed on both sides with large stones. A new road has been recently struck out this way from London to Bath.

Source: Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales; Crosby Rev. J. Malham; 1807.

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog - Free

Census

Census returns for Avebury, 1841-1891

Church Records

Births and baptisms, 1807-1837 Author: Independent Church (Avebury)

Bishop's transcripts for Avebury, 1607-1880 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Avebury (Wiltshire)

Parish registers for Avebury, 1697-1971 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Avebury (Wiltshire)

Baptisms from parish records and bishop's transcripts Author: Wiltshire Family History Society

Parish register printouts of Avebury, Wilthshire, England (Independent) ; christenings, 1807-1837 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Civil registration

Notices of marriage, 1838-1911 Author: Great Britain. Superintendent Registrar (District of Marlborough)

Description and travel

Discovering Avebury Author: Edelman, Ian

Stonehenge and Avebury and neighbouring monuments : an illustrated guide Author: Atkinson, R. J. C. (Richard John Copland), 1920-

History

Discovering Avebury Author: Edelman, Ian

Manors - Court records

Manor court rolls in Avebury, Wiltshire, 1651-1657 Author: Manor of Avebury. Court (Wiltshire)

Taxation

Land tax assessments in Avebury, Wiltshire, 1780-1884 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Wiltshire)

Land tax assessments in Beckhampton, Wiltshire, 1782-1884 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Wiltshire)

Directories

Kelly's Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire and the Isle of Wight 1889

Administration

  • County: Wiltshire
  • Civil Registration District: Marlborough
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Wiltshire
  • Diocese: Salisbury
  • Rural Deanery: Avebury
  • Poor Law Union: Marlborough
  • Hundred: Selkley
  • Province: Canterbury