Free entry to the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury is being offered by the National Trust as part of the celebration of World Heritage Day on Wednesday (18 April).
The offer is being made to encourage people to visit the the World heritage Site and to understand and celebrate the globally important places and the cultural heritage they preserve.
Avebury was, together with Stonehenge, added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1986 because of their outstanding prehistoric monuments which date back over 5,000 years to the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
The stone circle at Avebury, enclosed by a huge bank and ditch is the largest in the world and this lies at the heart of a prehistoric landscape that contains numerous impressive and well-preserved monuments, including Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure, the Sanctuary and West Kennet Long Barrow.
The Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury was created by the famous 20th century archaeologist, Alexander Keiller, whose passion for prehistory led him to excavate much of Avebury and the surrounding landscape.
The museum is housed over two galleries; the Stables Gallery houses the artefacts that were discovered during Keiller’s work, along with later finds, whilst the newly refurbished Barn Gallery tells the story of the people who lived at Avebury in prehistoric time through an exhibition and interactive displays.
On 18 April, the National Trust is opening the doors to the Alexander Keiller Museum for free, so that people can come and see for themselves what makes Avebury worthy of World Heritage Site status.
Hazel Barry-Scott, Senior Visitor Experience Officer, said ‘This is a really good opportunity for people to come and have a look around, to go into the stone circle itself, and even touch the stones, before finding out more about them in the museum. We’re really proud of our newly refreshed exhibition in the Barn Gallery which has lots of new and up-to-date information for visitors to see, so it’s well worth a visit if you haven’t been for a while.”
Avebury henge was closed recently because of waterlogged ground and, although the henge banks and West Kennett Avenue are still closed, the stone circle is open once more.
The museum opening hours are 10am – 6pm, seven days a week. For those interested in Avebury’s more recent history, then Avebury Manor, with its award winning tea-room, is also open 11am – 5pm. More details are at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.