Avebury Manor & GardenAvebury Village & Stone Henge Circle
National Trust
High Street
Avebury
Wiltshire SN8 1RF
 
 
 
Avebury Manor and Garden in south-west England is a unique National Trust property. What makes it so different is that visitors are encouraged to sit on the furniture, lie on the four-poster bed and even play snooker on the Billiard Table. The only restriction is the Chinese hand painted wallpaper in the Georgian Dining Room which will damage if touched. The wallpaper includes some images of Avebury and reflected the owner’s status as a well-travelled man of importance.
 
Avebury Manor starred in a BBC TV programme about restoring and refurbishing an historic house. The Manor Reborn went to air in 2011 and the Manor and Gardens opened to the public in 2012.
 
Nine of Avebury Manor's rooms and part of the garden were redecorated and redesigned in five different styles: Tudor, Queen Anne, Georgian, Edwardian, and early 20th century. The walled Victorian kitchen garden has been restored to its former glory and use. The different styles were chosen to represent some of the most important former residents of the Manor.
 
Over its 450 year history, Avebury Manor has commanded significant importance in the village, surrounded by high boundary walls and formal gateways. Although not the most prestigious of country houses, it still retains an air of opulence with its impressive gables, deep mullion windows, tall imposing chimneys and beautiful topiary gardens.
 
Transforming Avebury Manor To get an idea of the pleasures in store on a visit to the Manor, go to  Web:  National Trust/ Transforming Avebury Manor   External Link
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:    External Link
 
History of Avebury Manor
The present Manor dates from around the mid 16th century. This was recently confirmed by a dendrochronology analysis carried out by Wessex Archaeology. Samples taken from a ceiling lintel beam in the kitchen (the oldest part of the house) showed a felling date of between 1555 and 1580.
 
The land the Manor occupies, however, is considerably older and had monastic connections. Any excavations carried out have revealed several small finds which indicated the site had been occupied for at least a thousand years.
 
Earliest records of a building in the vicinity date from 1114, when King Henry I granted the estate to his chamberlain William de Tancarville, who in that same year gifted it to the Benedictine French abbey of St Georges de Boscherville, Rouen, Normandy. A priory house, probably made of timber, was established soon afterwards and may have stood close to where the current Manor is now situated. The priory was a small unit, just a few monks eking out a simple existence raising sheep and farming the land.
 
In 1378, England was at war with France which ultimately led to the monastic order being expelled from Avebury in 1379. A succession of chaplains took charge of the priory until 1411 when the monastic lands passed to Fotheringhay College, but following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the College traded the estate for lands elsewhere. The Crown took control, and granted the Avebury estates to Sir William Sharington of Lacock Abbey. The priory was destroyed, leaving only a small house on the site.
 
A decade later the property was purchased by Sir William Dunch, wealthy courtier, eminent lawyer, advisor to King Henry VIII, and Auditor for the Royal Mint. Recent evidence now points to the Dunchs being largely responsible for rebuilding a new house between 1555 and 1580.
 
Sarsen and limestone were used primarily for most of the building projects. It is likely that the sarsen stone would have come from the Avebury henge at a time when the stones were of little interest other than for building material.
 
In 1601 the house was extended with the addition of the south range by Sir James and Mrs Debora Mervyn, whose initials are carved over the beautifully decorated porch.
 
In 1740 Richard Holford (grandson of Sir Richard Holford) remodelled the Great Hall in the south range and the bedchamber above it, in line with the latest fashion.
 
The original stone gables (noted from a drawing in 1723 by William Stukeley) were removed by Holford to allow the construction of a deep coved ceiling which would later become known as the Queen Anne Bedroom. Queen Anne is believed to have visited the Manor during her reign, although the ceiling would have been in its original form at that time.
 
The final alterations came in the early 1900s when Lt. Colonel Leopold and Mrs Nora Jenner added the west library. In addition, they laid out the wonderful gardens, with yew and box topiary and water features.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:     External Link
 
Key Owners
Throughout the house’s history it has had many key owners. Sir John Stawell, Royalist and MP; Sir Adam Williamson, Governor of Jamaica; and Lt. Colonel Leopold and Nora Jenner.
 
Archaeologist Alexander Keiller bought the manor in 1937 and established the Morven Institute of Archaeological Research. In 1942 the Morven Institute was disbanded and much of Keiller’s property, including the stone circle was sold to the National Trust for £12,000 but the Trust declined to buy the Manor deeming it too expensive.
 
The Manor was sold again in 1955 to Sir Francis Knowles, a research biologist. He discovered the process (neurosecretion) by which certain nerve cells secreted hormones into the bloodstream. When Sir Francis Knowles died in 1874 the Manor was sold again several times.
 
In 1988 the Manor almost suffered a fate worse than death. It was bought by entrepreneur Kenneth King for £1 million with plans to turn it into an ‘Elizabethan Experience’. Three years later the National Trust bought the Manor from the Official Receivers after Kenneth King was declared bankrupt. The Manor was leased to a private tenant on the understanding it must remain open to the public for a limited time.
 
The lessors did not renew their lease and in 2010 the BBC and the Trust conceived The Manor Reborn project.
 
Avebury Manor and Garden were saved!
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:    External Link

 
Opening Times
Seasonal opening: 11:00 – 17:00 hours.
Last entry one hour before closing; timed tickets during peak times.
In winter, part of garden and museum may be closed, and everything closes at dusk if earlier than 16:00 hours.
*Manor closed 20 to 22 June (Summer Solstice).  
For calendar details go to  Web:  National Trust/ Avebury Manor Opening Dates & Times    External Link
 
Admission Prices
Tickets for the Manor and Gardens are purchased from the Avebury Visitor Centre which is located in the Alexander Keiller Museum Barn Gallery. Entry to the Visitor Centre is free.
Adult: £6.75; Child: £3.35; Family: £16.85; Group Concessions available. Please note Children under five years are free.
For up to date prices go to Web: National Trust Avebury/ Prices    External Link
 
Facilities
Helpful volunteers who will answer your questions and tell you about the history of the house.
No on-site parking.
 
The Manor Tearoom
This refreshment stop has a great reputation. Originally the West Library, it was built for Lt. Col. & Mrs. Nora Jenner in the early 20th century. It offers a relaxing atmosphere, table service, teas, coffee and a wide selection of home-baked cakes.
 
Disabled Access
Wheelchair accessible; Drop off point.; Ramped entrances; Accessible Toilets located behind Barn Gallery; The Manor Garden has accessible pathways but they can be uneven due to the nature of the original surfaces. Garden contains some steps, grass and pathways, which may become slippery on wet days. 
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1672 539 250
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
- By Car (Recommended Method)
Avebury is 7 miles (11 kms) west of Marlborough. Leave the M4 at Exit 15 and take the A346 south to Marlborough, a distance of about 8 miles (12.8 km). Take the A4 and follow it west for six miles (9.7 km) to West Kennett and Avebury.
 
Parking
There is a National Trust car park south of Avebury, off the A4361. Free parking for English Heritage and National Trust England members.
£5 parking charge applies for non-members.
Please visit   Web:  National Trust/ Avebury    External Link
Free disabled parking is available in the village car park.
 
- By Bus & Rail 
For detailed information on other methods of getting to Avebury, go to  Web:  Wiltshire Council/ Connecting Wiltshire    External Link
 
Google Maps - Avebury