Restoration: A guest feature by Ric Kemp

The 17th century Nonconformist chapel in Green Street is part of Avebury's material and spiritual history, but I believe age has seniority. For me that puts Neolithic Avebury first in any consideration for historical restoration - a compromise might have been a 'glass floor' or something similar, inserted into the chapel/tourist information centre, highlighting socket holes and anything else which came to light during the restoration: as it is, the original structure here, namely the South Inner Circle, has been basically ignored, apart from a perfunctory 'watching brief' and some archaeological note taking. With regard to the Obelisk - I do not believe that Avebury can function properly without it - it points out the seasons with their attendant ritual: depriving Avebury of its central monolith was a cruel thing to do, and some of the villagers appear to have stubbornly maintained its tradition with maypoles in its erstwhile shadow, which have left traces. I cannot see why a new Obelisk of local sarsen can't be quarried to replace the old one: we have Stukeley's excellent sketches and descriptions to go by; we have the socket hole marked out by Keiller; we have the burning pits dug out beneath the recumbent stone, to destroy it - so we have a lot of data for the reasonably accurate replication of this central standing stone.