The Society - a brief history

Many years ago the crest of Overton Hill was the site of a transport café, for the convenience of all those toiling along the Great West Road between Marlborough and Calne, London and the West Country. There were no motorway service stations then, and no motorway.

When the M4 finally took away much of the traffic, the café fell on hard times and was sold, the buyer hoping to build an hotel on the site. Local feelings ran against the idea of a high-rise replacement for a low rise shack, and “Save Our Skyline” was born to fight the proposal. Planning was indeed refused, the National Trust stepped in to purchase the site and the shack was demolished, allowing the barrows once again to dominate the hilltop.

No longer needed, Save Our Skyline became “Avebury In Danger” as a new owner of Avebury Manor began to put in place various developments to create an Elizabethan Theme Park. When these plans also were disallowed the campaigners decided to continue their association as a Civic Society, providing a legitimate organisation which could comment on planning matters affecting the village and the World Heritage Site. The Society was also intended to entertain and “have fun”, and has continued to mount lectures and talks about matters local, historical and archaeological, and to provide entertainments of various kinds.

A detailed history of the Society with a description of the various matters it has addressed since 1994 can be downloaded in .pdf format below.