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Amesbury, town, England


(āmz`bərē), town, Wiltshire, S central England. Located on Salisbury plain, the town is among the oldest continuously settled locations in Great Britain. In 980 the widow of King Edgar founded Amesbury Abbey, where Queen Guinevere of Arthurian legend is said to have died. StonehengeStonehenge
, group of standing stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, S England. Preeminent among megalithic monuments in the British Isles, it is similar to an older and larger monument at Avebury.
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, the best-known megalithic monument in Britain, Durrington Walls, and many other Neolithic remains are nearby.

Amesbury, city, United States


(āmz`bĕr'ē, –bərē), town (1990 pop. 14,997), Essex co., NE Mass., on the Merrimack River; inc. 1668. The town's economy relies on light manufacturing. John Greenleaf WhittierWhittier, John Greenleaf
, 1807–92, American Quaker poet and reformer, b. near Haverhill, Mass. Whittier was a pioneer in regional literature as well as a crusader for many humanitarian causes. Early Life

Whittier received a scanty education but read widely.
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 lived there most of his life, and his house is preserved. Josiah BartlettBartlett, Josiah,
1729–95, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Amesbury, Mass. He practiced medicine in Kingston, N.H.
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 was born in Amesbury.
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Amesbury, an important site of Arthurian legends, is near the pre-Christian site of Stonehenge. Fortean Picture Library.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The town of Amesbury, located about eighty miles west of London, England, lies in an area of ancient and continued holiness. Nearby, on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, is Stonehenge, one of the most ancient megalithic structures. A little to the north is the Avebury stone circle, scene of a religious tradition going back some four thousand years.

Welsh historians believe that during the Middle Ages, a monastery was located in Amesbury, but a consensus seems to have developed that in the time of Ambrosias Aurelianus, uncle to the fabled King Arthur, it was a garrison for troops, and the place was named Ambrosiani after Ambrosias.

In the Arthurian legends, it was in Amesbury that Guinevere, after her affair with Lancelot and banishment following Arthur's death, became a nun and lived out her days. Although modern writers more than earlier scribes seem to emphasize the importance of Amesbury in the Arthurian legends, John Masefield, in his poem, "Gwenivere Tells," has Guinevere remembering:

Anon I made profession, and took vows As nun encloistered: I became Christ's spouse, At Amesbury, as Abbess to the house. I changed my ermines for a goathair stole, I broke my beauty there, with dule and dole, But love remained a flame within my soul.

Thus at Amesbury we find a curious but fairly common occurrence. One religious tradition, in this case the stone-building culture of prehistorical Stonehenge, is superseded by a completely different religious tradition. In this case, it is the legend of King Arthur's court and the search for the grail from Christ's last supper—the legend marking the transition from paganism to Christianity.

References in periodicals archive ?
The third trail section is Old Elm Street in Amesbury which is a dead end roadway and a trail head will be developed.
She volunteered for many organizations, so many, such as Our Neighbor's Table in Amesbury.
The Amesbury Property Company has appointed the Birmingham-based property developer to deliver a range of warehouse units on the remaining two serviced sites totalling 16 acres known as EOS.
Also found in the Kirkhaugh burial were flint arrowheads, stone metal-working tools and a beaker - all similar to the objects found in 2002 in the grave of the Amesbury Archer near Stonehenge.
The local schools benefiting include: Amesbury Elementary, Amesbury High School, Amesbury Middle School, Bresnahan School, Brown School, Cashman Elementary, Newbury Elementary, Newburyport High School, Nock Middle School, Pentucket Elementary School, Pinegrove Elementary School, Salisbury Elementary, and Triton Elementary School.
London, May 2 ( ANI ): UK's oldest town has finally been confirmed to be Amesbury, some 40 miles from Stonehenge.
SCIENTISTS have identified Amesbury in Wiltshire as the oldest town in the UK.
In 2011 after a series of bad winters in which the village was cut off, landlady Shirley Amesbury adapted a pub storeroom and turned it into a village shop to keep villagers going.
George Watkins scored the fifth try in a fifteen minute spell and fellow wing Charlie Amesbury claimed the eleventh try of the match.
FAMILIES PARTICIPATING in care through family care plans and progress notes, and residents and primary school children getting to know each other are two innovations registered nurse manager Jon Amesbury has introduced this year at Aria Gardens in Albany.
This generates enough electricity to fully run the Amesbury location, which produces a variety of residential and commercial precast products, without requiring any additional sources of electricity.