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West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury

Categories: Ruins, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web
The West Kennet Long Barrow is a Neolithic tomb or barrow, situated on a prominent chalk ridge, near Silbury Hill, one-and-a-half miles south of Avebury in Wiltshire, England. The site was recorded by John Aubrey in the 17th century and by William Stukeley in the 18th century.Archaeologists classify it as a chambered long barrow and one of the Severn-Cotswold tombs. It has two pairs of opposing transept chambers and a single terminal chamber used for burial. The stone burial chambers are located at one end of one of the longest barrows in Britain at 100 m: in total it is estimated that 15,700 manhours were expended in its construction. The entrance consists of a concave forecourt with a facade made from large slabs of sarsen stones which were placed to seal entry.The construction of the West Kennet Long Barrow commenced about 3600 BC, which is some 400 years before the first stage of Stonehenge, and it was in use until around 2500 BC. The mound has been damaged by indiscriminate digging, but archaeological excavations in 1859 and 1955-56 found at least 46 burials, ranging from babies to elderly persons. The bones were disarticulated with some of the skulls and long bones missing. It has been suggested that the bones were removed periodically for display or transported elsewhere with the blocking facade being removed and replaced each time. Recent re-analysis of the dating evidence suggests that the 46 people all died within 20 – 30 years of each other, and that the tomb was open for 1,000 years.
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  • Went up to the hill and Barrow just as the sun was setting and was met by two Red Kites circling up in the sky, I was fortunate to be the only one up at the Barrow, it has a magical feel about the pla...  read more »
  • We walked out of Avebury to the long barrow and the climb up the hill is well worth it. The fact that you can walk into a burial site that is thousands fo years old is mind boggling! 
  • The Long Barrow is a good trek from Avebury and relatively close to Silbury Hill, although it needs a brisk 15 minute walk to access it from the nearest road. It seems to get relatively few visitors a...  read more »
  • This is an impressive place. I'd seen it on TV before I visited Wiltshire for the first time to visit my future Wife, but being there in person was more special than I expected. This must have been a place revered for its contents in the past, because it's still treated with reverence now, even though it's contents are gone. Worth the walk from the Silbury Hill car park!
  • All part of the "Avebury" experience. This Neolithic Long Barrow is fabulous, and free. Explore the tombs - soak up the atmosphere. The wonderful 'Silbury Hill' a mere stroll away.
  • Wonderfully eery standing as it does on the top of the hill in the middle of the fields, and overlooking Silbury hill.
  • Enjoy a number of nearby beatiful neolithic sites by walking from one to the other, 20 minutes strolls between each of the sites through the beautiful landscape, all sites are free.
  • This is a long walk from the road but definitely worth it. There are renovations at the moment so there are parts you can't walk on.
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