West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury

4.9
#3 of 7 in Things to do in Avebury
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
255 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    I love this place. My family and I have visited twice now. The first time we had the misfortune of following a large group of hikers up the hill but waited a while for them to wander off before proper...  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    If you want to see the stones up close and personal, this is the place for you. Not as well as preserved as Stonehenge, and no educational presentations, but goes but it is huge. And you can walk righ...  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    Enjoyed this very atmospheric Long Barrow. Fascinating to be able to enter the barrow and see it's structure. The added bonus was dodging the swallows coming in to feed their young.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful setting.. free parking. Walk up a gentle slope through a field. There are signs saying keep to footpath but there were still some numpties traipsing through crop fields... if I was the farmer and caught them doing this then I would fine them! There's a perfectly good path to follow. You can go into the Barrow about quarter of the length . Avebury very near by
  • Good hike up to the Barrow, a small parking area just off the main a4 but you can park at Silbury car park! You can enter the Barrow a good visit with the family for an hour or more
  • Well worth the walk up. Very well preserved and great views
  • Tranquil place to watch the sun rise/set from next to the long barrow, which is on top of a gentle hill
  • You can feel the history as you walk through the landscape. A lovely place for a walk, especially if you have it all to yourselves.

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