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West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury

(220+ reviews on the web)
Ruin
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
  • You can walk to this neolithic tomb (built around 3650 BC) and even go inside. We walked from Avenury via Silbury Hill and then back via West Kennet Avenue - an amazing march through history. Our chil...  more »
  • A bit of history ,stone age burial mound that has been excavated and the crypts left virtually as they were,several chambers and quite dark ,take a torch to see better.Sit on the mound for a bite to e...  more »
  • Be prepared to walk up a hill and bring a flashlight. You should have some background on this type of tomb or the experience might be lost on you. A great guide helps. We walked up in the rain and win...  more »
Google
  • Nice that you can enter the chambers. Full of history and great views from the hill.
  • Beautiful historic area, good for walking dogs. Though god help anyone who goes on the farmer's land because he sees everything.
  • A great place to go, full of mystery and it's absolutely free which is a bonus.
  • 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.
  • 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.