West Kennet Long Barrow

on 16 August 2017.

West Kennet Long Barrow

Dating from around 3,650 years BC West Kennet Long Barrow is one of the largest and most accessible Neolithic Tombs in Britain

Despite its longevity into the modern day it is thought that the tomb was only side for a short time as a burial chamber, with the bones of about 50 people being placed here.

At 328 foot or nearly 100m long West Kennet is only Second to East Kennet Barrow in size. Now covered with turf it would originally had bare chalk sides meaning it would have been an impressive stark-white monument visible from miles around.

It is thought that the Neolithic civilisations focussed heavily on ancestor worship and West Kennet Barrow had at least 46 cremations or partial skeletons placed within.

After this around 2000BC the barrow was closed using huge Sarsen boulders deposited in the area by previous glaciation during the ice age. Theses stones are the same as were used to build the large central rings at Stonehenge.

It was first excavated in 1859 and then again more scientifically in 1955 after which the main facade was reconstructed.

Parking : Free parking is available in the lay-by signposted on the A4.

How to Find it : There is a half mile walk uphill across farmland signposted from the lay-by to the barrow.

Please note; There is an unguarded drop from the top of the barrow above the entrance.

Dogs: Assistance dogs only.

Please be aware : English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.

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