Facing almost directly opposite Silbury Hill, we come to the ancient burial mound of West Kennet Long Barrow.

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To visit this fascinating Stone facing mound, we have a short walk from Silbury along the A4 road, which then takes you up a footpath through the Kissing gate on a steady incline to the Barrow itself.

This Long Barrow is the longest of its kind, and has around two thousand cubic metres of chalk within its mound. Its was constructed around 3000BC and more than fifty bodies were buried, which included partially complete skeletons, but nevertheless must have had some authority within the community at that time.

The chamber itself is only one sixth the length of the entire Barrow, and in 2000BC its was monumentally sealed by filling each of the burial chambers with chalk and earth, and even sealing the cracks between the massive Sarson entrance stones with more earth and stone rubble. West Kennet Long Barrow could have indicated an important religious time for the local people and perhaps a political one as well.

The publication 'The Sun and the Serpent' written in 1989 by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst concentrated on the celebrated serpent paths The Michael and Mary Lines. These two snaking ley lines run the entire length of England from St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall to the Wash in Norfolk. The two lines run through the Avebury complex, following the Avenue out of Avebury itself, through Silbury Hill, and down the axis of West Kennet Long Barrow. The significance of these lines is as yet a mystery, rather like the Crop Circle phenomenon. However the connection can not be ignored.

Stuart Dike

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Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

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