West Kennet Long Barrow (Wiltshire)
One of the largest, most impressive and most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain.
Places to stay near here
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- Free admission
- Historic Property
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. 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 Barrow is open at all reasonable times througjout the year.
Check for access arrangements around the summer solstice (20-22 June).
History to the present day
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.
Arrival information and how to find us
Address: West Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire, , United Kingdom