West Kennett Barrow
Neolithic Chambered Long Barrow
South of Avebury, Wiltshire  OS Map Ref SU104677
OS Maps - Landranger 173 (Swindon & Devizes), Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)



West Kennett facade from the north east
View of West Kennett facade from the north east

West Kennett Barrow - Facade
The facade of the tomb from the south east

Standing a short distance from Silbury Hill, this is one of the largest chambered long barrows in Britain. The entrance is over 3 metres high and tapers over 100 metres to the western end. This eastern facing entrance is guarded by huge sarsen slabs behind which there is a small open area. From here it is possible to walk into the 2.3 high metre passage and the four chambers, two on either side that are roofed by large capstones. Once inside all sound from the outside world is excluded, leaving the visitor to ponder what it must have been like to spend eternity in such damp silent tomb. Bones were taken from the site by a doctor during the 17th century, and during 1956 46 bodies were found scattered in the side chambers, many of which had suffered bone diseases or abnormalities. It is thought that the tomb was used for about 1000 years before being filled sometime around 2000BC with earth, stones, bone tools, broken pottery and beads and the entrance blocked by the giant sarsen slabs.
Glossary Item: Neolithic

West Kennett Barrow - Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge the plan of chambers

View into the entrance of the tomb
West Kennett Barrow - Chamber

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