Last Photographed: Friday 16th May 2014
West Kennet long barrow is one of the oldest features of Avebury's Neolithic landscape, dating back to 3700BC. It consists of a tapered earthen bank, stretching for 100 metres end-to-end. The chamber that enters the barrow at the Eastern end penetrates to a depth of 10 metres. It consists of a passageway flanked by two sub-chambers on either side, terminating in one large chamber at its end. However the entrance to the barrow is possibly its most striking feature. Two huge stones seal the front off the tomb, with stones and boulders of various sizes trailing off from them at either side. Visitors are able to enter the barrow through a passage hollowed out behind these stones.
The mildly exerting stroll up from the main road is more than worth the effort. Probably Britain's finest Neolithic burial chamber, it's in remarkably good condition for a five and a half thousand year old tomb, and access is remarkably easy.
The atmosphere is amazing and is all the better for the lack of any significant enclosure around the monument. I found surprisingly few tourists for the time of year and was even able to have a few minutes alone inside the tomb. Surrounded by Earth, stone and history, time really stands still.
To top it all off, the view from the hilltop provides a spectacular panorama of the surrounding landscape: certainly the best position from which to get some perspective on the nearby Silbury Hill.