The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Knighton Longbarrow

Long Barrow


Visited Hiroshima Day 2011

This not one of those sites that you might happen upon during a Sunday afternoon drive in the country.
True it does lie by the side of a public highway, but the only traffic I saw on my visit was an armoured convoy of Mastiffs and Buffalos practicing their driving skills before carrying out the real thing in Afghanistan. The only guys I spoke to were on the other side of a 12ft high fence topped with razor wire and carrying loaded Sa80's. They were jovial enough once they realised I was one of those wired archo types who was just checking out the long barrow. One of them got quite excited when I told him there was no record of it ever being opened and it probably still contained the bodies of a Neolithic family from the time before Stonehenge.

The long barrow is a classic Neolithic one, from the early part of the period, being over 180ft long with clear evidence of the side ditches used to create it. It stands on the highest point of Knighton Down, orientated East/West, over looking the vast plain and its training area. To the left lies the Neolithic camp of Robin Hoods Ball with three more Neolithic long barrows, and beyond that, the Bustard Inn. As mentioned above, there is no record of this barrow being opened, although Dr. John Thurnam had been active in the area during his numerous excavations in 1863. The barrow has suffered some damage in more recent times, both from the O.S. who placed a concrete trig point right on top of the barrows' highest point, and the army who had driven a tracked vehicle up it's spine in order to reach the highest point in the area. The far end of the barrow also shows signs of being trenched by the army in the 1960's. Thankfully this kind of damage is now a thing of the past and a series of posts and signs surround the barrow and its side ditches, although the O.S. trig point remains.

If you decide to visit, I recommend you park parallel to the barrow as the road/track next to it is a busy convoy route. Expect to be challenged by armed security too as the barrow lies right next to the Royal Aircraft Establishment and there are highly secure areas only a few feet away. Access is via the Packway, either by the sports ground, just past Durrington Walls and up past the Stonehenge race course or opposite Durrington Down Plantation and the Fargo ammunition area. Consult the O.S. map for the Stonehenge area before you travel.
Chance Posted by Chance
6th March 2012ce

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