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West Kennett

Long Barrow


West Kennett Long Barrow re-opened.

A beautiful winter's day, the fairground ride of Christmas over - sigh of relief for another year. So today ventured out to Avebury to walk over to West Kennett Long Barrow. Having heard it was open to the public again, wanted to see the improvements. The ground levels inside the barrow have been raised slightly and covered with a sandy gravel. The unsightly sky-light has been sealed and replaced with two port holes in the middle and at the end of the barrow. I bumped into an old friend over there (as you do) who told me the plan was for water to drain out through a small gap in the entrance stones.
Just at the moment the walk up to the barrow is very muddy as a vehicle has churned the rubber meshing.
tjj Posted by tjj
29th December 2015ce

Comments (1)

First the good news....The drainage inside seems to work even after the heavy rain we have had recently.....The small infill dry-stone walling in the facade has been repaired.
Not so good (temporary?) news.....The wide access path up has been torn to shreds and rutted. Presumably this will be re-instated.
Now the "If only they had asked me" news.....The old concrete slab over the end chamber has been replaced with a much thicker one. The only light coming in is through a tiny vertical ' porthole' less than 9 inches in diameter (muddied over on the surface) and down a tube through the thick concrete. It makes much of the chamber invisible without a torch. There is a similar 'porthole' further east. The old lighting made the interior mysterious, the new makes it just gloomy......On top, the thick concrete has been covered by a scrape of soil and turfed. I give this 6 months before the turf dies of drought and is eroded by footfall back to the concrete. This area has the heaviest usage outside the barrow........Access to the top is now by 10 shallow wooden-edged steps, unfortunately because of this shallowness the treads slope and the shingle covering them will quickly migrate downhill, this might be alleviated by doubling the number of steps. However improving the lighting would involve drilling another 'porthole' through the thick concrete. Don't hold your breath.
It's difficult to know what this expensive "Repair" was meant to achieve. Was the old roof dangerous?
I hope someone else can inspect this well-loved site and report.
jimit Posted by jimit
31st January 2016ce
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