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

West Kennett

Long Barrow


We reached the longbarrow to find a small group of people reading the information board. I took photos like a woman possessed, desperate to take something back with me to North Wales, a decent set of pictures to reflect on when away from this most magnificent of places. It was thrilling to touch the stones again after so long, wonderful to stand in the small forecourt before walking once more into the dark, imposing chambers. Again, the structure of the place struck me through new eyes; the size of the rocks, the creation of this space, the awesome nature of the whole. It occurred to me that the stones appeared very much like the bones of the earth. Once again, memories of times past drifted through my mind, especially the last visit, which was strange and dark. I didn't want that memory to stay with me, but it persistently floated back, until a sudden trilling chirr and resonant, urgent wing beat broke the dark chambers' air. More squeaks, more wing beats, a dart of movement, and a swallow swooped out of the entrance, up the face of the forecourt stones, and into the night. A few moments later a rush of air signalled its return – they were nesting inside one of the chambers!

I hid behind a large stone and watched them fly in and out, while Moth and Jane sat above the entrance to watch their unerring, acrobatic passage back and to the nest. We were the only people there, immersed in the magic of the muted night's colour and smells, the timelessness and atmosphere of the long barrow and its stones, the sounds of wind through grasses and swallows' wing beats and chirrs. The feeling of re-birth, renewal, regeneration and life filled the place, and any dark memories were chased away, to be replaced by light and airy vibes of positivity.
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
10th August 2006ce

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