After visiting Stonehenge and all its hustle and bustle I headed up to this site. I parked just off the main road onto a little piece of land in front on the gate which leads you to the barrows. There is a metal N.T. sign here which calls the site King Barrow Ridge. It was a lovely sunny day and the light was dappled through the trees. Myself and Dafydd had the place to ourselves and it was very peaceful with good views back towards Stonehenge and all the people walking around the circle. This really is a lovely place to visit and access to the barrows is very easy. I would certainly recommend a visit when in the area. One word of warning though - it is quite difficult getting back onto the main road as it is very busy and the cars are not hanging around!
Visited 2nd Sept 2002-09-09
A nice set of barrows between Stonehenge and the roundabout that leads off to Durrington and Woodhenge. The first time travelling west I completely missed them, then on the way back east they loomed out of the trees to the left of the road causing me to pull up sharply (not recommended on this road!). The barrows extend northwards as far as The Avenue while the Old Kings barrows continue on the other side of it.
While I was there I met a couple with their kids looking for a good place to watch the sun go down beyond ‘thee stones’. Hope they enjoyed it, I know I did.
In 1720, Stukeley wrote: "On Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge in the sheep-penning there several barrows called the Kings Graves. The stones which once stood there are lately carried away."
The existence of these stones is apparently corroborated by the detailed drawing of Stonehenge and its surroundings made by J Hassell (for Inigo Jones' 'Stonehenge'): he drew stones on the side of the hill above 'Penning Bottom'.
It's likely the stones went for road making. And speaking of which, here's a peculiar tale told by "the late Mr Soul, grocer and baker of Amesbury":
The Marquess of Queensbury set out to make a road to Shrewton, the remains of which can be seen today. It left the Amesbury road just after the Seven Barrows, crossed the valley, went over the Stonehenge Avenue, and nearly got to the Cursus. But one day the Marquess rode up to see how the work was getting on and then went on to Shrewton. It was Trinity Monday, the Shrewton fete day, and he found them all so drunk that he decided Shrewton was no fit place to be connected with Amesbury.
Now what's all that about? Various Marquesses certainly made their mark on the land round here*. Perhaps it's based on a truth. But doesn't the story smack slightly of the town rivalry / devil folklore you get elsewhere? Perhaps my imagination.
A linear round barrow cemetery comprising 7 Early Bronze Age round barrows situated within a Post Medieval plantation. The cemetery was named "The New King Barrows" by Stukeley; although the barrows are also known as Seven Barrows. One of the Seven Barrows was opened in 1649 and found to contain "Coales and pieces of goates hornes and stagges horns", while another contained "a bugle-horn tipt with silver at both end" (though these could equally be part of the Old King Barrows barrow cemetery to the north, which is also known as Seven Barrows (Monument Number 219756)). The round barrows were listed as Amesbury 26 to 32 by Goddard (1913) and as three bell and four bowl barrows by Grinsell (1957). Storm damage in 1987 and 1990 resulted in some archaeological investigation of the cemetery and the earthworks were surveyed by RCHME in 1990. Additional observations were made in April 2011 as part of English Heritage's Stonehenge WHS landscape project - rapid field investigations. See individual barrow records (SU 14 SW 362 to 368) for specific details.