From the strip fields there is a great view of Kitchen Barrow Hill to the east. The south-facing scarp is steep and the presence of an intervening dry valley heightens the impression that Kitchen Barrow was placed to be seen from the neighbouring slopes. The area around the barrow is open access land, so there are no complications in getting to the site.
Pastscape records show a round barrow to the north of the long barrow, at a point where the fence changes direction. However, although there are several bumps alongside the fenceline, none is particularly obvious or convincing as the round barrow depicted on the OS map.
The long barrow is certainly obvious though, 30m or so long and a couple of metres high at its southern tip, with well defined flanking ditches. It lies along the sloping crest of the ridge, with its northeastern end almost blending into the hillside. The views south are extensive, as the ground drops sharply to the farmland and the valley of the Kennet & Avon Canal below. To the west there’s a great view of the multi-phase west end of Tan Hill, where more strip fields lie below a linear prehistoric earthwork and a group of Bronze Age round barrows are silhouetted on the skyline.
A good place to stop for a while and let the world turn, especially on a Wiltshire big skies day of fast-moving cloud. Regrettably today’s visit is under a rather more leaden variety.
Neolithic long barrow on Kitchen Barrow Hill, listed by Grinsell as Bishops Cannings 44. The barrow is extant as an earthwork mound 34 metres long, 18 metres wide and up to 2.7 metres high. The side ditches are 8 metres wide and up to 40 cm deep. Grinsell referred to a sarsen protruding from the north east end, but this can no longer be seen. 5 sherds of Roman pottery found on the surface are in Devizes Museum. The long barrow has also been recorded on aerial photographs.
(SU 06686480) Kitchen Barrow (NAT) Long Barrow (NR). (1) On Kitchen Barrow Hill - Bishops Cannings 44: long barrow orientated NE/SW, 106 ft by 70 ft by 7 1/2 ft. Side ditches curve slightly inwards at NE end, near which large sarsen protrudes from the mound (2). SU 06686480 The long barrow, 34.0m NE-SW by 18.0m is up to 2.7m high above the side ditches which are 8.0m wide and 0.4m deep. The barrow, situated on the end of NE-SW ridge, is well preserved except for a modern depression at its NE end. The sarsen noted by Grinsell cannot now be located. Published survey 25" revised. (3) SU 066648. Five sherds of ? Romano-British coarse pottery were found on the surface at Kitchen Barrow, and presented to Devizes Museum by J Pile. (Acc No 43 1970). (4) The Neolithic long barrow described by the previous authorities has been mapped from aerial photographs. (5-6)
Like West Kennett longbarrow, the long barrow on Kitchen Hill has oolitic limestone in its facade which must have been brought all the way from the Frome area.
Its name might come from the Anglo Saxon 'Crechen' which means summit, as Kitchen Hill is part of the dramatic line of hills that suddenly sprout up at the northern edge of the Pewsey plain. The barrow itself isn't on the summit but is more on the crest as seen from below.