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

Marlborough Mound

Artificial Mound


Sunday 27 July 2003
Having followed the signs into the visitors car park, I was now to the west of the college. Out of the car, I turned to look at the college and noticed that there were some unfeasibly high treetops towering over the buildings.

Knowing that there are trees on the Mound, I headed between the buildings and was soon standing beside the mound.

What a monster!!

And what a bizarre setting it has in the present day! It really is 'squished in' amongst the college buildings, almost giving the impression that should it decide to flex its muscles it would just sweep the encroaching buildings away.

The buildings make the mound difficult to photograph, but at the same time make for some interesting juxtapositions…. And I'm not even going to mention the irritating 'faux' standing stones etc 'littering' the college grounds….

Reckoned to be a close relative of Silbury Hill the Mound is very impressive once you manage to really see it and to ignore the nearest college buildings and the trees growing from the mound itself. According to most sources it is definitely the second biggest manmade mound in Europe after Silbury.

Unfortunately, it's actual purpose seems to be even more mysterious than Silbury's, and surely it simply wouldn't be big enough to play a similar role to Silbury in any landscape of special significance that once existed here?

Even though it's huge and second only to Silbury, it's actually pretty tiny in comparison to Silbury itself, so any parallel may be limited at best.

Yet on the other hand I couldn't help speculating. If it truly is next biggest to Silbury, so close to Silbury, and of a similar age to Silbury, could they have had purposes in common?

Maybe it's fanciful, but get rid of the town, make the mound white with chalk as Silbury was, see it from the surrounding ancient paths. Could it have 'worked'?

Wonder if it was bare white chalk ….
I wrote the above before checking the big papery TMA. It turns out that on pages 78-9 Julian actually says something quite similar, but written (as is Julian's tendancy) as if it is proven fact. Perhaps it is. I was going to delete my musings but then I thought 'well, not everyone has the book….'

And he says it WAS chalk.
As far as arranging visits is concerned, Baza's 'Sunday visit' tactic certainly worked for me at about 9.45am – absolutely nobody about to object to the fact that I hadn't got permission….
Moth Posted by Moth
5th August 2003ce
Edited 6th August 2003ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment